Social Media Landscape

Did you notice that the “Web 2.0” term was outdated? One can say that after months (years?) of overselling the “2.0”” stuff, it begins to fade. Now, modern marketers talks about “Social Media“. Because with always newer services, always more sophisticated concepts, copycat, mashups of mashups… it really begins to be confusing. This is why it was important to divide this big “ratatouille 2.0” into smaller meta-concepts to ease the understanding (Enterprise 2.0, Social Shopping, Social Medias…).

But have we taken the time to define what social media is? This is my point: to provide you with a definition and give an overview of what it relates to.

Let’s publish, share and sociabilize!

In “Social Media” there is “Media“, which means that social media are digital places for publication.

In “Social Media” there is “Social“, which implies sharing (files, tastes, opinions…) but also social interactions (individuals gathering into groups, individual acquiring notoriety and influence…).

Yes, you get the point: social media are places, tools, services allowing individuals to express themselves (and so to exist) in order to meet, share…

Infinity of tools and services

The main characteristic of social media is audience fragmentation: sources (hundreds of millions of blogs, wikis, forums…) as well as tools.

Those tools can take various forms (more or less sophisticated) and fulfill various needs, previously existing or not (yes, I’m talking about Twitter). The following chart illustrates the richness and diversity of social media:


As you can see, those different tools and services can be grouped into categories:

Wow, that’s a lot of services to try! Now that the frame is set, it is time to analyze this phenomenon and to try to envision what will comes next.

There was a life before Facebook and there will be one after

Online communities didn’t wait for Facebook to gather and sociabilize within online forums. Bear in mind that a tool in itself is not able to create a community, only members can. Or to be more precise: the capacity of members to find new subjects and interaction modes.

So yes, Facebook is (still) hype, but history has shown us that audience can easily move from one service to another (remember Friendster?).

There is no tool to rule them all

Even if audience metrics show supremacy from large platform like MySpace, Facebook or even Cyworld in South Korea, global services which embrace multiple meta-functions (publishing, sharing, social networking…) are exposing their members to information overflow.

So even if audience is dominated by big players, niche players are growing fast.

You cannot hide anymore

Whether you want it or not, conversations occur with or without you. What you have to understand is that it is highly illusionary to think you can control your brand by restricting blog usage from your employee or by avoiding social networks.

Your brand does not belong to you anymore, it only exist in customers’ mind, which are massively present in blogs, forums, wikis, social networks… So you have to choose between suffering and benefiting from online conversations. That is why it is important to name a social media champion within your organization (just choose the right job title: Community planner, Social media manager, Community architect, Social analytics expert…).

Which KPIs?

Getting closer from your customers / prospects is a nice objective, but you first have to figure out which customers / prospects you want to be closer to. So you will quickly be in need to evaluate the real potential of those various nanomedia. This evaluation has to rely on dedicate metrics which are tailored to the constraints and specificity of social media.

Furthermore, if you wish to touch opinion leaders (influencers), you will have to qualify them in order to identify those with the more potential. This is where social metrics are relevant.
Such social metrics already exist and are used on various social platforms:

  • For blogs (age, audience, popularity, RSS feed subscribers, RSS subscribers / visitors, comments per post…)
  • For microblog (total tweets number, average tweets per day, followings / followers…)
  • For social networks (profile richness, age, friends number, friends of friends number…)

And if you wish to go faster and “invest” in social leaders, there are also various KPIs based on influence: pay-per-post, pay-per-tweet, pay-per-acquisition…

This is a long journey (but you still can achieve it)

Do not panic, we are only beginning to observe the rise of social media (and there conquest by marketers). There is stile a lot of territories to conquer for the most audacious of you. Bear in mind that social media consumers are indulgent with creative initiatives.

So let me sum this up:

  1. Test and experiment the richness of social media (remember: Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg)
  2. Try to understand social mechanisms (motivations, fears…)
  3. Name a social media champion in your organization (his first job: set up an observatory to assess your brand ‘s presence in social media)
  4. Define a social translation of your brand’s strategy (positioning, targets, value proposition, differentiation points…)
  5. Identify relevant media (social platform) and the right ambassadors (micro or nanocommunity)
  6. Jump in the water!

This is it. Let me remind you once again that you do not engage too much responsibility by experimenting new social campaigns (except for bugs attack). Bear in mind that social media is all about conversations and guess what: you can / should / have to be part of them.

95 commentaires pour: “Social Media Landscape”

  1. Just noticed you’re writting in english… when did you start doing that ?

  2. Salut Fred,

    C’est nouveau, pourquoi écris-tu en anglais ?

  3. Social Media Landscape => Social Mediascape

  4. @ Mr Boin > In fact I’ve been writing in English for years but you didn’t noticed it! (OK, only 4 to 5 posts published in English)


  5. C’est du copier/collé !!! :)

  6. @ Eric > Copié / collé de quoi ? En fait il s’agit d’une traduction d’un billet rédigé en français le mois dernier. Par contre le schéma a été completé.


  7. Ce qui m’ennuie fondamentalement dans toutes ces appellations, c’est que leur multiplication n’aide absolument pas à une meilleure utilisation de ce qu’elles représentent (si jamais deux personnes tombent d’accord sur ce qu’elles représentent d’ailleurs). Bref, je préfère de loin le cafouillis sémantique autours des “stuff 2.0″ plutôt qu’une multitude de petits concepts qui font finalement qu’au lieu d’un gros fourre-tout indéfini, on obtient beaucoup de petits fourre-tout tout aussi indéfinis, qui en plus se rejoignent, se recoupent et se recouvrent par moment.

