The Conversation Prism 2013 – Today’s Complex Social Media Landscape In One Infographic

I like Brian Solis and the work he does with personal branding and social media. I liked how he tried to map out the Twitterverse and I remember when seeing the previous iterations of his conversation prism. It was a great way to show people just how complex the social media landscape was and what marketers needed to prepare themselves for when they wanted to get “on board.” Of course, this isn’t about getting on board every single platform there is – it’s about realizing that the conversations that happen around our brands occur in a very, very complex and messy place. 🙂

This year’s Conversation Prism reflects just how much more complex and messy the landscape has become:

In fact, I appreciated how this Mashable article traced the development of the conversation prism over the years. In fact, the very first one shows just how much simpler the social media landscape was in 2008 (it’s kinda interesting to think of 5 years ago being “the good ol’ days”!):

While the 2008 chart looked like a flower, the latest one resembles a kaleidoscope. The latest Conversation Prism has four additional categories with at least six brands in each. The infographic also highlights how the social media ecosystem is constantly changing. Some brands like Xanga (remember this other blogging platform besides WordPress and Blogger?) have disappeared while others that weren’t around five years ago — like Path — are now among category leaders.

In the end, however, it’s really not about jumping on every single platform that exists. It’s primarily being very clear on your conversation strategy (remember: social media is primarily social first, media second) then deciding on the right mix of where to engage your audiences in that conversation (blending between where the conversations are currently most actively taking place as well as where the conversation will go next).