Note: Due to contractual obligations, I have decided to remove any brand-identifying information.
The image above is a complete mapping of a major brand’s social media presence on the web. This was an exercise I started doing for all the brands I’ve worked with in order to better understand how the consumer uses social media. Everyone likes to talk about how social media is going to save their business, but I don’t see a lot of examples of people going out there and actually finding out how people interact with the content that brands are seeding out to them.
The colors indicate the specific property in question. Everything having to do with Facebook, for example, is in red. Simply mapping out properties and getting an idea of their size is a good start, but it doesn’t really tell you how the consumer ends up there… or where they go after. The consumer journey remains a mystery. That’s where the madness of arrows comes into play.
The arrows indicate trafficking information. They show where people end up going given any particular starting point. This is the kind of information that can be invaluable when developing strategies for content distribution, and having them actually mapped out on a 2D-plane can make that process much easier. This can also help lead to more optimal linking structures for large brands that have a distributed presence over a number of different sites and networks.
You may notice that the missing piece here is traffic coming from search. It was too difficult to map on a 2D-plane with everything else going on, but is something that was considered as part of the content distribution strategy for this brand.