Research buried in a recent Forrester Research report on social media investments suggests the responsibilities of social media within an organization continue to shift. Marketing operations is becoming more involved in setting social strategies, while dedicated social media teams are becoming less common for large companies.
The follow-up Forrester Research report gleaned from The Forrester Research Q4 2011 B2B Marketing Organizations And Investments Survey identifies several reasons for the shift. For starters, 41% of the survey respondents indicate that marketing operations at their respective companies hold the primary responsibility for social media activities.
"Although corporate marketing still plays an important role in the direction of social media strategy for branding and awareness, marketing operations is better positioned to ensure that strategies and technologies are coordinated and integrated across various marketing functions," according to the report.
Aside from marketing operations, corporate marketing or marcom takes 15%, followed by brand or product marketing at 11%, Web and interactive marketing at 9%, customer support at 6%, social media team at 6%, executive team at 4%, field marketing at 4%, and events at 3%.
The research shows the disappearing act of social media teams, according to the report. Only 6% of the high-tech companies said their social media teams own the social media strategy and execution. Companies seem less likely to have a dedicated social media team in place, as social becomes part of other campaign strategies, such as search.
Despite the disappearance of social media teams, marketers said they will continue to invest in social media campaigns.
Branding and awareness are two areas where marketers can reap the most benefit from social media campaigns, according to the study. More than 52% of survey respondents plan to increase social media investment in branding and awareness. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents said product marketers will increase investment in social media in 2012, attributing the uptick to listening platforms, ideation and customer collaboration communities that incorporate customer feedback into product development processes.
Investment will also increase in social media for customer community management, according to half of respondents. Forrester expects tech marketers will add community strategies to social marketing campaigns, as online communities become a more effective way to communicate with consumers. There has been interesting cross-project collaboration in recent years, namely the Mountain Dew campaign through the DEWmocracy project.