A Typology of Social Media Interaction Strategy

Typology of social media interaction

Just like a car transmission, anyone operating social media will find themselves shifting between a few outreach strategies that define their communication style. The above graphic illustrates four separate approaches or strategies (and non-strategies) possible for you to employ while socializing online.

Purposeful-Forced (PF) Example: It’s 4pm, towards the end of a campaign, and I am concerned about boosting “likes” and tweets to this very blog post. So I hunt around the internet looking for other bloggers who have written similar things and I start commenting on their blogs in the hopes that I will get them to comment on my blog.

Purposeful-Natural (PN) ExampleIt’s 10am and I am experiencing a coffee buzz and feeling happy. I  haven’t forgotten my long-term campaign objectives as I scan my Twitter and Facebook feeds. But I’m feeling witty and naturally conversational, yet I refrain from just replying to anyone’s comments. hosting information lookup . Because I have been selective in who I network with, it is just a matter of time until I find the right tweet to respond to. Our interaction moves forward a very strategic conversation that aligns with my campaign objectives. I am both social and strategic at the same time. I am happy because encounters like this aren’t always so easy to run into. It’s sort of like trying to find a Starbucks cafe when you aren’t looking for anything else but a Starbucks cafe. You will only see one the second you stop trying so hard.

Open Aim-Forced (OF) Example: I’ve joined a new social network prior to having a clear strategy or goal for using it, yet I am highly interested in boosting all kinds of metrics that would indicate my importance or activeness in the world of social media.  I am feeling loquacious, clicking away, and pretty much just being all over the place, all day long. My acrobatic commentary demonstrates an ability to  find something witty to say about everything from my friend’s brother’s cat to Muammar Gaddafi. Clicking away like a mad man, I add friends from Indonesia to Morocco, giving them “thumbs up” and high fives. I have successfully lodged my profile picture deep into recesses  of 50,000 some peoples’ brains. However they are not sure exactly what to make of it. I am definitely being  an (OF) type of interactionist.

Open Aim-Natural (ON) In a world free of deadlines and constraints, this is by far my favorite. Because interacting in an open-ended and natural way would offer me the ability to discover new possibilities and worthy agendas. Not to worry though, as I often save a little bit of time for this mode by scanning my feeds and looking to be carried away by some interesting topic or flow of conversation. Dremehahtaten Following the natural laws of attraction, I now find myself in a new space because I want to be there and its bringing out the best and wittiest in me. My presence is highly appreciated, although I have no idea how these relationships or interactions will ever sustain meaning over the long run. But the future  is of little concern in (ON) even if the fruits of ON can bear benefits in the longterm.


All four modes of social interaction online are important, intertwined and necessary to try at different times. Likewise,  none of of us are going to adhere exclusively to any of these extreme modes.

It is important to think through the strategic advantages and disadvantages of any of these modes if you cannot afford to waste time online. At the same rate, this typology can extend to other kinds of networking activities like friending or following back. Know exactly what you are trying to achieve prior to embarking on any laborious networking activity. You may find in the end that following 50,000 people on Twitter (a time consuming [OF] approach to the core) will do very little to help your objectives.