Why Your Social Marketing Department Is Likely Under-Resourced

marketing department

By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Now that companies know that social media is not a flash in the pan, the social marketing department is growing like a weed.

Research shows that social budgets are growing in 2018.

So why are social marketing departments still crying about a lack of resources?

Let’s dive in and see how we can fix this issue.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Make no mistake, money is being added to social media in the form of

  • Content creation
  • Advertising
  • Video

In fact, Sprout Social’s 2018 Index shows that 57% of companies are allocating more budget to social media efforts.

social marketing department

Furthermore, Sprout’s research indicates that the social team is owning the budget rather than the media buyer; 82% of the social media marketers they surveyed say they control the ad spend.

But now that the social marketing department is gaining power, it’s also gaining responsibilities.

Social media teams are now often responsible for impacting a variety of divisions, such as

  • Website
  • Sales
  • Lead Generation
  • Branding/PR
  • SEO
  • Email Marketing
  • Talent/HR
  • eCommerce
  • Product/R&D
  • Media Buying

And with all of that weight on their shoulders, Sprout’s survey results showed that companies aren’t hiring more people for more tasks.

social marketing department

The directive to take on more with fewer people is a big clue as to why resources are lacking in social media departments.

The Data Dilemma

Another problem social people are facing involves data.

The social marketing department uses data for a variety of reasons, including assessing campaign performance and proving ROI.

But it goes beyond that. Sprout’s research uncovered six major areas in which social marketers use social data.

social marketing department

It’s obvious social media marketers can’t do their jobs without social media management and analytics software. (although some argue tech is another reason marketers are stuck)

So why do only 33% of social marketers say they have the software they need?!

Our second big clue is here … budgets are being increased for content and creative, but apparently, are not being allocated towards the analytics the social marketing department needs to do its job.

It’s a bit of the chicken and the egg story here. We need content to fuel our social media channels, but we need analytics and data to pinpoint what’s working.

Which would you choose to spend your dollars on, content or analytics?

Saving Your Under-Resourced Social Marketing Department

I get why so many companies are choosing content.

In 2018, your story matters more than ever. And as Ann Handley reported, 80% of all B2B content marketers surveyed agree their organization is focused on building audiences.

You need content to do that; telling your unique story and cutting through the noise of kitten memes and puppy videos is no easy task.

Content is the engine that drives social media. But it is worth stealing from Peter to pay Paul?

social marketing department

It seems companies have a choice: they can put all of their funding in one area or parse it out to be more equal across the board.

And while content is a valid choice for increased budgets, it may be wise to consider analytics software and staff as well.

Content, software, and staff take the three top spots when it comes to marketers needs.

social marketing department

I think the answer is not to take away from content, but to more fairly divide growing budgets between content, software, and people.

You’re Your Own Worst Enemy

In the frenzy to get people active on our social media channels, we may have overlooked the reality of what it takes to do ALL THE THINGS.

We haven’t even touched on the subjects of influencer marketing and employee advocacy here! Two widely popular trends.

But just like all of the other social marketing department tasks, they require more resources.

I can tell you from experience that our ads department has taken on a life of its own. It’s requiring more resources (people) as sites like Facebook move to a “pay to play” model. I have a sense that our ads department could overtake our organic social services in revenue in only a few short years.

Each of these things — advertising, lead generation, SEO, social media marketing, influencer marketing, employee advocacy — are full-time jobs on their own.

You may call it “job security” but if things continue in this fashion, the house of cards will topple.

How do you allocate your social budget at your company? Are you content heavy or fair across the board?

To download and read the entire Sprout Social Index 2018 and glean your own insights, follow this link

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media, an award-winning done-for-you social media management, and advertising agency. In 2018, she was named a Top 25 Brand Builder & Woman Entrepreneur in New Jersey. She’s also a blossoming blogger and a purveyor of psychographics. Brooke’s marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter!

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