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Maturing Businesses use of Social Media

As a knowledge management professional I am often reviewing an organization against a maturity model (KMMM), it is a tool to learn how groups improve. Applying social media tools in marketing efforts can also be modeled, something that has been talked about for a few years, like CRM Magazine’s June 2009 article Social Media Maturity Model: 30 Posts, 30 People, 30 Days.

John Hernandez VP and GM of Cisco’s Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Division had an article on The Social Customer this week where he laid out Cisco’s five-level approach to Social Media Maturity. This straight forward chart is easy to use  to identify what the article noted  “to help businesses understand how well they are listening and responding to consumers’ conversations in social media.”

Cisco’s Social Media Customer Care Maturity Model lists five levels of maturity, and include: 1. Listening, or in some cases ignoring; 2. Social Media Broadcasting; 3. Social Media Marketing; 4. Social Media Customer Care; and 5. Proactive Engagement.

Though the devils in the details when it comes to applying context to models, the fact is that these five variations all are hallmarks of a maturing social media effort, and one that I suspect that organizations who share some level of success in using them have gone through.