There are hundreds of social networks out there, but there’s always going to be room for more. This is because old networks will continue to lose their popularity and get replaced by new ones. Just look at what happened to Myspace and now Google+. Facebook could be next with all the controversies surrounding it.
The average internet use has 7.6 social media accounts. And people nowadays like to adapt to new networks early on. Therefore, if you create a new social network that is unique or provides a solution that your online users want, you can be certain that people will flock to it.
And if it continues to grow it can be a good source of revenue. The top ones generate millions of dollars every year.
So, if you want to start your own social network, check out all the tips I have shared below…
Decide on what you want it to achieve:
The first thing you must do is to decide on whether you want to create a social network that does everything or one that is very specific. An example of a social network where users can do anything is Facebook. You can post updates here, chat with people through both text and video, create groups, and so much more. This is one of the reasons why it is the most popular social network.
There are also more specialist social networks like Instagram and Pinterest where the number of things you can do is limited. Then there are also social networks like Goodreads and Yummly which target even smaller niches. But this doesn’t stop them from having millions of users.
So, decide on whether you want to create a do it all network like Facebook or a more specific one like Goodreads.
A great way to pick the right option is by conducting a survey. In it ask questions like what social networks people are currently active on, if they plan to stay active on these for long or if they are looking for a replacement and then ask them questions about the features of their ideal network.
The answers from here will help you build a social network that succeeds.
Create a strategy:
Once you know the type of social network to create you can begin designing a strategy. This should include both a short-term plan and a long-term plan. For the short term plan your strategy must detail the core things you need to set up to get you off the ground and attract the first few users. The long-term strategy should detail the things you will do to scale the site once more people join.
Make sure you use the data from your survey to decide on what features to include.
Set it up:
It can make things a lot easier for you.
This is because Drupal has various features like individual user permissions, custom content types, ability to easily create multilingual sites, a flexible taxonomy system and very powerful security that make it ideal for developing social media sites.
You can always start from scratch or use another CMS like WordPress, but they will only make things harder. This is because they don’t readily offer all the features that Drupal does.
Conduct a beta test:
After your social network is set up, you should immediately conduct a beta test first. So, release a beta version and ask people to try it out. You can even hire beta testers. They can point out all the mistakes and help you iron out bugs. This will ensure that you suffer the least hiccups when your site is released to the public.
Get people to sign up:
After the beta test is done and you have fixed all of the bugs you can open up your social network to the public.
But remember that no matter how wonderful your social network is people won’t automatically sign up for it. As I mentioned earlier there are hundreds of social networks out there. You need to beat this competition and get people to check out your social networks instead of the ones they are already active on.
So, design a good PR strategy that will get people to sign up. This strategy should include…
Influencer marketing: You should reach out to influencers in the tech niche and ask them to check out your social network. If they are happy with what they see they will inform their followers.
Reach out to news publications: Reach out to top news publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, The Next Web, etc. and find out if they would be interested in collaborating on a post with you.
Email everyone who took the survey: Email everyone who took part in your survey and ask them to check out the social network you created specifically for them.
These three strategies will give your social network that initial influx of subscribers. After they bring in results you can move on to expanding more techniques.
Follow the above tips and set up your social network. They will ensure that you set up a site that people will want to sign up to. But be warned that this is a time-consuming process that will take a lot of time. So, you need to be patient as it can take months and sometimes even years before your site turns successful.
How did you set up your social network? Would you like to share some of your top tips? Please leave your comments below.
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