5 Levels of Social Media Acceptance



levels of acceptance in social mediaNew to social media? We all were, are and continue to be with the new platforms that emerge.  As you enter a space online it is new and learning how to first use the tool and then interact is not easy.  What will I say?  What happens when people do not respond? What did I do wrong?  These are questions people ask when they are new, unsure and unfamiliar with the space.  Learning the tools and how people interact is just the beginning of familiarizing yourself with the platforms.  Familiarity is not one sided as you are learning the tools, watching and listening to the community to see where you fit and can jump in but yet the community is trying to familiarize themselves with you and see what you have to offer and where you fit in.

Seeking Acceptance

When we start to reach out and are well received, the more confident we become with interacting and the more we will do which leads to more quality connections. The fundamentals are the same on and offline but as we enter a new space we tend to forget as we look for immediate acceptance. If we frequent a coffee shop or a convenience store we know where to go for what we are looking for. What happens if they close or we move and have to go to a new place? At first we are a bit unsure and disoriented as the location of what we are looking for is different as are the people.  But yet, we adapt as we continue to go back to fulfill a need and, as we return, we become more comfortable with the surroundings, the people there learn about us by what we buy and how they can interact with us outside of  “that will be X price.”   When we enter a space and watch and listen, we become aware of many people that we like and want to get to know better.  It would be great if all you had to do was to follow them, fan them or email them and they would immediately open the door to embrace you but that is just not going to happen.  There are levels of acceptance online as there are offline.

5 Levels of Social Media Acceptance

1. The Nod.  Retweet/Share.   Retweeting and sharing an article that you like on a bookmarking site or on networking site is that nod from afar.  The “I liked this and wanted you and everyone else to know that I liked it.”  A simple nod that may go unnoticed but not unrecognized.

2. The Wave.  Repeated Retweets/Shares and Comments to the articles.  When we find a new blogger that we like and we are sharing their content many times and also commenting, we are giving them a wave.  A hello, I’m here, like your articles and hope you see me.

3. The Eye-Contact.  Commenting more, sharing more and more.  A thanks for the retweet or sharing. They see you, take a peek over what you are doing and put you on their radar.

4. The Handshake.  They have seen you around enough and get a feel for who you are and where you fit into their community. There is acknowledgment of the blogger in a comment back to your comment, a bit more of a personal tweet thanking you via DM (shows that they are following you too). This is the beginning of being welcomed into the community as now the other community members see you and follow steps 1-3 but to you.

5. The Introduction. This is where you get that public acknowledgment of retweets, responses back to tweets you put out there and comments on your blog from them.  This is not only a formal introduction to them but to their entire community.  People following them or commenting on the blog know that they have opened the door to let you in.

6. The Embrace. This is where you do be come friendly and converse online regularly. We see in our followers streams where they start joke around more with someone and see a genuine mutual acceptance and trust.

New is new but new is forgiven if you are apologetic.  We get so wrapped up in being new and wanting to be accepted that we forget that the person we are reaching out to has NO idea who we are and needs to get comfortable before they can accept and embrace.  It takes time to get to know people and really determine if you do want to be friendly with them.  Some advances are rejected and that is going to happen but should not lead to discouragement.  Not everyone is going to like one another and not everyone is ready to expand their close friend circle on your timeline.  Make them notice you with providing exceptional content in your blog, create the buzz around you as the greatest compliment you can receive is “I see you every where.”

How have you been accepted and built relationships? Are you seen everywhere?

photo credit: Topgold

  • Nice article Suzanne… Thanks

  • Nice article Suzanne …Thanks

  • Suzanne, This is how I am approaching alot of my posts this year. We forget that not everyone knows everything. We have to remember what we felt like when we started. Going back to the basics always benefits us.

  • Kim

    It is a refresher for when you want to expand your community as well. Social media gives us that “I know them” feeling when really we do not. I run into this myself where I am like hey I am friends with him so reaching out to his friends should work. Yeah not so much. It takes time and the more people see you the more that they want to or really compelled to find out who you are.

    Good to see you around again!

  • VERY nice article Suzanne! I completely agree! Most people I know expect to just open their social media channels and bam- Instant sales! Of course it will never work like that; and articles like this one help us prove our point. Thanks and cheers from Cancun! 🙂

  • Camilio

    There you go again teasing us about Cancun. Social media, being titled social, is about building relationships and being a part of a community that talks to one another. Blogs, twitter, FB, LI, etc allow us to create portfolios to share information about us that we want people to know and that gives people a sense of who we are – but does not give a green light to be immediate friends. It does take time as yes we want to be friends with the industry leaders as they are well respected but they got there by working hard and building relationships with people. We see over and over again people asking for things from people instead of just thanking them for what they do. We have seen it time and time again where the people who do more for others get the recognition.

    Thanks for dropping in!

  • Nice labels for the behaviour – but people don't necessarily do this in stages. If I'm followed on Twitter, for example, and I see that this person has quality tweets, I'll DM thanks straight away. And if I need an expert or to recommend someone, I'll DM too.

    We needn't be shy!

  • Valerie

    Following your sensible advice 🙂

  • Valerie

    thanks for dropping in and commenting. Letting people know you are there and are there to stay is the beginnings of forming a relationship. People notice, it just takes time to see where you will fit in.

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  • Thanks so much for this Suzanne. I am pretty much at the “wave” stage with building my community. It feels good to slowly build the quality relationships and not worry about the quantity (that being said, I am not sure if there is anyone with LESS followers than me..) At least you have provided a roadmap for what I can expect if I keep at it. Be nice. Share. Retweet. Repeat.


  • Nanci

    We are all in the wave at some point. The key to growing your network and community is to build it slowly and with people that make a difference for you and also you can make a difference with too. Social media is not a number game where quantity oversees quality. I have made such great contacts through social media that I build upon. I love to introduce people and see them chatting away and helping one another.

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