Who should fund social media: communications or sales?

The author suggests which department should be charged with the budget. Weigh in.

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At first I thought, “Yes, the sales team should pay for a portion of the social media budget.” But then I thought about it a little more and changed my mind.

For the majority of brands, it’s problematic to make sales the primary focus for their social media efforts. Instead, communicators should be focused on brand awareness, brand reputation and integrity, customer service, building positive connections with customers and potential customers, positioning themselves as thought/industry leaders and so on. Sure, sales can factor into the overall plan, but it shouldn’t be at the top of the list for most brands.

If the sales team starts funding the social efforts, they’ll want to control the messages and skew the objectives/plans in their favor. That said, saddling communicators with strictly finding leads and driving sales puts them in a tough spot. How would you feel if before you went to a cocktail party, your boss told you to find sales leads and assigned you a sales quota? It’d be tough, because conversations between brands and people shouldn’t only be about selling.

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