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The Social Media Secret Formula: Treat It Like A Courtship

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between social media and a courtship? A number of key terminology certainly suggests it is, so if we treat social media like a courtship, then maybe we can use it as a formula for improving our performance.

He’s a little example story…

First ImpressionsI like you

At the beginning of every relationship, we have that all-important first impression. This might be a name, brand, comment, article, image, event or promotion. Whatever it is, we’re hooked.

(Impressions here can also correspond to FB’s new impressions feature in Insights).

Asking to be Friends

Like a lovesick puppy and feeling slightly nervous, I take a step into the unknown and ask to be friends. How about it ‘Company X’? I’m tickled pink when you accept.

Begin Courting

Arhhh that lovely feeling of courting. I follow you and you follow me back. It’s exciting and we’re keen to get to know each other through info, photos, friends etc. We’re trying to suss out what we have in common for us to develop a deeper relationship. I need to find topics that we can discuss and tune in to your thoughts and views. I’m watching your likes, dislikes, personality and friends. If it hits the spot, we won’t need cupid!

Start a Relationship

Its official – the relationship has begun. I’m interested in your topics and you appear to be looking at mine quite a bit. I’m actively monitoring all your discussions and starting to read and comment on some of your blogs. You referred me to one of your clients. In fact, I’ve enlisted to help at one of your events next month and have persuaded two of my friends to come along…for the craic of course.

Forming a Commitment

Our relationship has been progressing and we’re collaborating almost daily on ideas, so we decide to commit and form a Group. My two friends loved your event and asked to join. Your workmate Lisa and a guy called Dave, who does a lot of speaking at events has also joined. It’s happy days and we’re getting along like mashed potatoes and sausages. Our group are like gravy.

Thinking about Engagement

Now our little group has grown because Dave, the speaker, recommended a pal of his from the US who he happened to mention our ideas to. He thinks that engaging strategically online will help to get out ideas out there; a bit of extra coverage.

A Marriage of minds

Dave’s friend Roy has also enlisted his sister Kay who is heavily into social media and we’ve all devised a way of working together and are becoming somewhat well-known in the social world.

Its great the way I say something and Lisa blogs about it, then Kay does a survey and shares it. Dave likes to use our example in his talks.

Part of the plan is to comment and share on each other’s submissions online. Our minds and ideas are all in sync we are exerting influence over others online.

Remaining Loyal

We interact daily, because we all have a common goal. We’re like a big happy family, and even when Dave had the flu or Kay broke her leg, we all helped each other out online. Me and Company X are off on a trip later this year and have both booked a couple of extra days to chill out.

Did you pick out all the useful points which increased performance?

What did you notice about the relationship and what made it successful?

Christina is a complete geek, hence a perfect web + online marketing consultant. After ten years working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies, she now owns CG Online Marketing ( in Ireland and is an associate of the Ahain Group. She's qualified in most things online such as web server management, digital design, Google Analytics and SEO. Specialties: Social Media Marketing, SEO / PPC,Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing

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  • ToriHawthorne

    Brilliant way to look at it Tina, nIt is exactly how it happens. All we need now is the off-spring from the ‘marriage of minds’ ;-)nTori

  • Facundo

    Very fresh Tina,nI think there’s room for a second post where you cover making the relationship last, or ups and downs & why not a few couple arguments and how to deal with them 🙂

  • Nice way of framing it, Christina.nnAnd like all courtships there will be ups and downs especially when the novelty factor wears off.

  • Part two could very well be the ‘children’ of a social media relationship Tori.rnThese could be the concepts, ideas and events which are produced.

  • Hi Facundo,rnrnI did think along those lines – there definately is scope to deal with the ‘darker’ side of social media. Reputation and perception, critical decision-making, dealing with bad comments. rnPart two can be your christmas present!rnrnThanks

  • Hello there Ivan,rnrnYes indeed. There is a huge novelty factor and this is where social media matures and we mature with it. Its isn’t always promising relationships, growth, profit or interaction. There are negatives attached and I promise to explore and write on these.

  • Like this a lot Christina, sometimes the simplest explanations are also the most effective. With your permission of course, Ill be using courtship analogy 🙂

  • Some of this sounds very much like a few online “relationships” I know of :)nnIt was beginning to feel a bit like a three some there for a while, until you mentioned “Weu2019re like a big happy family”.nnI am glad you didn’t cover the courtship “breakdown” and divorce, we need lots of positivity these days, and to think of Social Media as a positive entity is a must, if it is to survive.nnReally enjoyed the post, Christina thanks 🙂

  • I love the analogy Tina, such a lovely way to describe it and it all makes perfect sense when described that way too.

  • Yes, social media is like getting into a relationship — because.. it’s all about relationships and making them meaningful in the first place! A lot of businesses fail because they’re thinking that social media is like a digital billboard for their brands. It’s all about engagement these days and what value you can give to your audience.

