The Full Spectrum of Social Media Networks


Are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, et al. the only ones who can impact retailer’s sales revenue?

Let us take a look at The Conversation Prism (TCP), created by Brain Solis and JESS3. It portrays the full spectrum of the social media landscape. It’s an ongoing study of digital ethnography tracking dominant and promising social networks, and organizing them by how they’re used in everyday life.


The Conversation Prism



Central Ring: YOU

The center of TCP is “you,” which means your brand or company, and the role you wish to play in social. You have no business creating a presence in every network. You should only manage a presence where it’s warranted. You need to explore your opportunities beyond the usual suspects (Facebook, Pinterest, et al.) and find the networks where you can gain or introduce value.


The Conversation Prism: 2nd Ring2nd Ring: Vision, Purpose, Value, Commitment, Transparency

Once the role of the brand is defined, consider the following engagement pillars:

  • Vision – What is your vision for social media and how would you articulate it to your executives and stakeholders.
  • Purpose – What is the motivation or grounds for social media and how can it be justified against other investment opportunities?
  • Value – Social and relationships involve more than one party and value must be mutual. What is the value you intend to deliver and how will you assess and communicate value?
  • Commitment – Before you invest in social, understand the commitment necessary to provide and gain value as you scale. Allocate accordingly.
  • Transparency – This is an era of business where information isn’t only democratized, networks and nodes are becoming human. It’s essential that all of the pillars above are communicated and enlivened in all you do and say.


The Conversation Prism: 3rd ring3rd Ring: Brand, Community, Service, Development, Marketing, Sales, Communications, Human Resources

Social is not a silo or a function, it is a way of business. It is intended to mature business perspective from a command and control mentality to that of engagement and openness. As such, it’s bigger than marketing, it affects employees, customers, and all of the processes and systems that exist between them.


4th Ring: Listening, Learning, Adapting

Mutual value lies between the customers and employees. It is essential to be able to listen, so that the brand can learn and adapt to their customers and to the ever changing business environment. This involves improving customer relationships, products, services, experiences, internal processes and organization which will consequently lead to better company results and satisfied employees.


Outer-most Ring: 26 categories organized in alphabetical order with top social sites


  1. Blog / Microblogs – WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc.
  2. Business – Linkedin, Viadeo, Plaxo, etc.
  3. Comments – Disqus, livefyre,, etc.
  4. Content / Documents – Scribd, SlideShare, Prezi, etc.
  5. Crowd Wisdom – Reddit, Digg, Storify, etc.
  6. Discussion & Forums – Facebook, Linqia, 4chan, etc.
  7. Enterprise – Yammer, Telligent, Chatter, etc.
  8. Events – Eventbrite, Zvents, Meetup, etc.
  9. Influence – TweetLevel, Klout, PeerIndex, etc.
  10. Location – Foursquare, Sonar, Dopplr, etc.
  11. Livecasting – Livestream, Stickam, qik, etc.
  12. Music – Pandora, SoundCloud, Shazam, etc.
  13. Nicheworking – Miso, GetGlue,, etc.
  14. Pictures – Instagram, Flickr, Shutterfly, etc.
  15. Quantified Self – Nike+, RunKeeper, Jawbone, etc.
  16. Q&A –, Yahoo! Answers, Wiki Answers, etc.
  17. Reviews & Ratings – Yelp, Amazon, Epinions, etc.
  18. Service Networking – DesignCrowd, 99designs, Taskrabbit, etc.
  19. Social Bookmarks – Evernote, Diigo, Pearltrees, etc.
  20. Social Commerce – Bazaarvoice, Shopkick, Livingsocial, etc.
  21. Social Curation – Pinterest, ScoopIt!,, Feedly, etc.
  22. Social Marketplace – Groupon, Kickstarter, Copious, etc.
  23. Social Networks – Facebook, Google+, MySpace, etc.
  24. Social Streams – Twitter, Pheed, Echo, etc.
  25. Video – YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, etc.
  26. Wiki – Wikispaces, TWiki, Wikia, etc.


Implications for Retailers/Brands

Retailers and brands who want to build their brand image, boost customer loyalty, and increase retail sales must use a mixture of these 26 categories. Retailers must choose among these categories that will help them achieve their retail objectives, value, purpose, vision and commitment as indicated on the 2nd ring.


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