It’s a question I am seeing pop up more and more.
As brands invest in resources and people to manage social marketing, this question will need to be answered over time. In many cases companies are hiring one “social media expert” to oversee all of it. But is that a wise move?
In some respects, it is. The socially-savvy marketer or communications professional can be the best person to oversee all of it. I can see where the role calls for it and why many make the call to do it that way. At the same time, much like newspapers used to do, separating the revenue generating roles (social advertising, promotion) from those that have a more customer-facing interactions (earned, conversation) could have some validity.
It’s my sincere belief that – over time – these roles will eventually be separate but equal. You will have the social business marketer who manages the advertising and promotions end while a pro with strong communications skills will manage the conversation and customer interaction piece. Those two will be separate and equal, but completely reliant on one another. They need to be joined at the hip yet distinctly different.
As I said it my answer on Quora the other day, I believe roles will eventually change and social media overall will evolve into what it should be – social business design. That’s to say all parts of business will own parts of social making them work like a well-oiled machine.
It will take time but the evolution is already occurring.
Nothing ever stands still. It’s more change.