Every brand could stand to do better on social – and not just from a social marketing standpoint. Each company can be found somewhere on the social media maturity spectrum and its sophistication (or lack thereof) comes with different challenges and opportunities. Our latest report helps brands Identify Your Social Media Maturity & Advance Your Social Marketing – and we have a preview of its findings below!
Why Does It Matter?
Does it really matter where your company lands on the social media maturity spectrum? As we note in the report, with hundreds of new businesses being created daily on a global scale, everything matters.
And it is is essential to understand advanced ways to market your products and services to a worldwide audience. Thanks to lessons learned from businesses like Kodak or Blockbuster, businesses today know that hesitation to adapt to emerging technology can be ruinous. And that’s too bad, as it’s entirely avoidable.
Social media continues to grow in importance. And Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Reddit are far from slowing down. Brands need to hop on board or deal with very real consequences in the near future. That shouldn’t seem like an odd expectation. These sites have each proven their business value to brands after all, whether or not they’ve come to realize it.
And that realization is a big part of what separates brands on the social media maturity model. Though, it’s important to note – even advanced organizations can further advance! How is that possible? Let’s take a look and find out.
Understanding Social Media Maturity
A brand’s social media maturity has little to do with how long it’s been active on social media. In fact, that bit of information doesn’t come in to play here at all.
And there are three main levels of sophistication – four, if you want to get picky about it! (You’ll see what we mean by that in the report.)
Socially aware beginners are organizations that realize social media has potential. And they’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the discoveries they’ve made during their inconsistent use of it! Basic social media metrics are on their radar, but connecting the dots between strategy, implementation and ROI is not happening. There’s lots of potential here, and lots more about these organizations in the report!
Socially awake organizations are in tune with protecting brand health, managing customer care and capturing all the data on all the things. It’s an exciting, though overwhelming place for brands to be. Their efforts produce amazing results, but are they the desired results? It’s an interesting dichotomy, for sure. And where many brands find themselves, so our discussion on it will likely resonate.
The socially sophisticated operators are social marketing ninjas. Relevant insight is the name of the game here – and it’s one that is in a constant state of flux. Yet, they’re cool with that too, because they’re that secure in their understanding of all things social. These organizations are forecasting, measuring converged media, parsing sentiment, and so much more. They set the bar and consistently jump it. Super interesting insights around what really matters here!
But quick descriptions around maturity are meaningless without context. And we’re all about contextual understanding at NetBase! There are six important characteristics that differentiate each level, beyond its base definition.
Six Characteristics Seen at Each Maturity Level
So, there are corresponding characteristics that each echelon possesses to a varying degree, regardless of where a brand lands on the maturity spectrum. And they are:
Executive Buy-in. Any social media program’s ultimate success or failure hinges on an organization’s level of executive support.
Team Members. Social media teams transform as organizations progress from beginners through to advanced.
Analysis Methodology. What are brands analyzing specifically, and why? The litmus test of this data point is whether brands are able/unable to answer that question in a meaningful way.
Strategic Planning. Data must be applied strategically. This is done to varying degrees of success based on where an organization lands on the spectrum.
Measuring and Communicating Results. Some brands capture surface impact metrics, which are fairly meaningless. Others are tuned in to real-time insight informing category-defining decisions.
Social Listening Sophistication. The intel that informs social decisions varies wildly, from Google alerts to artificial intelligence-powered, and automatically discovered themes.
And we share how these characteristics look, along with specific challenges and opportunities that businesses face on each level of the maturity spectrum. We also offer examples of examples of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced social media activities of brands and organizations. Be sure to download the report to check them out!
Social media maturity doesn’t happen overnight, of course. And it didn’t magically happen for these brands either. But learning from their hard-won expertise will give you an edge wherever you land. And it will help you level up in no time!
Reach out with any questions. Or if you’re ready to put all of your great thoughts into action, we can help you get there. The next stop on that social media spectrum is only an email away!