Tag Archives: formation stage

Social Media Maturity for Businesses in 5 Levels


Many businesses have started using social media, few are using it well. Here are 5 levels to serve as a road map to mature your usage and presence on social media channels.

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 Video Transcript

Hello. I’m going to lay out a road map for how to get your business to
mature in a social media space. So a lot of businesses have gotten into
social media, but they don’t really know where to go from there. We’re
going to lay out a road map of kind of what your next steps should be if
you’re a business that is getting involved with social media. Stay tuned.

Hi, my name is Mike Roberts. I am an online marketing specialist. You can
find all my marketing materials on my website at
MRobertsOnline.wordpress.com.

Now I’m going to talk about five steps that your business can use as a road
map if you’re involved in social media, and this will be five steps to
mature your business in a social media space. So, the first step is really
simple. It’s launch. The adoption rate for social media is incredible. The
vast majority of businesses have Facebook pages. They have Twitter pages. A
lot of them don’t see returns, and they don’t see justification for being
in the space because they’re not really involved with it yet. They kind of
put up the sites and send out a few tweets, a few Facebook posts, and they
don’t really get it. What’s the point? What they need to do is to get
involved quite a bit more to build a community, and there are a lot of
other goals you can set up to reap from social media.

The second stage is the formation stage. One of the uses for social media
is for PR and for crisis management and for connecting with the customers,
and this is where this stage is really important. The formation stage is
where you see corporate governance or social media governance and social
media policies come into play. That’s where you’re actually putting some
thought into what is going to happen when crises come up. So you’ve got a
crisis response plan responding to customers. You have processes for who
does what in your organization in regards to social media, and you have a
workflow, approvals. You have put some thought into your presence on social
media.

The third stage is to formalize. So this is the point where you have a
center of excellence. This is not just, “We have people that are governing
or restricting or making sure that there isn’t any risk with social media,”
but you actually have champions in your organization that are striving to
learn best practices and learning to apply those and what that looks like
in your specific business, in your specific industry. These are people that
are really teaching others and leading the charge. Most times it’s the
marketing department, and the problem is that the rest of the organization
usually lags behind and they’re not really involved. So if you’re going to
respond to customers, a lot of times it’s really slow because you need to
consult or you need to get buy-in from other people in other parts of the
organization in order to have a unified approach, and that’s where we
really get into enablement.

So enablement is when, it’s best explained when you have like a hub and
spoke model. So this is going to be the stage where you’re really going to
be able to scale your social media efforts. The mom-and-pop shop on the
corner, the way they do social media is going to be drastically different
than if you’re Hewlett Packard or you’re Whole Foods or you’re some sort of
a chain nationwide restaurant where you have a corporation headquarters and
then you have regions that are all trying to do social media.

On one end of the scale you have all of the regions taking charge and the
corporate headquarters is really not involved. So the regions are doing
their own thing, and the problem, at that point, is that the regions don’t
talk to each other. They don’t know what the other regions are doing.
There’s also not much enforcement or unification. So that’s obviously a
problem.

The other end of the scale is a problem when you have, like we just talked
about, you have a center of excellence, the people in the headquarters that
are champions for doing social media, but it doesn’t scale very well
because you can’t have them do all the stuff for the regions. They’re too
detached. It’s not relevant enough. You need the people on the front lines
involved with the customers to be the ones on the social media channels.

So what the winning combination in this enablement stage is where you have
a center of excellence, and they’re able to set the policies and set the
standards and set the best practices for the organization and how it’s
going to be applied and all those things. They govern it, but then it’s all
of the regions that separately are actually on the front lines carrying out
the social media on the channels, responding to customers, putting out
posts. It’s store-specific. It’s location-specific, region-specific. So you
can have a much more customized, tailored experience with your customers.
So that’s kind of the enablement stage, and that’s really far beyond many
organizations.

The last stage is enlightenment. This is really the goal for all of you
involved in social media is to get to a point where you’re able to respond
to customers in real-time and you have a very connected organization that
is all on board. Every department is on board. Every region and the
corporate headquarters are all on board, ready to respond to the customers.
So if it’s a customer issue concern or if it’s a manufacturing problem or
whatever the issue is, the entire organization has decided what the
policies will be, how to implement them, how to carry them out. So you’re
able to respond in real-time, solving the customer’s problem, and
eventually you start to be able to predict what the problems will be and be
able to solve it before the customer has a problem. So that’s the goal.

So I thought I’d lay that out. Five steps, you have launch, formation,
formalize, enablement, and enlightenment. So use that as a little road map
and as a little bit of direction if you feel a little aimless in the social
media implementation in your business.