A top question from many executives is: How should social media be structured within an organization? This is a tricky question, as it depends on many factors having to do with how your organization or business is set up as well as how regulated your industry is. As I went from organization to organization, I did start to see some distinct patterns begin to shape and form on how companies structured around social media. These structures or models were dependent often on how advanced a company was in its social media practices. The more ingrained social media was within a company, the closer it came to an ideal structure—one in which virtually the entire company was involved; yet it was organized communication.
I wasn't alone in seeing these patterns or models. Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group had done extensive research on this specific question with many of his clients. When I saw his models I was blown away and realized that his models were better than mine. So in the following pages I use Owyang's models as a base and take the liberty of making an addition or a subtraction on some items. To see Jeremiah's incredible work, go to http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/11/09/research-most-companies-organize-in-hub-and-spoke-formation/ or http://bit.ly/socialnomics-owyang-models. See Figures 18.1 through 18.5 to see each model along with a table giving pertinent information about the pros and cons to each approach.