Social Media: Basic Tools

Conversation Prism-Brian Solis

Conversation Prism by Brian Solis & Jess3

When speaking of Social Media (SM) most people think of Facebook and Twitter, however, they barely scratch the SM surface. Businesses and consumers have a plethora of platforms from which to choose based on their need. To visualize how great the number is Brian Solis and Jess3 developed the “Conversation Prism.” As the prism illustrates SM tools are categorized by their functions. Let us take a look at some of the more basic tools and what they are for.


Blogs come in many shapes and sizes, so to speak. More specifically they come in many categories, genres, and subjects for select purposes. Essentially, a blog is like a journal or diary that is available for public viewing. Have you heard of the movie Julie & Julia? Julie Powell decides to cook her way through Julia Childs first book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in a year and to blog about it. The blog was a huge success and garnered a following she did not anticipate.

There is an abundance of free and paid platforms available for building blogs on. WordPress dot com and Blogger offer free blog accounts. While WordPress dot net and Typepad are paid sites.
All of these platforms are easy to use, and can be up and running in a few hours.

Micro Blogs

Micro blogging sites like Twitter are used to tweet in 140 characters or less about new or improved products, promotions, blog posts, meet ups, status updates and more. Tweets can be composed on the web, in an instant message, on third party apps, and on mobile devices.

Social Networks

Social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are used by businesses to point people towards your primary media to attract customers and build relationships and trust, and to gain visibility. This, however, is not a platform for selling products.

Niche Networks

Niche networks are social networks that cater to one topic, product, industry, or person. LinkedIn is such a network. It is a business professionals network used for connecting with past, present, and future colleagues and clients.

Video Sharing

Online videos complement the aforementioned platforms. Videos contain information relevant to the business which can stand alone on a video sharing site such as YouTube. Blogs and networks can embed videos posted on YouTube so they can be seen by their blog,I twitter, and Facebook sites.

Photo Sharing

Photo sharing sites are the perfect place to store photos for blogs. Features of photo sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa include sharing and tagging, creating file folders and designating which folders and photos you want to share. Flickr offers free and paid storage while Picasa has free storage.

Combining multiple social media tools allows you to reach your audience of friends, followers, subscribers, and their networks where, when, and how they want to meet.

What social media tools do you use? I would love to know your thoughts.


9 responses to “Social Media: Basic Tools

  1. Cynthia, great post and examples of different social media sites. One I would add to the list of micro-blogging platforms is Tumblr. It is home to almost 70 million blogs and has made blogging as easy as sending a tweet.

  2. Nice job, Cynthia. I like how you broke down the sections for easy reading. I’ve noticed after looking at everyone’s blogs how important this is! If it is overwhelming with a giant block of text, it doesn’t beg to be read!

  3. Cynthia,
    This is a good SM basics blogs and will give a reader an understanding how diverse the social networks are.

  4. Cynthia, Excellent post and I love the look of your blog incorporating all the SM logos!! Thanks for the clarification of Social Media platform terminology. I’m beginning to get this now. Thanks too for the set up of your hyperlink through BB…one stop shopping! I guess I use Facebook and Linked In the most, but through class I’m becoming more familiar with Twitter and of course WordPress.

    • Thanks for your kind comments on the look of my blog. I am glad social media is coming easier to you. I use Facebook strictly for staying in touch with friends and family. I use my blogs, LinkedIn, and twitter for business or professional purposes. I think it is important to keep them separate.

  5. Pingback: SMART Goals | Cynthia Cutright

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