The graphic below is called the Conversation Prism and is a living representation of the social networking space - originally compiled and regularly updated by Brian Solis & JESS3. It gives you quite a daunting view of how quickly things grow and change in this space.
Takeaway One: Don't Spent Time And Resource Chasing Every New Audience - They Might Not Be There For Long
The first thing that stands out for me here is that the prism changes so often. This is regularly updated, with some sites being added and some being removed each time. I assume this is to do with how popular each site is at the time of update. Anyway, here are a couple of striking points about this update:
- 122 sites from the last version aren't present in this one
- There are 111 new sites, who weren't present in the last version
Clearly there is a lot of flux here. Therefore, I'd say it's really important to be careful about which networks you devote time and resource to - it might look like the next big thing, but the chances are that it also might tank in a years time.
There are some networks that will be around for as long as social media is - Facebook for example - although it probably pays to be careful when deciding what to do with newer, less mature networks. The last thing you want to do is waste time and money on a dead horse.
Takeaway Two: Careful Planning Can Give You A Great Advantage Over Larger Businesses And Brands
However, in saying the above, this space also lends itself to giving smart small businesses an edge over their competitors. If you can combine the right choice, good timing and a great content strategy, you can use the new networks to gain excellent exposure for your business. The idea here is that just by being a small business owner, you are naturally more 'light on your feet' when it comes to embracing change and new opportunities. Just be careful not to fall into the trap mentioned above and try to dominate every network - for lots of reasons, it's really not worth the effort.
To help with this, I think a great place to keep your pulse on what is happening and what could be the next best network to target in the social media space is the Social Media Examiner - you can get to that here.
One Site That Seems To Be Missing From The Conversation Prism, But Is Definitely Worth Looking At
In terms of trying new networks though, there is one that I think is well worth the effort in looking at. I can't see it on the Conversation Prism, although it's called 'Empire Avenue' - you can get to it here. It combines the following into an excellent resource, in my mind anyway:
- Social networking
- Social media management
So, although it's not mentioned on the Conversation Prism, I think it should be - it looks like a very popular and useful tool. It's also rather fun to use too!
Thanks for reading!
By Alan MacDougall
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The Revenue Builder Blog is a small business marketing strategy and tips blog designed to help small business owners and startups maximise sales revenue.