How social networks are like bee hives

As people swarm onto social media in the billions, one thing that can help make it easier to understand and discover how to utilise it is to view social media kind of like a beehive. We don’t mean if you try and utilise it you will get stung, although depending on the type of people that you keep in your social media feed there is always that possibility, but rather social media operates like a beehive in a variety of interesting and unique ways. Learning how these ways work together can help us to understand better what social media is like and how to navigate it properly.

We can look at everything that is posted online as different kinds of flowers, whether it be those amazing cat memes which seem to thrive and spread on Facebook like a glorified weed or posts about businesses and marketing. No matter what your post is or what posts you follow, each post is a small flower in a vast field of online advertising. Everybody posts things that they want to have be seen and read, whether it is that meme or a business promotion.  Everything is designed, in theory at least, to attract attention just like how flowers attract the attention of bees.

As people are swarming to social media, this attraction becomes ever more important for individuals and businesses to learn how to utilise. Creating a post which gets many likes or many shares is the way for your particular Facebook flower to propagate itself. You may have heard the phrase concerning a given store, promotion, meme, or post that it is “buzzing” – this phrase is often used along with “generating a buzz” because the fact is online posts do act like flowers and the social media marketing is buzzing actively. If one post is particularly well-known or liked, it becomes very attractive and lots of users will follow it, share it, and like it.

This activity on the part of the users generates the buzz and is an essential element in spreading your particular flower. And also like how bees will spread the pollen of different flowers that they encounter and bring them back to their own personal hives, each Facebook group and even individual Facebook pages are like small different hives. As one individual in the hive likes a post or repost, soon all the members of that hive get to see and share in it. This can lead to them taking it back to their personal pages where the post can continue to propagate.

Something that is important if you intend to use social media to advertise to the hives is to make sure that your advertisement is specialised to reach certain groups and types of people. Just like flowers know they must be visually attractive and also smell pleasant, your posts must be something people both want to see and to share with others. Creating a post that can be viewed as offensive may well be attractive to some hives to share; however, as it is shared across Facebook you may find that some swarms are angrier about what you have posted, so keeping your posts upbeat and positive is a great way to maximize spreading and minimize threat.