The social media cycle

Social media marketing is about gaining insights, engaging with your customers, gaining their advocacy and getting them to talk about your brand with their friends and acquaintances.

5 stages of a social media cycle


Listening is the most important element of a social media strategy. Listening using specialist or free tools allows you to develop an understanding of your market place. This gives you insights into consumer wants and desires as well as competitor positioning and activity. Listening ensures that your social media activity has customers at the core of its thinking.


Once you have listened and understood where people are talking and what they are talking about you need to respond. This can be in the form of answering questions, taking part in forums and commenting on blogs. Then creating social media campaigns, developing apps for different platforms or setting up customer service channels. The opportunities are endless but responding can only be done once you have listened.


Having listened, the objective of a response strategy should be to create a conversation or other forms of engagement with groups or individuals. The focus should be on content or campaigns that are of interest and are shareable, not on selling. It’s essential to keep responding, seeking feedback, constantly learning more.


Leading in social media is all about gaining influence, changing perceptions, informing and advising. Whatever form it takes, it must engage the audience. Whilst you want it to impact on your brand it does not have to have the brand itself at its core. It may only need, for example to feature on one of your brand values, that you know through listening will resonate with your customers. Focus on issues, create opportunities and improve experiences for actual or potential customers.

It can mean starting a debate, a campaign or a competition, or establishing a tie-in with a sponsor or channel partner. The trick is to be different and to make your offer shareable. That way you ensure adoption of your brand and sow the seeds of growth in your business.


As a successful outcome of the first four stages, a social media multilogue is when you, your brand or campaign reach the point of being talked about, played with and shared without your involvement. The secret here is to develop your message so that others will evangelise on your behalf.

Let your customers do the talking as the social world revolves around friends, peers and their recommendations.

In short, consumer advocacy is key.

To find out how your social media strategy can be enhanced or even started if you are yet to take advantage call 01844 295170 or email

About the author

Boss of Digital. Swindon fan. And frantic music collector.

Share your thoughts

Most Popular Blog Posts