Does Your Company Have A Chief Social Media Officer?

Does Your Company Have A Chief Social Media Officer?

By Roman KniahynyckyjJun 24 /2011

A recent CNN Money article discussed 7 executive jobs in the future C-suite. One of the new jobs predicted is that of Chief Social Media Officer (CSMO). With the continued adoption of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as B2C and B2B marketing tools, a CSMO role will have relevancy.


What would the scope of a CSMO's role be? What other key C-level executives would she interact with? How would a CSMO's performance be measured?

Let's consider the areas of organizational focus for a CSMO:

  • People - a Chief Social Media Officer would head a social media team responsible for regularly producing social media content including blogs, tweets, status updates and more sophisticated advanced content like white papers and e-books. Additionally, a CSMO would have ultimate responsibility for social media monitoring in support of a company's brand or brands.
  • Process - Constructing a social media policy that does not violate any labor relations laws would be a key responsibility for a CSMO. Defining social media access and rules of engagement in the workplace would also fall under the purview of an CSMO. Cautious CEOs will still consider blocking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The CSMO will have to approach a CEO's concerns with data supporting the benefits, and more importantly the ROI (as it relates to brand awareness and attracting customers), of social media in the workplace.
  • Technology - A CSMO will be involved in technology decisions and reviews affecting the corporate social media infrastructure. What social media listening software will best fit a particular enterprise or corporate loadset? What content management systems will be best suited for social media updates? What factors will be considered in evaluating potential technology and software?

The functions of the CMSO will be closely tied to other C-suite roles - working with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) on technology selection, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) on alignment of inbound and outbound marketing efforts, or the General Counsel or Chief Legal Officer (CLO) on social media policy and monitoring, among others. Ultimately, the CMSO will have to prove the value and ROI of her organization to the CEO.

How do you see the role of a Chief Social Media Officer evolving? What are the key attributes of this role? How will a CSMO define success?