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Brands Succeed in Social with Cross-Platform Approach

Brands can no longer rely strictly on a social media team to succeed in the social sphere. With ever-evolving social media network platforms, brand’s social business teams are struggling to keep up, according to “The 2016 State of Social Business” by Ed Terpening.

“The social team has largely been responsible for proving out the business value of these platforms,” the report said. “However, the social team often struggles to reassess internal accountability and find new partners to support and maintain platforms as they evolve.”

As a result, more and more brands are collaborating in social to succeed.

In a survey by Altimeter, 523 respondents said their brands collaborate regularly (at least monthly) on social business strategy and operations through a standing cross-functional working group or steering committee.

The bulk, according to the report, was done by brands’ IT departments, who participate in 55 percent of the operation. The marketing department participated in 41 percent, while the public relations department had 32 percent and the digital department had 27 percent.

“Our Content team manages YouTube, and we provide expertise like tagging and advising how to broaden distribution,” said Jayson Smith, who was Director of Digital Marketing at Wyndham Worldwide at the time of Altimeter’s interview.

Companies also utilized the following departments to aid in the social operation: executive, customer support, leadership, innovation, customer experience, advertising, operations, finance, e-commerce, market research, product development, legal, sales and human resources.

“These platform changes do affect our team. Advertising manages YouTube based on how we use it. We see Twitter as more and more of a news distributor, so we’re working with PR on how their role may expand. Collaboration needs to be even stronger in years to come. Social keeps impacting more and more business functions,” said Julie Clement Cochran, manager of global social media at FedEx, to Altimeter.

Part of the social team’s shift is from a “test & learn” business objective—where innovative ideas may or may not pan out—to one with a solid return. In the survey, 77% of respondents said they have a strong business case for social media investment.

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