adam vincenzini

9 charts that simplify the social media story

My significantly smarter other half (@Beth_Carroll) has been chipping in with some great wisdom of late.

Her biggest ‘crusade’ revolves around simplifying the language and methods used to explain social media.

I love this for a few reasons:

1. A lot of this stuff is basic common sense
2. The people that really matter i.e. businesses owners / managers require easy-to-digest information
3. Over-complicating things only does you and your peers a dis-service in the long run

Everyone has their own approach to explaining social media, why it is / isn’t important and how the channels differ.

There’ll never be an industry standard for this process (nor should there be, contrasting opinions and approaches create bigger and better ways of doing things) but there is some thinking out there which is more useful than most.
Here are some examples of presentation slides that demonstrate simple and effective ways of explaining a specific part of social media.
Michael Brito’s explanation of the difference between traditional and social media
I still think this is the most articulate way I’ve seen the evolution of the media landscape explained – one of those slides that makes you say ‘oh, yeah, I get it.’
Presentation Advisor’s explain the three buckets of social media

This is one of those slides that should feature in EVERY social media presentation. There is always someone in the room that will need to understand the significance of these three areas.

CMO use a traffic light system to explain popular social media platforms

I like this chart because you ‘get it’ immediately. I also like using this way of to illustrate which platforms are relevant to which organiations i.e. Green = a good channel for the objectives you’ve set.

David Armano explains how we engage with media in the three ‘buckets’

The best part of this chart is how obvious the ‘overlap’ is – another reminder that all the communications disciplines need to work together to make social media effective.

Forrester explain the different levels of involvement on the social web

This is a terrific example of showing just how broad involvement with social / digital channels can be. While a minority create original content, the majority are still involved in the eco-system in some shape or form.

The ‘classic’ escalation char courtesy of the team at Dell

While this looks like one of the more complex charts featured, it is still the easiest way of explaining how to deal with feedback online (and I’m guessing still features in a stack of agency presentations to this day).

Dell link

Beth and the team at threepipe explain their understanding of who owns social media

Another slide which illustrates how social media touches the entire organisation and gives some guidance on where agencies fit in this picture.

Laurel Papworth on the reputation cycle of the social web

The view of reputation management with social media differs depending on the discipline involved. PR folk might consider this THE priority where as developers might be less concerned.

The chart our agency uses to explain the different stages of the social media lifecycle

Saying the NBA has 3 million followers on Twitter doesn’t mean much. But, being able to compare where they are on the (still embryonic) social media lifecycle versus other brands is a bit more useful.

Over to you!

What other slides doing the rounds do you think tell the social media story especially well?

Would it help to have some uniformity?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Note: Feel free to check out our recent ‘Framework for resourcing social media’ presentation. is the blog from Adam Vincenzini which focuses on social media and PR. Connect with Adam on Twitter or subscribe to his blog

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