The 7 Types of Social Media Users and How to Engage Them

social fish
social fish


To engage with them, you need better calls to actions. This could be through polls, images or anything that encourages them to “like” or retweet you. If you can get them to begin engaging with your brand more, your content will be more visible in their newsfeeds.  Depending on your industry niche, appealing to the public with fun content can be difficult, but can still be done.  One brand that has done this impressively in a “duller” industry is Maxwell Systems.  They post a ton of content on their social networks from trivia to humorous images, but still keep it industry tailored to their niche, construction.

Here’s an example of two of their posts.  Try asking trivia questions to get the quiet follower to engage.  Or at least make them chuckle so they come back for more.

The Casual “Liker” —

This person does a little more than the quiet follower; they might already “like” and retweet your content so their friends can see it. These types of users are already boosting your social visibility, because consumers are more likely to trust their friends’ brand recommendations. So you can start encouraging these fans to share your content, turning them into brand advocates!

The National Association of Home Builders runs an amazing social game.  They’re constantly sharing images of some glorious homes with some compelling call-to-actions to connect and engage their audience.  As a result, you can see the majority of their fan base are “casual likers.”  This piece of content recieved an overwhelming number of social shares (49 to be exact) and 104 “likes,” but only one comment.

The Deal Seeker —

A lot of social media users fall into this category. These fans want you to provide them with exclusive access to coupons, deals and events. If you offer special weekly promotions or contests, you’ll get fan appreciation, more shares and new business in the long run.

The World Wildlife Fund does this pretty frequently.  You don’t have to offer anything big, but your fans will appreciate the sentiment.  And you’ll draw in some new followers if they share the deals!

The Unhappy Customer —

No business ever wants unhappy customers, but they are usually inevitable. Social media makes it easy for unhappy customers to talk about their complaints and issues on your Facebook or Twitter, which can harm your online reputation. It’s important to monitor your pagers, and always respond to complaints as quickly as possible. These types of users may become more disgruntled if you don’t respond quickly—you want to show that you put your customers first.

After Lance Armstrong’s coming out about doping, the Livestrong foundation experienced much outcry from its supporters, so much so that the media was unsure Livestrong would outlast the public turmoil.  Fortunately, they were quick to respond to their unhappy supporters by releasing a press statement and publicizing it over their social accounts, as well as starting a popular hashtag, #stillstrong, that represents their desires to continue giving.

Here was Livestrong’s statement:


The Negative Detractor/ Ranter —

There are always instances where companies’ social media accounts are flooded with complaints and rants about issues unrelated to business. Whether these comment threads are created by “trolls” or not, keep a cool head and keep your reputation safe; don’t make controversial statements. The easiest solution is to simply discourage conversations that aren’t  related to business.

Dealing with these instances becomes significantly more important if you are the figurehead representing the company.  Your nonprofit or associations brand perception is an extension of your own behavior with the media.  Only last November, there was a giant controversy when Donald Trump went on a rant accusing many nonprofit CEO’s of accepting high salaries while their charities see very little.  As a result, he ended up attacking Caryl Stern, CEO of Unicef.  While Stern managed to add one jab back to Trump, she managed to highlight the importance of her charity, the fact that Unicef’s goal is simply to save children’s lives.

The Cheerleader —

These types of users are ideal for anyone, because they typically comment, “like”, retweet and share all of your posts. They might enter all of your contests and spread the word about your business. To ensure their positivity is benefiting you, make sure your content is actually worth cheering about. Since these fans post so frequently to their social networks, you want to make sure the friends that see it have a reason to get excited as well.

When you can get your followers to comment and share praising your nonprofit or association, you’ve achieved something great.  But getting those supporters to even be a part of your content strategy as well as a benefacator from your organization is even better.  Check out this awesome, inspiring piece of content from one of Kiva’s biggest cheerleaders.


The Loyal Fan —

These are the customers you recognize both when they walk in and in their profile pictures. They constantly recommend you to family and friends, and they defend you against any of the ranters on social media. You could ask them to share their stories for testimonials or other marketing efforts. Make sure you recognize them with customer appreciation, so they continue to promote your organization!

Best Friends Animal Society has one of the most loyal followings.  It’s not much of a surprise given that people fall in love with their pets, and Best Friends is responsible for connecting people and pets.  They’ve encouraged so much loyalty in their followers so much that they have began to share their stories on huge news sources such as USA Today!

Every social media user is different, and every person has different expectations about what they want from your company’s social media accounts. Value all of your users, and engage with them in ways that will benefit you both. This can allow you to increase your brand awareness and boost sales, donations or membership recruitment.

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