5 Stages of SM Maturity

Posted on November 1, 2011 by


In this updated post, we’re extending our Social Media capabilities frame, with a twist.

First, recall last month at #SMCHAT that we proposed a list of 7 Social Media capabilities, and used group feedback from that chat to determine there were really 8 capabilities in all.

These appear below in this table:

8 CAPABILITIES – FROM 11/2 CHAT:  We’ve listed each Capability, the direction of flow for the social exchange (in, out or both), and to guide our thinking about similarities and differences, the possible mode of exchange (1:1, 1:many, many:1, many:many).

  1. LEARN  [IN]  N:1  1:1  Gaining insight via shared content
  2. SHARE  [OUT]  1:1 1:N  Exchange of ideas, news, pictures
  3. PROMOTE  [OUT]  1:N  Establish awareness of new ideas, concepts, brands, products; in traditional media; in Web 1.0 this was a “broadcast” strategy
  4. NETWORK  [BOTH/2-WAY]  1:1  Engaging, connecting beyond local borders, creating multiple, diverse connections which results in N:N resilience, and creates a foundation for collaboration
  5. SUPPORT  [BOTH/2-WAY]  1:1  1:N  Helping others, answering questions, providing input
  6. EDUCATE  [OUT]  1:1  1:N  Using teacher paradigm to inform, influence, expand horizons, spread knowledge, get people thinking
  7. INSPIRE  [OUT]  1:1  1:N   Motivate, lead, change, with broader societal or cultural aspirations than simply promote or educate
  8. COLLABORATE  [BOTH/2-WAY]  1:1  N:N  Serendipitous or planned connections with others, working in self-organizing teams to share insight, expand viewpoints, co-create, integrate, and ultimately, synthesize results into a useful form.

Didn’t know you could do all that with social media, did you?

Our list is sorted from the easiest, most intuitive on the one extreme, to much more difficult and complicated on the other.  Though it’s not necessary to start at one end and work through the list sequentially, beginners usually find some merit in a “walk before you run” approach.

** NEW ** 5 MATURITY STAGES – input to 12/7 Chat:  Looking at bit more deeply at our Social Media capabilities, I saw one more aspect pop out, namely: the notion of a “maturity stage”.

What does that mean?  In many academic and consulting circles, the maturity within a given platform/space is about categorizing the level of sophistication and mastery for successively more difficult steps.

In short, it helps us navigate the “walk before you run” part.

At SMCHAT WEDS 12/7 1pET, let’s see if there we agree on this 5-step progression, based on our 8 capabilities developed to date.  We’ll work through each stage to validate that it builds on the previous one.

Social Media Maturity Model v1.0 by Chris Jones cc3.0

Why might this be helpful?  It can help newcomers know where to start, and it can also help organizations see how far they have come, and how far they have yet to go.

It’s part of a Roadmap of sorts.  A path forward.

REVIEW OF TOP 5 SOCIAL PLATFORMS (“The Once and Future Chat”). After we hammer our our maturity model above a bit more, we’ll circle back to our platform analysis, outlined below, in early 2012 at SMCHAT.

… to be continued ..

The holy grail of a well-designed assessment frame is that it let’s us circle back to alternatives for objective comparison.  Take for example our top 5 platforms. Remember our comparison from August of the UX Factors for Top 5 Platforms?

In that post,  we looked at: Twitter, Google+, WordPress, FaceBook and Linked-In. How might each of these SM Platforms fare on supporting these capabilities?

First, I flipped the stack to put highest value activities at the top, not the bottom. Then I scored them, based on my experience on each platform. Look at the pretty pictures that emerged. Now look closely. That’s my actual relative scoring, not guesses. Certainly, your mileage (due to specific applications, requirements, priorities) may vary.

Note:  We added “SUPPORT” 11/2, after the chart was created, so we’ll need to circle back to update the graphic, to match our new inventory.

How 5 Platforms Fare against 7 Use Cases

Hope all this helps with efforts to “frame Social Media”.  

The above is creative commons 3.0, so please put all this to use; we’re simply requesting a simple attribution “by Chris Jones @SourcePOV, extended by #SMCHAT Community Fall 2011″ .

See you guys online.

Chris Jones

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