The social media landscape is complex. Social media network analysis makes it easier to understand and navigate social media.
Using the NodeXL social media network analysis add-in for Excel from the Social Media Research Foundation, I have made a large collection of network visualizations and reports, many of which can be seen in the NodeXL Graph Gallery.
Now that I have seen many social media network maps I observe that marketers are often interested in building “broadcast” network patterns. This is one of the six basic social media network patterns documented in the recent Pew Research Internet Project report about Mapping Twitter Topic Networks.
There are at least three phases of possible success for a social media marketing effort: phase 1, you get an audience of people who will retweet what you post. Phase 2, some of your audience gets its own audience for the content they repost from you. Phase 3, a dense web of relationships emerges, a community of relationships. This is a desirable phase because it sustains the conversation event when new messages from the brand account are not created.