My social map and tips to create yours

My social map and tips to create yours

Written by: Komail Mithani

December 5, 2010 11:44 pm 2 comments

Visual map of social media tools and networks. As more and more technology start-ups begin developing around the sphere of social media, we as social consumers tend to get overwhelmed with all they offer. Many of us get carried away and begin to lose track of which social network, social sharing or social media tool we signed up for. In fact, many don’t realize how these companies are adding to our digital footprint. This is the main reason why I developed my first “social map.” A social map, which is simply a overview of all the digital communities or companies I participate in, is a fantastic look at your digital footprint on the Internet. From the example below, you can see that I divide my map into five categories: networking, consuming, creating, communicating and organizing. You should also note that some platforms I use may fit in more than one category, however, I choose one specific category for each platform based on how I approach them. For example, the popular user review community, Blippy, is in the “creating” category because I only use it to write reviews on recent purchases. However, some people may only use Blippy for primarily reading other reviews and recommendations, which would go under the “consuming” category.

Developing a social map can be very beneficial for both your personal brand and your company’s brand because it allows you to view each and every tool you use. Also, it is a helpful visual tool for a social media strategist explaining to their boss or client exactly how current strategies are currently being implemented and on which networks or tools they are engaged in. Furthermore, it’s refreshing to see where your social map is and where you would like it to be in the upcoming year.

For those thinking about creating their first social map, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Start out by writing all the communities and tools you use on a piece of paper. Call me old-fashion, but I always like to first create a list of everything on a sheet of paper and then start building my map.
  2. Use a mind mapping tool to help you with the layout. I recommend using Xmind, which is a free mind mapping tool you can download. I wouldn’t worry about purchasing the Pro pack from them because all you need are the basic features to create a map similar to mine.
  3. Look at other examples from experts and social media strategists. I actually spent a lot of time on the Lifestream Blog particularly their informative How-To Social Map blog post.
  4. Choose four to five categories. Having too many may make your map difficult to understand and comprehend.
  5. Keep revisiting your social map and updating it to fit your company or personal brand’s current strategy. I would also recommend sharing your map with your blog visitors and especially your employees and social media department.

"Komail Mithani Digital Footprint and Social Map"

If you’d like to download the PDF file of my social map, you can find the document here.

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