  • Great blog post, Christina, with sound advice for building relationships and truly engaging with other in the social media world! I have to agree one of the most important is remaining loyal, because this seems to be where many fall off in social media, especially on Twitter.nnI had to chuckle when I saw your post because I recently wrote a blog titled “Why You Should Pursue Media Relationships Like You Would Any Other Relationship” ( that compares building media relationships to a developing romantic relationship, much like your parallel here with social media! Great minds must think alike! 🙂

  • Its funny isn’t it, but so true!

  • Hi there Samantha,nnWe truely are one of a kind! nnIts easy to ‘Like’ but what keeps you returning? This is the key thinking behind retaining loyalty. Keep asking ‘why’ and ‘what can I do to bring people back’.nnWho said romance was dead! ; 0 )

  • My thoughts exactly! Loyalty and persistence are some of the key differences in a courtship between moving from an initial attraction to a relationship. I think our comparisons to this philosophy in terms of social media and media relations is pretty accurate!nnMaybe we did learn some things from past relationships, after all? 🙂

  • Spot on! Its not about visitors or followers per sei, its about connections, interaction and loyalty. Value is measured by meaningful conversations and business.

  • Many different angles to cover. Everything has a plus and a minus….but I’m all for the positive pluses at the moment. They far outweigh the negatives.

  • Go for it…..I coined a phase, yipee!

  • Singles dating1

    Unity in any relationship is what makes thingsu00a0successful.nWhat are your views on on-line dating?nnu00a0nnAre you single?Looking to date and hopefully fall in lovenand want to meet singles in South Africa? nnu00a0nnVisit http://www. What are your views on on-line dating?

  • Hi Sian, The one that gets me: “It is sometimes hard to switch off from work if it is available to you 24/7”. Perhaps the answer is not to be available all of the time? 

  • Thanks Niall. I agree partly with you – after all I did write the Working 9 to 5 post 🙂 In some businesses starting off it’s hard not to be available in case you lose a customer. However in what I do now it isn’t so much being available but me knowing there is a file of accounts sitting there to be done. And the sooner it’s done the more time I’ll have to do other work and therefore earn more. I don’t like work hanging over me so sometimes it’s hard not to just carry on and do those accounts but I am getting better at taking time out.

  • Thanks Lorna. I certainly agree with you 🙂

  • Sue

    Nice article, Sian. As a virtual assistant I like the flexibility working from home brings. Sometimes I use a timer to keep me on task. I do a lot of networking which gets me out and around people. It’s a great way to share ideas and learn new things as well as bringing in more work. It doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t trade it for an office job again. 

  • Aileen O’Meara

    HI Sian, I liked your article about working from home.
    As an independent producer and journalist, I worked from home for five years up to last January, when I moved to an office here in York Road, in south Dublin.
    The five years based at home were great – I had (still have!) a dedicated office space in a converted attic, away from the hustle and bustle of the home, and it worked great for me while my children were smaller.
    Now that my business has expanded, (and the children have too! – well, upwards anyway!), I find the home base too restrictive.  Because I do media skills training as well as radio programmes and videos, I found I needed a dedicated training space, as well as studio space.
    I have been lucky to find an office near home so the commute is short, but it is great to have the energy of other colleagues, as well as being able to leave the house and feel more like a “real” worker.
    One of the disadvantages I found about working from home is that people (friends, family, neighbours..) don’t respect your work hours in the same way as they would if you you were in an office.
    But one of the real advantages of being home-based is the flexibility to work when you have the time, whether that’s early morning or late evening.

  • Hi Sian,

    You’re right – there are pluses and minues to working from home. I definately like the fact that there’s no commute and no need to dress up. I do feel though that it can take over a bit. You lose that distinction between home life and work life.

  • Great post Sian, there are pro’s and con’s to every working situation and you’ve hit the nail on the head with working from home, when I do use the home office I find that I am more easily distracted by the little jobs that are waiting for me around the home.

  • I am a stay at home mum and really wouldn`t know what to do with myself if I didn`t have a job.

  • Excellent article! You really have nailed down what marketers should be doing in order to make their events much more profitable.

  • Thanks Janine. I hope it will be a great tool in the future, a practical nuts and bolts checklist that will see you through any event. Stay tuned for the next instalments on what to do During one.

  • Thanks Francis . I believe in Events the Marketing and Sales functions are harder to seperate – there should be a telepathic connection between the 2 especially at planning stage

  • Cheers for the Response! Yep some sales principles apply regardless of whether you are doing an event online or offline. Its all about the groundwork. Lots of online marketeers need to bear in mind that any campaign has to be approached holisitcally so if an event is happening in one department the online team has to be integrated too.

  • Bumper post Elish – fantastic tips, a post well worth bookmarking, and checking back as an event is being planned and prepped.
    Thank you!

  • Elish Bul

    Coming from a coaching expert like you, that’s grea news. Yes intended it as a working resource for any event

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