The job of someone managing social media for the average business is not unlike that of the average small business owner. Personally, in my situation, as someone who owns a small business and both manages social media for our business and for our clients’ businesses, both roles boil down to being the “CXO”, wearing many hats and not having the luxury of having a fellow C-level executive to come in and support the whole works. “All in good time,” I keep saying!
Even if you’re not the only person running your social media program (lucky you!), you still need to account for the various roles and “CXO’s” of social. Now, we all know that few organizations are in the mode of hiring C-level execs to support a social media post, but the metaphor still holds. You need to fully consider and support each of the discrete roles or ‘lives’ of social media leadership in order to have a robust social media program for your organization. Let’s look at each of the CXO roles, shall we.
CSO – Chief Strategy Officer – The CSO is the linchpin in your social media program. The strategic vision for the program rests here, and the CSO also helps determine which social media channels you’ll participate in and how. Since social media changes so fast, your strategy can never be “set it and forget it” and your CSO will rarely be found sitting down… We all know by now (or, we should) that social media is not supposed to be executed through random acts of social media. Strategy is one of the keys that separate the great social media efforts from the also-ran social media efforts.
CCO – Chief Content Officer – The CCO works every day to create, curate, reimagine, repurpose, source and publish the content engine that runs your social media program. Social media is nothing if not for the content that you use to engage in or start the conversation in your industry. The most important job, after the strategy is set, is the content and it’s too important to be left to chance, to a committee (although this isn’t the worst thing) or to assume that using only your “supply side” content (the stuff in your four walls that you want to talk about) will suffice.
CEO – Chief Editorial Officer & Chief Engagement Officer –If your business is a heavy content producer, your social media staff are a critical link between the content producers and the audience through their editorial lens. More to the point, you need to have someone keeping an eye on the level of engagement that your content and social media presence inspires. The editorial focus is pretty straightforward, but the engagement role needs to be laser-focused on making your social media channels into more than just places where you push out content for content’s sake.
CTO – Chief Technology Officer – As much as we’ve been told not to focus on the technology aspects of social media (remember, it’s all about people and content…), there’s no getting around the fact that social technologies are sometimes challenging for even the savviest users and administrators. The Chief Technology Officer is needed to understand not just the social tools themselves, but also how they integrate with the organization and how they’ll augment the capabilities of the organization to better serve customers. (I.e. how Twitter and Facebook can enhance the customer service experience)
CDO – Chief Design Officer – The CDO is always looking out for how the social media channels change and evolve to ensure that photos, backgrounds and the myriad of visual elements meet the brand standards set by the organization and the visual standards set by the social media platforms themselves. The very visual nature of social media (i.e. we know what photos on Facebook and Pinterest are the most important social objects) requires someone to be focused on the visual and design elements of your brand presence.
CRO – Chief Reputation/Relationship Officer – High performing social media enabled organizations often have forged great relationships with the digital influencer communities in the respective markets they serve. Often times a social media community manager has done a great job of maintaining those connections but regardless of who started the conversation, the CRO role is tasked with maintaining the relationships and upholding the reputation of the brand in social media. This role should also be well integrated with the PR function of the organization.
CTO – Chief Training Officer – The CTO (training, not technology) is responsible for maintaining the most current knowledge of where social media is headed and keeping a library of best practices to ensure that the brand stewards within the organization are doing the right things right. This person takes in social media education from a variety of sources and dispenses it throughout the organization is varying forms.
CRO – Chief Revenue Officer – The dot-com era ushered in the idea of CROs for every organization that wanted to generate streams of revenue from all of their channels and platforms. Social media should have someone with a similar focus on revenue and ROI to ensure that the effort expended is done so in the right direction with the right checks & balances to move the program forward with the executive team.