The social media Zoo


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As I’ve been discussing social media just lately, visions of animals keep cropping up!

I’ve observed 5 levels of corporate engagement when it comes to Social Media and they can be described in ways that are similar to some popular (past and present) animals –

Level 1 – The Dodo – “what is social media?”
Level 2 – The Ostrich – “we’ve heard of it, but are ignoring it and hoping it will go away”
Level 3 – The Sloth – “we’ve had a quick look at it, its very confusing and don’t know where to start, so we may put something in next years budget…..”
Level 4 – The Elephant – “we’ve had a good look at it and after consideration can see that it might be a problem. We are collecting lots of data and are analysing it to death to ensure that we have everything on record. Customers could bad-mouth us and we need to manage our reputation!”
Level 5 – The Dolphin – “we’ve really got our heads around this and are planning and initiating some exciting campaigns to leverage the benefits and grow our reputation. This will be major part of our customer engagement strategy”

I supect that many are at levels 1 or 2; some are at 3 and are likely to stay there for months unless they are pushed.

What’s really interesting are the ones at Levels 4 & 5 – these different approaches are intriguing. Many established, large organisations seem to be in the level 4 mode of damage-limitation and data gathering; they recognise that stuff is being said about them and are putting in systems and procedures to gather the info and try to avert crisis, but don’t seem to have seen the potential benefits that a pro-active approach could deliver.

Organisations at level 5 are potentially the winners, they have seen the opportunities, are moving swiftly, see this as a great new channel and way of enhancing reputation and are already allocating resource to maximise the benefits.

I think the real opportunity comes when SM content can be integrated with other customer feedback and then managed to drive business improvements and also be used as a springboard to launch referral marketing and word-of-mouth campaigns.

Which animal best describes your organisation?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Philip Hogg
Passionate about customer experience management, word-of-mouth and integrating new channels of feedback.


  1. Hey Philip – this is awesome. Reminds me on Ice Age the movie. Sit the sloth and our Mammoth Manfred. Right on – some will not make the migration and interestingly enough – the way you described it is the mechanism of nature.

    If you replace ‘Elephant’ with ‘Mammoth’ (pretty similar anyway) you are right there. The Dodo and the Ostrich will make it. They may be late and pay a much higher price but will follow the migration path like lemmings.

    The real endangered ones are the “We know it all but decided against it” creatures. Because they will defend their decision to death – literally.

    Great you chose Dolphins for No.5. Dolphins are over 50 Million years old and their agility made them one of the oldest but also one of the fittest and smartest animals of all.



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