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Social Media in the Board Room

Social media is widely regarded as a marketing activity, or at least an area which should be looked after by the CMO and marketing people within the organization. However IMHO, Social Media affects the entire business, and should be looked at Board Room and CEO level. Alan See, VP Marketing at Berry Network, suggests that implementing Social Media in the organization, will transform the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) into an acting COO (Chief Operating Officer). Alan explains in his blog post, the role of a traditional COO, showing how the CMO’s role becomes more operational when it comes to social media implementation.

However, I see the role of social media should really be discussed with even higher view of the business, which is more strategic than operational. This could be a typical discussion at the C Suite:


CEO: Does Wall Street really care about this stuff? I thought this only involved your PR department.  What’s our competition doing?


CFO:  Are we talking about decreasing costs or increasing revenues with this strategy?


CIO:  What about network security?  By the way, we can’t allow everyone to be downloading all these new untested desktop social applications.  And don’t even get me going about the mobile angle.


Legal:  I’ll need to consider our risk and exposure.  Have we addressed any standards or procedures around social media?  Who did you say was going to be blogging and tweeting?


CSO:  Are we using this to generate sales leads or is it about customer service?  If it’s about leads, will the quality be good?  Should my sales teams be involved?  What about my call center?


HR:  Are we going to allow all employees access?  If so, what about productivity?  Are we using this for recruiting?

This is quite a simplistic outline of this discussion, but you can already see how Social media can really have a substantial effect on the business as a whole, effecting every department.

Do you still think it’s  marketing fluff?