Social Media & Happiness: Who’s Your Chief Happiness Officer?

Have you ever heard of a Chief Happiness Officer?

Forbes CHO


Photo via Forbes

…We didn’t think so. Chief Happiness Officer, or CHO is a fairly new C-Suite title. In 2012, a Forbes article called CHOs and other new C-Suite titles “silly,” stating that most of them are vanity titles with no power. However, they did say the one title that needs to be added is Chief Customer Officer. That’s where CHOs come in. The customer experience is now more important then ever. With social media playing such an integral role in marketing, customers expect instant acknowledgement and gratification. They are looking for immediate responses via the same tweet or Facebook update that they posted.

For 2014, three major trends that reflect the importance of this Chief Customer Officer, as highlighted by eConsultancy’s CEO Ashley Friedlein, are:


In the same category as ‘always on’ and ‘agile’. Some of this is about technology (e.g. RTB or real-time analytics) but really it is about process and people.

2014 will see more focus on marketing teams trying to work in ways that are more ‘real-time’.


2014 will see big efforts to make all digital experiences responsive so they adapt to the screen and context of use. Most obviously this applies to optimizing the mobile experience in its many forms.


Another megatrend that I think will be big in 2014, but will continue for years yet.

2014’s efforts will still largely be about personalizing digital experiences but increasingly it’ll be about personalized multichannel experiences.

Our social media management tool, Buffer, does an amazing job at real-time, responsive and personalized customer engagement and interaction. Recently, I stumbled on a blog post from them all about how each team member within the company plays an integral role for ultimate customer satisfaction. Enter their Customer Happiness Officer role. At Buffer, their CHO, Carolyn, leads the way in customer support. According to her job title on the team page, she “helps people use Buffer by answering questions via email, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as through Buffer’s email marketing.” It’s great to see social media being used to deliver happiness to customers!

Carolyn CHO at Buffer

In addition to being more social with customers, CHOs should also build optimism within a company, says Building optimism in people allows them to be more productive, patient, and creative. Clearly, the job of a CHO should not be taken lightly.


So, should your company have a CHO? We certainly think so, and we love that Buffer has a position that promotes the importance of engagement and good customer service, especially through social media. 2014 is going to be a year of many digital trends, and any trend that includes happiness and instant interaction with customers through social media is a winner in our eyes.