B.Simone – The One of a Kind Digital Celebrity/Influencer & the Honeycomb Framework

B.Simone, a comedian, recording artist, digital celebrity, influencer and promoter residing in Atlanta, Georgia, conducts a narrative of being a funny, single, and angry African-American woman who is attractive to appeal to female audiences. She is recognized by Nick Cannon’s American TV show on MTV “Wild N Out”, and other famous celebrities and uses this platform to promote herself, her beliefs and other products given to her by sponsors. B.Simone is an influencer because young females can relate to her without feeling judged or embarrassed.


Although with the help of other celebrities as well as the popular TV show gives her a promotional platform, she also engages with other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, to share her content with the world. On Instagram, she has 2.7 million followers– 69.4K followers on Twitter– 167K subscribers on YouTube– and about 300K followers on Facebook. Her presence on Instagram includes not only a sneak peek into her personal life, but also posting funny videos, promoting her beauty line (beautybyBSimone), promotion of other products and clothing, sharing her hashtag “#BSimoneTone” and videos of fans imitating her trademark tone of voice, as well as videos of her comedy shows and more. B.Simone also recently partnered up with the Zeus Network, and now promotes her own TV show on her Instagram page. Her presence on Twitter includes the promotion of her TV show also, as well as promoting her other social media pages, content and current videos, but her main focus is sharing/re-sharing her personal content and communicating with fans. On B.Simone’s YouTube page, you will find her music, funny challenges, vlogs, tutorials, etc. Finally, her Facebook presence involves B.Simone reposting videos from her other platforms, photos, memes, and reminders about her upcoming events and shows.

Social media is an excellent and proficient tool to promote yourself as well as brands and other products. According to a concept known as the Honeycomb Framework, the functionality and usage of social media can be broken down into 7 building blocks that can help understand user experience and implications for organizations [1]. These building blocks consist of identity, presence, conversations, sharing, relationships, reputation and groups [2]. Not only does this model help us understand the functioning of social networks, this model provides elements that should also be considered when attempting to design a social software [2]. The first building block of the honeycomb model is identity, which is something that represents the user. Presence signifies knowing if a certain identity is online or not [2]. Conversations are resources for communication and the extent to which users communicate with one another [2]. Sharing is the extent of how users exchange, share and distribute content [1]. Relationships are the extent to which users are connected with one another. Reputation is the extent of how users know the social standing, and also the content of others [1]. Groups are how users manage, maintain and form communities with others users who have similar interests [2].

In terms of the honeycomb model itself, the identity block is in the center because it is “the most basic requirement for any social system” [2]. Not to mention that elements of conversation and sharing reinforce the creation of an online virtual identity, because a user’s ‘reputation’ is influenced by what the user says, posts, and by whom the user interacts with [2]. The importance of the other building blocks of this model are essential, but not mutually exclusive and do not all have to be present in the chosen form of social media. Some social media sites utilize more blocks than others, and some sites only focus on a few. Social media systems normally use three or four of the elements, while focusing on one or two [2]. For example, for my influencer B.Simone, her presence on YouTube in terms of the honeycomb framework focuses on the ‘sharing’ element because the main purpose is to share, post and watch videos [2]. YouTube also utilizes the ‘identity’ aspect because users are able to make profiles with their favorite videos [2]. On Twitter, B.Simone utilizes the ‘conversation’ element by taking the time to communicate with her followers/fans by liking and retweeting posts from her fans. Twitter is the social media system that is more about ‘conversation’ than ‘identity’. Her Facebook page creates a ‘group’ because people have the opportunity to follow and like the page and participate in conversations with others who also are fans of B.Simone. B.Simone’s Instagram page also demonstrates the elements of ‘sharing’ and ‘conversation’ because they are visible on the content the user posts. Online users, including B.Simone and other influencers, effectively communicate, interact and collaborate with one another by not only sharing products, events and other ideas, but also their culture, preferences, interests and context of life [2]. B.Simone collaborates with other digital celebrities/influencers on Instagram about doing skits and videos together. Instagram live is also an outlet that is used for conversation, but also ‘presence’ because users know that the person filming live is online, and users can see other internet browsers tuning in online as well.

Identity may be the center block because it is the most basic requirement for social media systems, but I also believe that reputation is an important building block of the honeycomb framework. It is essential to know how people think of you in order to appeal to your followers, and for your content to be considered relatable and credible.

Bibliography:

[1] Oktavia, Tanty, Harco Leslie Hendric Spits Warnars, Suruto Adi. “Integration Model of Knowledge Management and Social Media for Higher Education.” Telkomnika 15. June 2017. https://search-proquest-com.unh-proxy01.newhaven.edu/docview/1925417239/fulltextPDF/AB53449094C54623PQ/5?accountid=8117

[2] Pereira, Roberto, Baranauskas, M. Cecilia C., Pereira da Silva, Sergio Roberto. “Social Software Building Blocks: Revisiting the Honeycomb Framework.” July 2010. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224827639_Social_software_building_blocks_Revisiting_the_honeycomb_framework