More than half (51 percent) of advertising and marketing executives said public relations and communications executives are best suited to oversee an organization's social media efforts, according to a survey conducted by staffing firm The Creative Group. The figure is up from 39 percent in a similar study conducted in 2013.

"Social media can affect a company's reputation, so it stands to reason that this channel is tied closely to public relations," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. "But corporate social media can also be used to shape brand perceptions and facilitate customer interactions. Because it encompasses many activities -- from content strategy to customer support to campaign analysis -- that require different skills, it's often beneficial for multiple departments to work closely together in order to leverage strengths and encourage ongoing collaboration."

Fewer than three in 10 (28 percent) said marketing was best suited to oversee social media, while 9 percent felt customer service was the most appropriate function—both down since the 2013 survey. About 5 percent said the CEO or business owner should be directly responsible for social media activity.

According to additional research conducted for
The Creative Group 2016 Salary Guide, there is strong demand for professionals with social media expertise.

"Companies continue to invest financial resources and efforts into social media to engage customers and build brand awareness,” Domeyer says. “Even when hiring for positions that don't directly involve social media, employers seek candidates who have a deep understanding of how to use it effectively in a business setting.”