The Engagement Cycle: How to Win Customers with Inclusivity

When you bring people into your tribe with inclusivity, there are steps to take, all while including the very customers who need what your professional services or eCommerce business is sharing with the world. While you can't target everyone, true inclusivity allows the people who are aligned with your vision and mission to naturally "warm up" to you by learning more about who you are and what you represent. You need to engage with people in what’s called an engagement cycle.

We love educating our customers at Blended Sense, so we wanted to explain why you can’t go straight to “selling” yourself on social, even with the great digital assets we create for you.

What’s an Engagement Cycle?

As a small business, your clout is based on three things: who you know, how well you know them, and how well you represent your product or service to the people who know you.

Engagement happens in a cycle of 3 also:

  • Know
  • Understand
  • Engage


Before you start asking your potential customers “out on a date” get to know them. What do they like? What are their dislikes? Who do they normally hang out with? What inspires them? What are their greatest frustrations in life? By asking a ton of questions, instead of leading with a cold ‘sell,’ tell people about what inspires you, what individuals motivate you, and how you want to envision the world. It’s human nature for people to gravitate toward what is familiar, safe, and inspiring, so let those traits shine. Instead of "telling" people who you are, ask questions and learn about them too.

Consider this from a neuroscience perspective:

People spend an average of 60 percent of conversations talking about themselves—and an incredible 80 percent when communicating on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

Why do we like to talk about ourselves so much?

Harvard University Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to figure this out.

Conducting an fMRI (magnetic resonance imaging) study, scientists asked 195 participants to talk about their own personal experiences and opinions and then those of others. They compared blood flow in the brain and looked at neural activity when talking about themselves and others.

The results?

When people talked about themselves, there were higher levels of neural activation and blood flow in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) as well as the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), both parts of the mesolimbic dopamine system. In brief, people experience huge dopamine hits when talking about their own opinions.

Dopamine is one of the strongest neurochemicals in the brain. It is the “reward” neurotransmitter. So, when you ask people about themselves, you not only “warm them up” to talking about your product or services, you also change them neurochemically.

This is why just posting content about your brand isn’t sufficient to build a buzz and create connections. You need to ask about your potential customers; lives, listen, then respond accordingly. You need to actually put in time commenting and asking for opinions about your photos, video, audiograms, copy and any social posts that you put up.


By asking enough questions, you can now understand what your potential customers and clients really want and need. You can speak to their pain points, and create content that answers those specific needs. Instead of your brand being “you” centered, it can now be “your perfect customer” centered, and watch your engagement soar.


Let’s say your brand is selling women's yoga plants that can double as office-appropriate attire. She’s going to be more much likely to engage, and also will get an instant dopamine hit from expressing her own opinion about yoga, meditation, juggling work and life, and all the things that someone who would desire this product lives on a daily basis.

Following are some great ways to position your newfound content from Blended Sense by asking questions, understanding your audience, and then engaging with them in a complete, well-rounded engagement cycle:

  1. Ask for opinions personally, one on one, with people in your network, or just outside of it.
  2. Remind employees to ask people for feedback and to share it widely.
  3. Share reviews of your products or services and ask people if they agree.
  4. Send an email asking people to comment on a recent post, but ask an intriguing question that you legitimately want their response to.
  5. Never delete bad reviews or comments but address the concerns raised.
  6. Offer an incentive if people respond with their own opinions to your posts.
  7. Ask for user-generated content. This is when the people already in your engagement cycle (your sales funnel) love you and are willing to create content for you.

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