The Conversation Prism – A Wheel of Wisdom

Use The Conversation Prism to Discover the Full Social Media Spectrum

full size image of the Conversation Prism

Click image for a full size image of the Conversation Prism


About The Conversation Prism

The Conversation Prism, the brain child of Brian Solis and JESS3, provides viewers a holistic view of the social media universe, categorized and also organized by how people use each social network.

The latest version of The Conversation Prism, which at the time of this post, is V 3.0,  ntroduces new groups and networks and also removes those networks no longer in play. A quote from the creators says it all: “Use the Conversation Prism to see what you’re missing!”  Visit for more info about The Conversation Prism, Brian Solis and JESS3.

Looking at Social Media Through A New Lense – The Conversation Prism

the conversation prism new lense

As you can see from the infographic, The Conversation Prism illustrates how different aspects social media serve a number of core branding functions such as brand establishment, prorogation and maintenance through:

  • Identification: create and reinforce brand and corporate identity,
  • Listening: provide customer feedback mechanisms that make it easier to garner input and listen to brand advocates while addressing detractors,
  • Prioritization: crowdsource input for things like prioritizing features on a product road map, or input on menu items that patrons would like to see added,
  • Internationalization: leveraging the global reach of social media to quickly and efficiently, through viral sharing (earned) and advertising (paid) media opportunities, get mulit-national exposure,
  • Routing: enable customers to easily and quickly connect with the resources best positioned to address their needs and concerns, before, during and after the sale,
  • Observation: used to monitor brand reputation based on social interaction surrounding the brand, going on online every day.

Social media core branding functions become important tools in support of a number of different stakeholder organizations within a company beyond the more obvious Marketing use of social media to support of marketing initiatives, both online and off.

Key social media stakeholder organizations use Social Media to:

  • Sales: support prospecting and sales outreach mechanisms,
  • Marketing: build awareness and community building around brand experiences, product research though crowdsourcing,
  • Product Support: alert users to new features, report bugs, post updates,
  • Customer Services: use to report issues, open support tickets, provide status updates. For example, a power utility informing users of status of power restoration during an outage,
  • Public Relations: use to provide immediate feedback in crisis management in response to internal and external events with the potential to have dramatic, lasting negative impact on brand value.
When looking at the core branding functions coupled with the use cases across social media stakeholder organizations, a clearer image of the prominent role that social media plays (or could play) in a contemporary organization crystallizes.
Social media provides companies ongoing feedback and insights that might never have been realized through traditional channels such as phone and email. Social media also provides a stage for companies to showcase their real world interactions and customer brand experiences online in a way that is scalable with the potential to reach both a broad diverse population and/or a laser targeted group.
The Conversation Prisim specifies 28 different types of conversational social channels and their dimensions, then lists several actual entities within each of the conversational channels:
  • Location,
  • Video,
  • sCRM,
  • Documents/Content,
  • Events,
  • Music,
  • Wiki,
  • Virtual Worlds,
  • Live Casting,
  • Pictures,
  • Social Bookmarks,
  • Comments and Reputation,
  • Wisdom of Crowds (Crowdsourcing),
  • Questions & Answers,
  • Collaboration,
  • Social Commerce,
  • Blog Platforms,
  • Blogs/Conversations,
  • Social Curation,
  • Streams,
  • Nicheworking,
  • DIY+Custom Social Networks,
  • Discussion Boards and Forums,
  • Social Networks,
  • Listening and Targeting,
  • Attention/Communication Dashboards,
  • Business Networking,
  • Reviews And Ratings


It’s entirely possible to get caught up in the complexity of The Conversation Prism and lose sight of the forest through the trees. Though it’s hard to argue that The Conversation Prism isn’t extremely detailed and complex or that you need reading glasses to make out the detail, but don’t just gloss over it as it also provides a wealth of information enabling the viewer to have a much broader understanding of conversations that are going on online today, though a wealth of social, conversational channels.

The Conversation Prism is a very useful tool to that can assist those marketing online to better understand what tools exist and what areas they support so that different organizations can understand where to look for infrastructure that can meet their online conversations and needs.  View The Conversation Prism as a social media marketing palette used paint your social media masterpiece.


Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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