Social Media Explained Through a Prism

20 08 2008

“If a conversation takes place online and you’re not there to hear or see it, did it actually happen?”

This is the question that PR expert Brian Solis, principal of FutureWorks, asked when introducing his latest creation, the Conversation Prism.

Solis, along with Jesse Thomas of JESS3, developed the Conversation Prism to be a “living, breathing representation of Social Media [that] will evolve as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse, and dissipate.”  This representation of social media is interesting because it helps you to visualize how many networks and categories of networks (i.e. social bookmarks) actually exist.  If Twitter or Facebook isn’t right for you, then maybe Plurk or BrightKite might interest you more.  The idea isn’t to necessarily be a member of every social network but instead to pick a few which help you to network or share your brand with those that are interested.  For instance, MySpace probably isn’t going to help you more than being a purely social medium unless you’re involved in the music industry, club scene, or other similar spaces.  For those people or companies, MySpace has been critical in exposing their music or events to a much larger audience that would otherwise be out of their reach (possibly).

But using social networks is a waste of company time! Many companies block social media because of the “wasted” time and money of employees spending hours per day updating their profiles.  However, what if a prospective customer doing a Google search on your company came across that employees profile and saw a bulletin they posted about an upcoming product launch or about how much they love working for the company?  Would that still be a waste of company time?  I don’t think so.  I understand that many companies are scared because of not being able to control the message that is being posted.  I would argue that the employee is going to use the social network whether at work or at home so why not embrace it and encourage them to post positive things about the company while they’re at it.

How does this relate to internet press releases? The Conversation Prism and use of social media only further solidifies the positive reasons why you should be using internet press releases to convey and distribute company messages.  In fact, the term “internet press release” is interchangeable with “social media press release”.  A PR that is distributed via a reputable internet service can be picked up by interested users of sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and reddit.  The PR then might be saved for future use on a social bookmarking site like delicious.  Also, a blogger might see the release and then decide to write about it on their WordPress, tumblr, BlogSpot, Blogger or TypePad blog.

The idea here is that using social media in conjunction with internet press releases to convey company messages, updates, product launches, etc. can help to improve your online reputation management as well as the chances of your next prospective customer finding you the next time they don’t know they need your service.

Social Media in Plain English:

For more information on Social Media, download Solis’ Social Media Manifesto and The Essential Guide to Social Media.  Also, stay tuned as I will have an interview with Brian later this week!

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3 responses

20 08 2008
Sliced Bread

The Social Media Conversation…

Catching up on past tweets after being MIA yesterday for a client meeting, I came across one by Brian Solis, blogger, principal of FutureWorks and social media influential. Based on Robert Scoble and Darren Barefoot’s Social Media Starfish, created la…

5 09 2008
Introducing PitchEngine: A New Take on Social Media PR « That’s Great PR! Blog

[…] of the biggest pieces of social media (that often gets over looked) is the technology aspect. Social media isn’t just about the conversation, it’s about sharing content like videos, photos, comments and […]

27 10 2008
Bookmarks about Pr

[…] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by jasonb123 on 2008-10-06 Social Media Explained Through a Prism – bookmarked […]

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