Summary: Users rely on social media to find out about new products or companies, conduct research, engage with content, make purchases, and seek customer support.

<p> For many companies, social media is a key component in the omnichannel user experience . Customers often use social media either as a main channel for an interaction or as an entry point to other channels. For example, users might browse social media for new recipes and, if they find a post they like, they could visit the company’s website to get the full recipe. Users tend to rely on social media as their channel of choice if they find it to be more efficient or easier to use than the alternatives.</p><p> As part of our social-media research, we identified 6 types of interactions that users have with companies on social media . Our findings are based on data from 23 participants: a diary study with 14 participants and a usability study followed by cognitive mapping with 9 participants.  We identified the following core interactions, which are listed in an approximate order, even though they don’t always happen in this sequence:</p><p> In this article, we will look at the 6 types of interactions across industries and social-media platforms and provide insight on how UX professionals can understand and optimize these interactions.</p>

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