How to tell if your Company is Advanced: 10 Criteria Of Social Business Maturity

Excited about your new Facebook page but don’t know what’s next?  What does a truly advanced company look like in social business?  They can say yes to seven or more of these ten criteria.

We’ve been interviewing the most sophisticated brands in the world when it comes to social business for our upcoming report on “Enterprise Social Strategists Role”.  We’ve come to learn which companies are advanced and why.  Secondly, I meet a variety of companies who tell me they are “Very advanced, having done this for a few years, and have dozens of Facebook efforts” but when I ask them some specific questions on their sophistication, they often retract their statement.

How to tell if your Company is Advanced: 10 Criteria Of Social Business Maturity
Corporations that have these and other following elements in place, may truly be sophisticated when it comes to social business:

  1. Clear understanding of customers’ socialgraphics. Clear understanding of how their customers use social media by knowing the socialgraphics of your customers.  Granular knowledge of where their customers are, which behaviors they use, who they trust for information, and how they influence their peers in the context of their own products.
    The true test? Your company can adjust budgets of your integrated social strategy based on data –not gut feel.
  2. Your organization is in Hub and Spoke, Dandelion, or Holistic formation. Social technologies enable all employees that want to talk to customers to do so.  This means a massive change inside of your organization to get ready.  Your company is sophisticated if you’ve organized in the Hub and Spoke, Dandelion, or Holistic and all employees clearly know their role, process, and contact points.
    The true test? A product crises has emerged on YouTube on a Friday evening before a three day weekend and you can sleep peacefully.
  3. Corporate website integration: Social sign on. When customers come to the corporate site, they can see which one of their friends uses which product, and what they think about it.  Common technologies would include OpenID, Facebook Connect, and other social sign on technologies.  See my keynote presentation on the maturity roadmap to follow.
    The true test? You can disable your corporate registration page and use social logins instead without fear of reduction in leads.
  4. Personalized corporate website based on social data. When a prospect (someone who’s never logged into you website before) arrives to your corporate website, they receive a customized experience based on their social IDs.  This would be based on Social CRM infrastructure, social sign on technology and a large inventory of personalized content.
    The true test? The voices of the consumers real world friends emerge above that of the brand right on the corporate website, see Levi’s foray.
  5. Thriving advocacy program: customers are actively selling on your behalf. The sophisticated marketing program isn’t really the company talking much at all, instead they’ve a thriving advocacy program and word of mouth program that encourages customers to recruit prospects for them –all unpaid.  Learn how to do this, by reading this piece on Forbes.
    The true test? most leads are coming in through existing customers –not your sales team.
  6. A community of customers supports each other, reducing support center calls. A company that has a thriving branded community where customers are self-supporting each other with little aid from the brand or the support team is a sign of a sophisticated social support program.
    The true test? A majority of customer support issues are resolved by community faster, with greater satisfaction than your dedicated support team.
  7. Anticipation of prospects and customers using Social CRM technology.  Brands can anticipate before a customer has a problem, or grab leads “right out of the air” by using brand monitoring software, intelligent keyword monitoring and responding to be faster than real time using Social CRM strategies.
    The true test? sales and marketing are getting leads before the consideration phase, and the support team reduces inbound calls by triggering the community to resolve a potential issue before it’s escalated.
  8. Innovation of new products with customers using web collaboration.  Companies that use these same tools to glean input from customers (ethnographic data collection) or create private communities, or use collaboration and innovation tools like Ideastorm or Uservoice and build new products and services demonstrate true sophistication.
    The true test? faster time to market on products because consumers have dictated the specifications, and less inventory as the product is built on spec.
  9. Supply chain is influenced by social data in real time. Social media isn’t just about marketing and support, but is very valuable in listening to customer signals then to anticipate which products, services, and teams should be when and where.
    The true test? Your company is sophisticated if you’re using social data to adjust your supply chain in real time based on customer signals from checkins, tweets, and plancasts.
  10. Real time reporting of revenues, costs and efficiency:  I’ve met with some of the most advanced teams, and they have clear reporting and can measure the increased revenues (over the total cost of the program) to tell their executives the true ROI of their business program.
    The true test? Real time dashboard measures the health of all social channels revenues, CSAT, sentiment and overall program costs.

We’ve done research on the roadmap for companies to reach these 10 levels of nirvana, but have found few companies that have done a few, or even a majority of them. If you know of any companies that have achieved five out of ten of these criteria, we’d love to know, please leave a comment.

Update: I asked folks in Twitter which brands are scoring well, here’s what they said (I’ve not done analysis to confirm):