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The 5 Levels of Social Media Maturity. Where Is Your Company?

Social media continues to grow up and mature but we’ve got a long way to go. I’ve been talking to several clients and prospective clients and I’m seeing some very encouraging signs. One way to gauge the sophistication of your social media efforts is to use the Capability Maturity Model.

Most companies somewhere between a level 1 and a level 3. Very few companies are at a 4 and I don’t know anyone that can truly say they’re at a 5 (although I know several companies that are aggressively working towards it).

Where do you think your company fits in? (Be honest.)

Capability Maturity Model: You can see the Wikipedia entry for more context.

Level 1:  Initial - (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) - the starting point for use of a new process. The typical behavior you see in an organization is heroics, where you have a great idea  and  a group of passionate supporters do everything. Everyone jumps on board every time there’s a problem.

Level 2: Managed - A functional manager decides the heroics are not effective to build a business and puts together some processes.  The team may use them but they  are not adopted consistently  throughout the company.

Level 3: Defined - The organization realizes that things aren’t working, balls are getting dropped, employees are tired,  additional headcount may or may not help  there is a desire to fix the problem across the company. The process is defined/confirmed as a standard business process shared across the company.

Level 4: Quantitatively Managed - A business process is in place and there is data over a period of time to establish metrics.  The functional area has metrics and the metrics roll up to support the business goals and objectives.

Level 5: Optimizing - Complaints, efficiencies are managed in a closed loop corrective action plan. Where these requests are tracked,  business systems are changed to meet the needs of the business.  Decisions are based on efficiency, creativity and voice of customer.

In future posts I’ll walk through how to move from one level to the next.

Photo credit by Gobble Monster

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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  • Anonymous

    Oh I love the capability maturity model - even if it does send a slight shiver down my spine. The amazing thing is that mapping CMM against your teams really does allow you to create momentum throughout your organization. Great thinking!

  • http://www.sharelomer.com SharelOmer

    Hi Tac,

    Thanks for the post, do you see it as a step by step process of one time (like waterfall) or many small process (like agile).


  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/social-media-center-of-excellence-or-cool-kid-clubhouse/ Social Media Center of Excellence Or Cool Kid Clubhouse? | New Comm Biz

    [...] As businesses mature in their use and sophistication in implementing and managing social media most large enterprise companies are setting up Social Media Center’s of Excellence (SM COE). [...]

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