Who should own Social Media? Yes, I'm re-opening this can of worms. But, it's not my fault. I was listening to the New Communications Conversations Podcast: Joseph Jaffe, Jim Nail And Jen McClure Discuss Conversational Marketing Study today and there was a very lively discussion on the topic. Jim Nail of Cymfony was opposed to it being the Public Relations firms because he felt that their jobs mainly revolve around controlling the message, while Joseph Jaffe toyed with the idea that it should be a hybrid of the Advertising and PR agencies in a more integrated fashion.
I think it's Digital Marketing agencies who need to step up and own the Social Media marketing landscape. Agencies who are primed in the interactive marketing space start off with a core understanding of how people connect online, and how different users interact within online communities. Traditional advertising firms constantly struggle with how to add interactive into the mix. The fact that this still happens in the Marketing world makes me squirm. Interactive is still an after-thought to many agencies. Public Relations firms have the communications and conversations component down, but (usually) lack in the Web development department in terms of producing and marketing the initiative.
While listening to the New Communications Conversations Podcast it came to me. It's us... the Digital Marketing Agencies... the Interactive Marketers that should lead the charge. How can we win this piece of the strategy? Work closely with both the traditional agency to understand the brand (and its values) and work equally with the public relations firm to understand the message and communications platforms.
Clearly, Social Media - as it stands today - should be owned by the Digital Marketing Agency.