Tipsheet: The Seven Steps of Social Media Engagement

Social Media is all around us: from blogs to Twitter, from
discussion forums to Flickr to Facebook. Yet how do we decide how much time and
energy to spend on each of these?

Consider the following Seven Steps to Social Media Engagement –
each person moves up the hierarchy, step-by-step. Of course, marketers and
social media experts try hard to avoid Deserters, and incentivize people to move
up the ladder as quickly as possible.

  • Deserter:  Looks once then leaves.
  • Lurker:  Reads but doesn’t write.
  • Responder:  Adds comments, rates others’
  • Subscriber:  Commits to the community; a
  • Broadcaster:  Tells friends.
  • Proponent:  Continues discussion on 3rd party
  • Advocate:  Asks contacts to tell their contacts.

For each site where you’re registered, what step are you on –
and are you going up, or going down? Interestingly, while the main scale is
engagement, underlying it all is trust. The higher the trust, the more you will
move towards advocacy. The lower the trust, the faster you’ll move towards
desertion. Interestingly, more engagement drives higher trust, and more trust
drives higher engagement.

The scale also works with value: the more value you get from the
experience, the more you will become an Advocate, and vice-versa.

This week’s action item: We often spend too much time on
Social Media activities that haven’t earned our trust, and not enough time on
Social Media activities that give us a lot of value. For each of the sites that
“engage” you, decide if it’s time to move one step up, or one step
down, the engagement hierarchy.

Bonus insight: The Seven Steps of Social Media Engagement
don’t just apply on the internet: they apply wherever there is a relationship.
You can always improve real-life engagement by working on trust and value.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to
to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall Craig has founded several successful start-ups, held a long-time position at a “big-four” consulting firm, and was an executive at an American public company. He currently serves as the 108 ideaspace CEO and chief strategist. Randall has been advising on digital strategy since 1994: he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail’s GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations.

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