How Organizations Are Structuring Their Social Media Teams


Between Halloween vines for laundry detergent and 22,000 people following Charmin, it’s clear that brands of all types have assimilated into social. This makes for an appropriate time to stop and observe the degree to which social has been adopted into organizations.

Altimeter Group tracks this well and showcases current category benchmarks based on annual tracking that they’ve been gathering since 2010.  A few highlights from their 2013 State of Social Business are worth noting…

When it comes to internal structure, around 30 percent of organizations today take a “centralized” approach to social. This is where one department, like PR, manages all social activities. However, a different type of structure is seeing the most growth today: a “multiple hub and spoke model” where companies within companies act nearly autonomously from each other under a common brand.

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Social_media_Hub_and_SpokeWhen it comes to reporting, nearly 40 percent of organizations have social running under marketing while another 26 percent align social under PR. Only 14 percent have social reporting into digital while 2 percent report into customer support.


When it comes to department size, organizations between 1,000 – 5,000 employees report to having a full time social staff of three. Interestingly, companies at the next size up (5,000 – 10,000 employees) now have nearly 20 full time employees; this has quadrupled since just three years ago.


Finally, the biggest area of risk (or opportunity!) for organizations is aligning employees around social media policies. When asked what level of knowledge employees had about social media usage only 18 percent of organizations reported “good” or “very good.” This ties to the finding that only one third of organizations offer any formal social media training.

These quantified benchmarks provide helpful insight for organizations of all sizes to evaluate how they manage and staff their own internal social teams.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the full Altimeter report here.

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