Governance & Process, Social & Cooperation

Who has responsibility for social media in the digital workplace?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in January 2011 ……


Who’s formally involved in social media?

Which departments or functions have responsibility for social media formally included in their role descriptions? The answer depends on two criteria:

  1. How long has social media been used internally?
  2. Is responsibility defined for external use of social media only? Internal only? Both?

The data from Global Intranet Trends for 2011 (first chart) indicates that:

  • Communicators are the most involved although their role is lower in organizations that have had social media internally for  3 or 4 years.
  • This is the very point in time when the role of Business increases.
  • HR has the lowest involvement.This is perhaps the most surprising statistic!

This begs the question: why not involve Business earlier? How to get HR more involved?
When looking at the scope of the responsibility – internal, external or both – the data gives us a different dimension. (second chart)

The interesting observations are that:

  • When the responsibility has been defined only for the internal use of social media, the two most involved departments are Internal Communication and IT. This is, in fact, the scenario where IT is the most involved.
  • The most balanced, cross-organizational involvement is when the role has been defined for both internal and external usage. Still then, Communication – internal and external – are the main drivers.

Waiting for social networking to take off?

It seems that social media are still considered to be “media”, that’s to say, communication-related. They have not yet become integrated sufficiently into Business.

My prediction is that this will change when internal social networking really takes off. This is when organizations will begin to see the business value of social connections inside the enterprise.