awareness consideration preference purchase nurtureWhat happened to proper etiquette in business? What happened to an introduction? A hello? Or how about a “it’s nice to meet you, what’s your name”?

For some reason people get behind the tweet deck, Facebook business page and LinkedIn and think they can skip the “get to know and like you” phase and skip straight to the coupon blasting or buy now button.

It is important that with social media we don't lose site of basic audience communication and nurturing principles. Social nurturing needs to start at day one.  Take the time to invest in your audience and the quality of their response and willingness to take action on your behalf will be exponential.

Let’s do a little refresher on marketing 101 and what a typical customer  relationship nurturing might look like:


This is the phase where the person learns that you exist.  They become aware that you have a business, a product and possibly even something that could bring them value. If done right this is where they might even realize that you genuinely care about them and their needs. This may or may not include a business and/or personal conversation.  It could be one or both.

Social Media Equivalent:
See your tweet in a tweet stream.
See your comment on a blog or social network (i.e., Facebook, Linkedin) conversation.
You become a new Twitter follower and put them on a list.
You comment on their Facebook page.
They see your Twitter handle in a Friday Follow or other post.


This is where they make a conscious decision to do a “double click” on you and/or your business.  Basically they liked what they saw, or think they could be persuaded to like it.  At this point they are considering if they want to engage in a conversation or relationship with you.  They may be exploring services similar to yours.  The fact you made it to this phase of their mindset is a good thing. However, don’t get too arrogant. You could be pushed away in a moment’s notice.  This is equivalent to the “courting” phase as Granny would explain.

Social Media Equivalent:
Like your Facebook page.
Follow you on Twitter.
Add you to a list.
Opt-in to your email newsletter.
Send you a request to connect on LinkedIn.
A simple retweet.
Comment on your blog, Facebook page or LinkedIn.


Whew, you’ve made it past courting! This is where they really begin to “like” you.  Now it’s up to you what comes next.  If they were  first attracted to you via a blog post or tweet  focusing on authenticity, relationships and the importance of honesty, yet they visit your Facebook page and you’re spamming, talking negatively or not communicating and behaving in the same way that first attracted them to you in the first place, we’ll you’re probably headed for a “dumping,” meaning no you will not pass go, and no you will not collect 200 bucks nor will you make it to the 2nd date. However, should you make it to and through this stage successfully, you should be proud.  Even if this person doesn’t ever buy from you the chances that they will join your community and tribe are very high.

Social Media Equivalent:
Numerous comments on your blog, Facebook business page, LinkedIn etc.
Numerous retweets.
Tweets starting and continuing a conversation.
Sending you a direct message on Twitter.
Answering one of your questions on Twitter and then retweeting it.
Sending you a private message on one of the social networks.
Liking more than one comment or post on your Facebook page.


Congrats! You must have done something right.  Obviously, this is where they take out the credit card and actually purchase something from you.  It’s still not over as they could return it if applicable or even change their mind before they receive the service or product.  If you don’t deliver as to their expectations it could be a recipe for disaster. Continuing to nurture the relationship with a focus on communication, value and customer satisfaction is of great importance. Just because you receive the sale, the work isn’t done. Focus on the life time value of the client and a healthy, meaningful relationship.  Chances are they want to get to know you better and will be inspired to take action and possibly even purchase and additional product if you simply take the time to acknowledge them and ensure they are satisfied.

Social Media Equivalent:
Purchase product or service.


This is where the rubber meets the road on who you said you are and what you said you can do.  If you said you are a great business or social media consultant, writer, or developer and you get behind the wheel at task and leave little to be acknowledged chances are you have already lost a few points with the client.  Most people expect to receive even better service than they receive on your website.  My belief is the customer had the trust and belief in you to make the purchase.  It is your responsibility to ensure that is the case and that you continue to nurture the relationship.

Social Media & Marketing Equivalent:
Do what you say you’re going to do.
Email nurturing.
Have a conversation with client via social media.
Don’t just contact them when you need payment or want to sell them something.

So next time you think about blasting your Facebook wall, Tweet stream or email list with coupons, spam and hard core sales tactics, why don’t you first say hello and ask your clients how they’re doing today.

Your Turn

What do you think? Are you experiencing noise blasting and spam in business or are you being nurtured? What organizations are taking the time to know you, understand you versus only sell to you? What organizations aren’t?