contact us

Vivian Li/李雯雯

PR Manager/公关经理

Tel:0086 010 83907451


3 ways marketers can raise their social media maturity

As a marketing discipline, social media has reached its challenging teenage years.

In terms of strategy, it’s not so young that anything goes. Though there are new channels popping up constantly and experimentation is always encouraged, there are established best practices for brand managers.

At the same time, it isn’t as seasoned by time as a discipline like traditional public relations. For most marketers, there are well-respected guidelines about how, where, when and why PR should be brought into the mix.

When it comes to social media as a marketing tool, many brand managers have worked through the awkward junior high years of defining their social identities. The majority (92 percent) of marketers reported in a Social Media Examiner survey that social media is important to their businesses, but many are still trying to grow their online practices into sophisticated, functioning resources of their organizations.

Recently, Meltwater and Forrester webinar presenter Samantha Nao advocated for investing time and resources into gleaning actionable nuggets from social data.

A brand’s entry in the social media world begins when its presence is established on strategically chosen channels and a strategy for activity is defined. But following birth, there is a maturation process from, “Hi! This is our first tweet!” to gathering insights and turning them into business recommendations that can impact operations, customer service and sales.

Likening the scale to achievements in mobility, Forrester proposed that marketers move along a social-intelligence maturity scale, from crawling like a baby to soaring like Superman.

Here’s how to assess where you’d fit in:

1. Crawl Stage : The crawl stage is where it all begins.

In this phase, marketers are active on their own social media channels and are monitoring topics related to their businesses. They listen to social media conversations with them as well as about them, competitors and their industries. They don’t go beyond that; it’s an awareness phase.

2. Walk Stage : In the walk phase, marketers take customer insights and validate them through social data.

This includes taking a hypothesis from the sales team about the most important factor in a purchasing decision and using social data to prove or disprove that. The walk phase is similar to market research.

3. Run Stage : When marketers are ready to run, they start combining social and traditional customer data through dashboards, scorecards or custom metrics.

4. Fly Stage : The business value of social media intelligence really takes flight when an organization has advanced to the point of integration.

The flying stage includes integrating social and traditional customer data in the customer database through social listening, appending existing records or collecting social information through opt-in opportunities.

Forrester found that most marketers fall into the crawl or walking phases; only 6 percent have matured to superhero status. Though everyone starts out on the floor (just like as in life), there are things you can do to get the most value from social data.

Here are three tips to develop your social marketing maturity:

1. Bring other groups outside of marketing in to join the analysis process of social insights.

Collaboration between social marketing, customer service and sales teams can be particularly fruitful for business-to-business brand managers.

If your organization is a data-center service provider that receives the most engagement on content about the financial industry, that could serve as a clue for the sales team to pursue financial leads more aggressively or even elevate that effective content to them through a more personal channel such as email.

[RELATED: Want to get your employees involved and active online? Download our free guide: 6 steps to crafting an internal social media plan.]

2. Feed recommendations from social insights into organizational changes.

A national home-auction provider might have long-established geographic markets flagged as its target.

A high amount of interest from users in a previously dormant geographic area on social media can help the provider reconsider the way properties in that area are organized. Changing and presenting online could result in a thriving new market and higher number of bids.

3. Match social media user names across multiple platforms with the best corresponding record in your customer database.

Only 6 percent of marketers are currently doing this. From here, you can really begin to document your customer’s pain points and know what is relevant to them.

Don’t be like Peter Pan. It’s time to grow up in social media, and these tips can help.


Vivian Li

PR Manager

Tel: +86 010 8390 7451

Mobile: +86 13041030670