The Conversation Prism – the best social media tools (and the ones they missed)

A lot of online lists and directories of the available social media channels exist, but perhaps the most comprehensive I’ve found is The Conversation Prism – helpfully updated for 2013!

The Conversation Prism – click to view larger versions

The only problem with this tool is selecting the best from each of the available options. So I’m going to have a go at helping out. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Starting from the top…

Social Networks

  • Facebook for brand building and engagement
  • Google+ for SEO and profile linking to WordPress

Blogs/Microblogs

  • WordPress
  • Tumblr for youth/art/fashion image driven topics

Crowd Wisdom

  • Reddit for memes and geek culture
  • Buzzfeed for news and pop culture

Q&A

  • Quora – the best question website anywhere!

Comments

  • Disqus – works great for me with WordPress

Social Commerce

Social Marketplace

  • Etsy – the community here beats the others

Social streams

  • Twitter – why use anything else?

Location

  • Foursquare – the obvious leader

Niche Working

  • GoodReads – I like the way this works, really neat

Enterprise

  • Yammer – so easy to use, it’s true viral software

Wiki

  • Wikipedia – you’ll usually get more out of contributing to Wikipedia than you will from setting up your own wiki

Discussion and forums

  • 4Chan – be warned…it’s the dustbin of the internet

Business (a very broad category!)

  • Linkedin – number 1 for professional networking and collaboration

Service Networking

  • I have only used CrowdSpring…so CrowdSpring!

Reviews and ratings (another very broad category!)

  • Glassdoor is awesome for checking out potential employers
  • Amazon has the best (and some of the funniest) reviews

Social curation

  • Pinterest – A phenomenon, and still growing
  • Fancy – like Pinterest, but a bit cooler

Video

  • Youtube for mass-market
  • Vimeo for quality/arty types
  • Blip for sweet non-branded players

Content/documents

  • Prezi for very annoying presentations 😉
  • Slideshare for SEO and promotion
  • Google docs (not listed) for usefulness!

Events

  • Eventbrite – because it’s the one a few people actually use

Music

  • Soundcloud – hugely popular and great functionality

Livecasting

  • UStream (because it costs $333 a month to embed Livestream on your site!)
  • Twitch (not listed) for livecasting gaming

Pictures

  • Flickr – for general albums and storage
  • Instagram – for sharing and mobile images

Social bookmarks

  • Delicious – the father of all bookmarking sites

Influence

  • Klout – more people use this than the others, so your rating is a little more relevant

Quantified self (huh?)

  • This one has lost me…

Did you make it all the way down here? Ok…well here’s the greatest tip of all. If you are wondering what is the most important social media site that’s missing from this list…it’s Ifttt.com

Social Media Training Sessions – at The University of South Wales

I recently delivered some training to staff at the University of South Wales who all seemed to have similar questions – what is social media? What is it good for? How can I use it? What should I use?

The sessions were really fun to run, with plenty of the kinds of searching questions you’d expect from academics, and a real desire to get to grips with the opportunities available to them. When defining social media, I like to say it refers to participation in the creation of online media – sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube are all similar in that they encourage everyone to participate in the creation of media.

So how can you get involved in that? What does it mean for professionals? The basics of the session can be summarized by three key points:

  1. Play to your strengths – if you’re a wordsmith write a blog, if you’re a visual image type try Instagram or Tumblr, if you’re a curator try Pinterest. Don’t force yourself to comply with the most popular medium if you won’t enjoy it!
  2. Focus – don’t start a presence on everything and spread yourself thinly…put your efforts into building something brilliant in one place, then start reaching out to other places to tell people about it!
  3. Stay motivated – setting sensible benchmarks and targets, having access to meaningful stats and realising real-world objectives will help you remember why you’re doing this! If you’re not making money from it, make sure you have something else to motivate you!

Anyway…the sessions were a great way to kick-start people’s interest in what social media can offer. For academics I recommended the basic social media toolkit of a blog, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. A pretty ‘vanilla’ combo I’m sure you’ll agree, but you can get great results using those platforms.

You can download the (very simple) presentation here – University of South Wales social presentation

New personal best for blog traffic

All content marketers hope that by adding share buttons, by writing topical unique content, and by consistently working a theme…they will eventually hit the social media jackpot and get massive traffic. When it comes, it can come big. This time it came from Reddit. I’ve seen this a couple of times working for my current employer, but today was a new record.
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Tone of Voice – the cornerstone of a good social media marketing plan

Nice Supercreatives news this week with a nomination for a Social Buzz award at The Royal Mint.

If there’s one thing that really helped get The Royal Mint up to speed…it was thinking about Tone of Voice up-front before putting a single word on Facebook or Twitter. It sounds obvious, but the most important aspect of any social media campaign is how you sound…so spend some time on it and make sure you get the senior management to BUY IN to it. If they’re unconvinced you are setting yourself up for problems in the future.
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New City Surf website

We set up the OG City Surf website a few years back, and while it was good at the time it dated fairly quickly and we’d customised stuff that meant updating was tricky.

We used WordPress and the Wp E-Commerce plugin, which at the time (2009) was the best thing out. Having surveyed the market, we decided WooCommerce from Woothemes was the new kid on the block, so we made the call to migrate all the content into that.
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Twitter bots can be done right – @AnOffside50p

When it comes to getting your message in people’s faces on Twitter, you have two options.

  1. Write awesome tweets and back them up with something of substance. This we will call the ‘quality’ model.
  2. An endless slog of targeting and sycophantic re-tweeting of influential accounts in order to get your message onto their radar. We will call this the ‘brown nose’ model.

Both have their flaws.

The first takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can be worth it if you stand to gain anything from the process…but it’s a serious commitment.
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QR codes: totally super or totally un-super?

QR codes are a creating a buzz in marketing circles at the moment. You can see why…in the eyes of clients, these things make their advertising sexy and youthful. They probably come from Japan and the kids over there are mad for them. Toyota used them. They’re interactive. They’re super digital and blocky like something out of the 80s…and the 80s are cool. They look cool on posters. THEY’RE COOL! They’re putting the web into print!! THIS COULD BE THE NEXT TWITTER!!! I GOTTA HAVE ME THOSE QR CODES NOW!!!!
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