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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on October 5, 2011

Before you build your consumer engagement strategy your have to understand the objective and rules of the game. You also have to know who you are playing. So lets spend some time talking about the objective and rules of the Social Media Marketing game.

The Objective: To win customer preference and create sustainable competitive advantage that yields through a financial exchange the desired profit for the stakeholders.

The Rules: Consumer make the rules up as they go regarding the messages they want, when they want them and how they want them. Still they all follow a never fundamental buying process that translates directly into the Social Sales Cycle.

The Social Sales Cycle identifies where in the buying process a consumer may be in efforts to help move the consumer along to the next phase of the process. The phases in the Social Sales Cycle are:

  • Discovery
  • Selection
  • Validation
  • Purchasing
  • Use

I will discuss each of these phases in detail later but here is a quick overview.

The Discovery Phase is about awareness. Your consumer engagement strategy needs to address how you will uses social media to help raise awareness of your company helping them through the discovery phase.

In the Selection Phase people educate themselves about what they are looking for narrowing down their options. Your social strategy should address how you will educate consumers.

After consumers have selected a product they next look for Validation from their personal network. Your strategy must include a plan for making sharing to gain consensus easy thus moving the consumer to the Purcahse Phase.

Your social strategy must outline how you will make the purchase of your product or service an remarkable experience. Once a transaction has occurred that is really just the begin. It really how the consumer uses what the determine future sales.

The Use Phase is the most critical. Your social strategy should not only help make the use of your service exceptional but also pave the way for helping new customer through the sales cycle.


Social Media as a direct impact on each phase of the sales cycle. Which in turn impacts your Consumer Engagement Strategy.