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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg


If you're contemplating boosting your social media presence, you might find useful the description of the five stages of social engagement presented by consultant Jackie Huba on the Church of the Customer blog:

Stage 1: It starts with traditional command and control, as the company initiates one-way "communication" with customers, broadcasting messages to them.

Stage 2: A few individuals or teams begin experimenting with social engagement. They try to connect directly with the customer, likely bending or breaking rules to do so.

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Stage 3: The initiative moves to the company's management. Companies focus on training people for social media work, developing policies, and crafting common engagement platforms throughout the firm.

Stage 4: Social engagement starts delivering real business results, and engagement efforts are built into forecasts and annual plans.

Stage 5: This stage is still just a fantasy, since many of the tools don't exist yet to achieve it. But the company is fully engaged with customers through social media, and customers are surprised that it knows what they want before they do.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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