Social Maturity – The Stages


Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:18
Do you know what social business is exactly? Well basically it is when a business or organization engages with an audience through a social platform. It can be done either internally, externally or both. Your business can Tweet to generate buzz or use Facebook for flash sales events or job opportunity. These practices are called “social business.”
It seems like most businesses strive for the Social Maturity Model but there is no specific or correct level of Social Maturity. Yes there are stages to get to Social Maturity but where your business might need to stay might be in the beginning stages, a social advocate and no further growth might be needed. In order for the best success the business or organization has to know where they want to go so ground work is important.

Breakdown of stages:
Social Advocate: This is social engagement at its simplest stage. At this stage, social is in the hands of a single individual within an organization. This person usually has strong personal social involvement and may have emerged from within the organization as a logical leader in social, or perhaps hired specifically to tackle social for the organization – the social expert.

Social Teams: A Social Advocate can only do so much. Enter the social team. Typically the Social Team is departmentally focused. In the early days of social, these teams were nearly all centered around marketing or PR, but more recently we’re seeing the spread of social teams throughout an organization.

Social Business: Once you have a number of social teams operating in separate departments, you’re on your way to the Social Business stage. A more telling and significant sign is the way an organization handles the socially native concepts of openness and transparency. Is your organization having open dialogue in front of its customers, partners, and even competitors?

Social Enterprise: A Social Business operating across time zones or cultures. You have good policy governing social engagement that empowers your teams to engage customers directly. You’re turning the tools you’ve used to engage outwardly with customers inward to foster better internal collaborative practices. The numbers support the increased application and scaling of social in business, particularly at the enterprise end. A McKinsey Global Institute study that looked at applying social across the consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services sectors estimated social could contribute up to $1.3 trillion in value in those areas. A full two-thirds of that value lay solely within improving communication and collaboration across enterprises, an area which is hugely under-developed with the same report stating that only 3 percent of enterprises are currently fully socially networked. But with over half, 52 percent, of managers confirming the importance of social to their business today and 82 percent agreeing to its importance within the next three years, good preparation and planning for the growth of social business, both inside and outside the firewall, is now top-of-the-to-do-list critical.
(Taken from a HootSuite white paper on social media)