    Je suis par contre assez d’accord avec vos recommandations et votre approche de ces nouveaux médias (sont-ils des médias d’ailleurs ?). Tout cela sans besoin de s’encombrer d’une classification qui ne remplit plus le seul rôle que peut avoir une classification aussi vaste que celle-ci : rassurer par simplification. Bref, je ne suis pas convaincu du tout que le fait de parler de social media change quoi que ce soit à “l’univers 2.0″ (à part que le terme reflète nettement mieux l’évolution que le 2.0, une changement de mode d’utilisation du web plus qu’une nouvelle technologie)

  8. Laurent Sheriff

    Dans le Social Media Landscape je rajouterais bien le système de gestion de Valve “STEAM” dans “Social Games” et/ou “MMO” et/ou “Discuss”
    L’essayer c’est l’adopter!!

    Pour plus d’info sur STEAM =>

    Ps: Ce n’est pas de la pub!!

  9. IMHO, social media landscape should include social lending sites like Prosper. Just my 2 cents…

  10. face à tout ce foisonnement de site qui plaît aux technophiles je n’en doute pas, on ne peut que constater la perplexité de l’homo internetus moyen à la recherche de simplicité…il est vraisemblable (mais pas certain!) qu’une lpateforme pourrait rafler la mise en adaptant toutes les trouvailles fonctionnelles des autres, cette plateforme pourrait être celle qui a réussi le plus dur, réunir la communauté, on pense notamment à Facebook, which could be the next big platform, the web OS lots of people were expecting (moi aussi jpeux parler en anglais!)
    on ressort toujours l’argument de friendster victime d’un effet de mode, mais n’oublions pas que si friendster a laisé passer le train du succès c’est à cause de lui même, en se tirant une vraie balle dans le pied: alors que tout le, monde y était, ils n’ont pas fait suivre les serveurs, après trop de ralentissmeents, tout le monde s’en est allé butiner ailleurs….

  11. Je suis d’accord avec le commentaire de Yann Lebout comme quoi ces nouvelles appellations font tout sauf simplifier la vision de l’utilisateur sur les nouveaux services. La preuve en est que je ne suis pas d’accord avec cette nouvelle carte où on met dans deux catégories différentes MMO et Univers Virtuel (WoW et AoC sont avant tout des jeux à univers virtuels persistants par exemple).

  12. Really an excellent post. As I’m deep in social networking for my company it will definitely come in handy.
    For those who haven’t had the courage to go back and forwards to view all the links on this post, I’ve created a track for you to jog to see them all in a strait line ;)

  13. I really enjoy Social media landscape writing of yours. Its a shame that you dont write more in english since it seems that you have pretty great wrirings.

  14. Bravos, Fred! Excellent post.

  15. Fred,

    Thank you for the well laid out post. I hope that you continue to report from the frontiers of social media journey. I was impressed by your graphic as well, keep up the good work.

  16. Bon, on a le droit de commenter en fr, alors ?

    Il est certain que Internet est un joyeux foutoir et que nous ne savons pas ce que nous faisons. C’est ce qui fait à la fois son intéret – on peut prendre le risque d’inventer – et son danger – il est toujours possible que *nous* accouchions d’un monstre (cf Little Brother, par exemple ou Scoogle)

    J’aime bien l’idée de paysage. Je l’avais utilisée a propos des jeux vidéos – le jeu vidéo comme ludopaysage.
    Pour le web, le rapprochement me semble également approprié. D’une part, parce que cela va bien avec l’imaginaire originaire du web – landscape, last frontier, great divide – D’autre part, parce que nous avons tendance à prendre les différents espaces qui nous sont proposés et que nous construisons comme des paysages à l’intérieur desquels nous interagissons.

    Cette tendance a voir les choses “en paysage” s’oppose a la fragmentation – le mot de diffraction me semble pkus exact : un message, n images dans n espaces – d’ou la le succes actuel des lifestreaming qui se posent comme bien comme “one [ring] to rule them all”

    Do i have to translate that in english ?

  17. Hi!,

  18. so glad i can read english now. great posts

  19. Great overview – thanks! I have shared this with several clients embarking on social marketing strategies so take this as a joint appreciation from multiple grateful readers :)

  20. Great article! While searching for a picture to use for my own post I came across your “social media landscape” on flickr and of course followed the link you provided to the article. I’ve included both in my post so my readers can enjoy it as well.:)

  21. Intéressant, des infos que je ne connaissais pas ! Merci

  22. Salut Fred!

    I suggest you look at

    ShoeHunting is a social shopping bookmarking platform for shoes aficionados. This site allows you to tag, save, manage and share the shoes you wear and those you find on the internet. With emphasis on the power of the community, ShoeHunting improves how people discover, remember and share shoes on the Internet.

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  24. Excellent resource!!

    Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  25. I am wondering if it would be possible to reproduce your image in a corporate article with full attribution to you? Please advise.

  26. su hayattır suyu koruyun haven’t got it .

  27. Social Media involves management. You have to make the most of it because if you limit your self with the basic of yes having a page, some friends and some updates, you are only to waste tim. Social mEdia can be ones next big thing depending on the level of effort that they put in.

  28. Thanks a lot for this post! It reaaaally helped me a lot. ;)

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  30. I think the term “social media” is way too broad because it encompasses so many different things. Most people think of facebook and twitter when you mention social media, but to me it makes sense to apply it to anything where you can be social, i.e. communicate with people. So that would include video sharing sites, forums, blogs, and even email. Now throw in the term “web 2.0″ and things get even more confusing. I’m sure we’ll be hearing of some new coined term pretty soon.

  31. its nice great site and i have added in my favorites list

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