What Brands Need To Know About The 'Social Media Honeycomb'

Big brands like McDonald’s have learned the hard way that social media has incredible power to shape a company’s reputation.

A team of researchers at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University recently published a paper on social media strategy for companies, and put together this handy chart: 

Social media honeycomb

Photo: Jan Kietzmann

Some of their key findings:

  • Identity: People share personal information freely on some social media, but care how it’s used by other parties. Different networks are distinct in how they approach these preferences, which companies need to keep in mind. 
  • Conversations: The pace of a conversation is much faster on Twitter than that on a series blog posts, which means that the tone can quickly change. Firms need to be conscious about when and how they engage, and when a response is expected or appropriate.
  • Reputation: Social media platforms allow users to identify each others’ standing and reputation, by for example, followers on Twitter or YouTube views. Companies may want metrics that measure the quality in addition to the quantity of engagement.

At the end of the day, companies cannot completely control the conversation. We’ve entered an era where consumers have more control than ever before — which means that companies need to be more transparent than ever.

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