Fire your Director of Social Media!

At a recent ANA conference I was interviewing Brian Wallace VP of Digital Marketing and Media for RIM when I heard him say “2 years from now- if I still have a Director of Social Media – I should be fired!” and after thinking about that I can’t help but agree with him.

The theory here is as CMO’s appoint a head of social media in their organizations, it fosters silo-like behavior and departmentalizes social which by definition runs counter to the behavior within the organization you are trying to instill!

As the “lightning rod” for all things social at Avaya – I have tried not to accept the mantle of being the head of social media and instead be more of a caretaker of social activity across the company. I agree you need someone to know what is going on across the company socially but you should not confine social to just a few select people.

My social media team has grown from 7 people at the start to now over 75 people as part of a “virtual cross discipline team” that meets weekly about social activity. And I often wonder how will I push the barriers of that team out – to be more like 15,000 people acting socially in a coordinated, passionate way about our brand. Said differently how do we make social part of the very DNA of the firm?

Ideally, I think you need to treat the role of the Director of Social Media as a way to activate the entire organization socially and then when that’s complete – move on to something else. What’s your view?