It's a question that has been hotly debated since Twitter, Google + and Blogger, along with their myriad of friends first took off. We all want to own the space, and reap the rewards. But aren't we in danger of dropping the ball if we all fight over the toys?
Here's my two-penneth. It. Doesn't. Matter.
In my view it is interchangeable and very much depends on the organisation, the social media channel, the audience and the social media mix. You remember that mix word from all your marketing and PR books don't you? The good old marketing mix is not as simple as it used to be people.
In the case of a customer services offer then the best blend of 'ownership' should be a team with PR insight and fabulous customer service skills. However if your new campaign has a social media platform to engage with audiences through competitions and sharing content then you need a communities manager. No, they don't manage a town or village but virtual communities.
What matters is that someone owns it, that person is plugged into the whole organisation from CEO to the press team so that when a bad news story hits they can be 'on-it' checking those pesky auto-tweets (sorry Tesco I mean you) and they need to be linked to the Ad team so they can be super fly like Oreo and the superbowl during the blackout.
The beauty of social media, in my view, is its flexibility. It isn't supposed to be caged. It likes to live free.