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Social Media - Explained through the Honeycomb Framework

Updated on June 23, 2012

Brand communication happens with or without the organization being involved. Thus it becomes imperative for firms to participate in this dialogue online through various channels of social media. The state nowadays is such that not being on social media might give a negative impression than being on social media. The social media can be explained through the Honeycomb Framework. It is explained under:

  1. Identity – represents the extent to which users reveal their identity on a social media platform. This includes revealing information like age, name, profession, city etc. From an organisational point of view, identities must remain confidential to a very large extent bearing sharing of information like profession, designation, probably name too. It is critical to strike the right balance keeping in view of the audience as the wrong mix might lead to lack of accountability and cyber bullying.

  2. Conversations – represents the extent to which users communicate with other users on the social media platform. It is the responsibility of the organisation to guide conversations so that they do not become wayward. Wayward discussions will eventually make it difficult for the organisation to analyse the numerous conversations happening. Secondly, understanding the user preferences for engaging with the firm is also a key and knowing when to step in sends positive signals to the users.

  3. Sharing – it represents the extent to which users change, distribute and receive content. Organisation need to put a tab on what information the users are sharing on their social media platform. Also, they need to make sure that the organisation itself does not share sensitive information on to the users.

  4. Presence – represents the extent to which one user is available to the other. Presence is related to conversations and relationships in the Honeycomb framework. Organisation may choose to provide users this information because of the importance of user availability and user location. Organisations must realise the significance of intimacy and immediacy – the higher the better for social media platforms.

  5. Relationships – represents the extent to which a user connects/relates to the other user. This means that if they relate on some sort of association – this leads them to converse on their social media platform. Thus there must be a mechanism which provides the users a chance of directly contacting other users of the same social media platform.

  6. Reputation – represents the extent to which users can identify the repute of themselves and others on the social media platform. There must be some sort of mechanism which gives users repute points for engaging in meaningful conversations so that it is easier for other users to identify the validity of inputs of other users. This brings authenticity factor and thus builds up community conversations.

  7. Groups – represents the extent to which users can form communities and sub communities on the primary social media platform. This has two fold advantages, for the organisation and for the user. For the organisation, it becomes easier for them to analyse and categorise users based on grouping and subgrouping. For the user it becomes easier to contact other user of similar background, interest etc. to engage in quality conversations on the social media platform.


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    • profile image

      Ian McCarthy 

      5 years ago

      Please could cite the source for honeycomb framework, which is:

      Kietzmann, J.H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I.P., & Silvestre, B.S. 2011. Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media. Business Horizons, 54, 241-251.

    • emptytalk profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from India

      Thankyou, p10kabhijita for your comments. Interesting name I must say :)

    • p10kabhijita profile image

      Abhijit Aswath 

      6 years ago from India

      Great read emptytalk. Voted up and useful :)


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