Social Media Made Simple: The 4 Steps

Whether you are a business or an individual there are many complex issues to wrestle with when it comes to social media.  Often these can be overwhelming.  Where to even begin you might ask?

Rather than be paralyzed, it’s often best to understand that there are four simple, yet critical, steps to social media which are outlined in the diagram below:


As showcased in the diagram, the four steps are:

1] Listen

2] Interact:  Join the conversation

3] React:  Adjust your product or service based on [2]

4] Sell

Companies often enter the social media fray and jump straight to step four, selling.  This is the worst thing you can do, and it will not be effective.  You need to start with step one which is listening.  Without listening the other three steps will not achieve any degree of success.  As many have said before me, there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth.

Notice in the diagram that the steps for the customer than happen in the reverse order of the company.  If it makes it easier to grasp you can consider these steps 5, 6, 7, 8.  Here the customer buys the product from the selling company.  The customer’s first step is to LISTEN for what to expect and do with the product or service.  They will then INTERACT with the product or service and REACT according to their experience (good/neutral/bad).  The consumer’s reaction to the product or service will determine if they SELL for or against (the company/product).

That is the beauty of social media.  As a company, if you appropriately engage in the four steps than the stairs act more like an escalator (pun intended) rather than a traditional stairway.  It will create a positively circular motion, which, with the appropriate greasing (effort), will continue to take your product or service to the top.  And that is the true beauty of Socialnomics.

I will elaborate on this in a future post, but for now, let’s keep it simple.

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14 responses to “Social Media Made Simple: The 4 Steps

  1. We are excited about your book and have been keeping up with socialnomics insights on twitter.

    We’re promoting you on our facebook page as well.

    Thanks so much for simplifying social media for the rest of us!

  2. For your comment I understand then that your model is more focused specifically to post-purchase behavior, ie, in the reaction of the buyer at the moment consuming the product and get a satisfaction. With this result we can have the benefit that the consumers recommend our products and that they work in indirect sales.

    Am I right?

  3. First, sorry if my english is not good. i will try to make me understand

    I think your model is interesting, but part of that decision making on the purchase of the product is positive, ie they accepted and purchase the product or service, then the arrow on the right means that when the consumer is made purchase. So your model describes the process of consumption after purchase and not the decision-making process prior to purchase with interaction between company and customer feedback in social networks.

    As stated with the example of the steps, I believe that in so far as this model becomes cyclical, may have direct consequences in making future decisions by the customer and at the same time influence the strategies of the if a company knows how to listen the positive or negative reactions of both the process of consumption in that can occur an expression of positive or negative buyer, as the process of making decisions that could generate or not a purchase.

    Learn to listen, comprehend and understand the client in the consumption process when accept purchase our product, is as important as knowing how to listen and understand their reactions in the decision making process. For the process can yield positive results in social networking, interactivity is very important because the reactions depend on it.

    • Bono:

      Hello! Thanks for the comment. I believe we are on the same page. The first 3 steps (highly focuse on 2,3) are the interaction of the company with the customer via social media prior to the “Buy” or from the company side “Sell” process. Even step 4 (Sell) is an interaction between the customer and buyer it’s just on the selling side. They all work win harmony. Then once the purchase is made then the “magic” can happen if the customer likes the product/service than they can become an advocated and spread the word via social media. Thank you.

  4. Great easy-to understand stepwise diagram of social media marketing you have there! Nice one!

  5. It looks like AMP and Pepsi have come full circle to reach #3 here:

  6. Right on the money. Sometimes simplicity works best!

  7. Wouldn’t it ideally be BUY for the consumer side?

    • Terry:

      I will enhance the chart. Where you see the arrow on the right that is when the consumer makes the purchase, then what they do is 1] listen to the sales rep or read the instructions (expectation setting) then the 2] interact with the product or service, 3] react, was the experience good/bad/neutral compared to their expectations – dependent on their reaction will determine whether they 4] sell for our against your product or service. The stairs then act more like an escalator (pun intended) going around and around with a little greasing here and there. I hope this helps!

  8. Very nice article: brief, concise and clear!

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