In our quest to improve upon how we communicate socially – especially on the internet, it’s beneficial to get to the root of the human transaction.

In his best-selling book, I’m OK, You’re OK, Thomas A. Harris discusses Eric Berne’s thoughts on optimizing our social interactions, stating that the unit of social intercourse is called a transaction.

If two or more people encounter each other … sooner or later one of them will speak, or give some other indication of acknowledging the presence of the other. This is called the transactional stimulus. The other person will then say or do something which is in some way related to the stimulus, and that is called the transactional response.

There are key factors that can assist us in our attempts to ensure that there aren’t any discrepancies between the person responding and the person stimulating. Here are a few:

Listen. Whether we are communicating with our brother, client, vendor, or competitor, we should focus first on what they have to say without concentrating on a response while they are still talking. Otherwise we miss the stimulus.

Verify comprehension. Sometimes what we think we hear and what we hear are two totally different things. When we make sure that we understand what we have heard by repeating or paraphrasing, there is a far better chance that  we will get it right. And it will optimize our social position with that person – who will recognize our interest in them and their message for us.

Treat everyone equally well. Like the book says, I’m OK, You’re OK. We all have value and we all benefit from genuine, considerate, social intercourse.

Social media optimization is nothing more than utilizing the tools of politeness, concern, and assistance in as many opportunities as we are given on a daily basis. Building Social Equity is one amazingly effective tool that gives us specific steps to increase our online visibility. But it is still up to us to turn that visibility into a positive transaction.

The more we help others get what they want and need, the more we will have what we want and need. In the long-run we’ll all be better-off than just “OK.”