So how to start a social networking site of your own?
When you are equipped with the right tools, you don’t have to be technology-savvy, you can still build your own social networking site with all the modern features and technologies such as instant messaging (IM), video chatting, commenting, liking, saving, and sharing.
Actually you can build just about any type of social medias if you use the tools below, and you are willing to devote time and effort to nurture your own social media.
Tools to build your social networking site
- The easy and quick way to get your own social networking site built is to use SocialEngine Cloud. You can see your network with the similar appealing features of many popular social medias in a few minutes. Sign-up for free trail.
- If you need to make custom changes down the road, SocialEngine PHP may suit your needs better. By downloading the PHP source code, you can create a social network on your own server, customizing it using hundreds of themes and plugins. You have the total source code access and data ownership. Sign-up for free trail.
Below are 12 important strategies to start a social networking site with the right tools.
No success comes overnight. To start a successful online community requires a lot of time and effort. Be patient for your user base to grow. Don’t assume people will flood to your site once it is built. A lot of ingredients work together to make an online community successful. Reach out to new and old users, satisfy their needs and make everyone of them a new channel for more new users.
A measure for a successful social networking site is to have thousands and thousands of people participating activities on various topics on a daily basis. This is the hardest thing to achieve for any brand new social media, but it is possible when you could stay focused on growing your community.
Choose a niche community
There are tons of niches you can choose from as your online community’s focused interest. You can build your site around a hobby or an activity. After determine who your perspective users are, for example, you choose to serve “people who want to earn part-time income“, try to figure out what topics they are most interested in, what specific small niches they are passionate about, such as, get paid to emails, setting up the first blog for free, run an ebay store…. etc.
There may be some research work to do. The goal is to find out what specific topics resonate well with most of people in the specific community.
Many specific niches have already turned to be more saturated than you might think of, so the resolution is to branch down to even more specific niches where there are still rooms to grow. For example, online dating community is very saturated already, you can choose to attract some certain groups of people, such as divorced parents, or singles 50+.
Choose the right features for your site
Don’t include every features you can find on the web into your site. It may cause negative user experience. Instead, add all the features your users wish to have. You can get these info from the conversations among members and their feedback.
Clearly state your purpose
When new members come to your online community, they will check out what and who your site is for. Make sure they can find this information easily on your site. You only want to invite the right people who share the same passion as you do on the topics.
Listen to community members
when you just started to build your own social networking site, you may hear a lot of suggestions, recommendations, requests, complaints…all of these are valuable insights from community members, they are extremely important resources for the continuing growth of your online community to meet and hopefully exceed the members’ expectations.
To satisfy your community members is the solely goal of your social networking site. When you have a happy community whose members enjoy spending time on the site, those members will be happily and actively invite more friends to your site, helping you spread the words to build up your user base. This is the most desired organic growth of your online community.
If your current users are happy about your social media service, they will naturally broadcast your site to their friends and families. More and more new members will join the site daily. Anticipate the traffic flood and make the sign-up as simple as possible for new members. An email and a name could be suffice for initial signing up. They can always fill out their profile later on.
It is crucial to make the communication among members as ease as possible. When members found any interesting topics, they should be able to jump right into the conversation, to participate, to share or to comment. It is desirable to create an easy to maneuver interface to allow members only to focus on finding new connections and starting new conversations or activies, instead of spending time clearing technical hurdles before sending out invites or replying to a post.
Give members more freedom
Setting up some rules are necessary to build up the most pleasant environment for most members. However, writing out too many rigid rules may hinder the growth of your online community.
Leverage Other Social Medias
To grow an online community takes time. It is understandable to only have a few people joining at the beginning. The focus here should be the consistent growth of user base.
If you are starting a niche online community, dig deep online to find other sites that may share the same interests: blogs, forums, other online communities. Reach out to the bloggers or communities to let people know about your new social networking site. Explain to them what they can expect from joining the community. leverage other social medias, or even borrow others’ email lists to broadcast your new community. A few new visitors each day may snowball to a few hundreds in the future, if they all love your community environment.
Use press release to broadcast
Press release can effective broadcast your newly built social media to broader audience. Wait till your user base reach to a certain level, say a few hundred people, you can usePRweb to showcase your site, or use other similar services such as 24-7 Press Release, or eReleases.
Learn from your rivals
If your niche has some successful social networks already, join these sites and learn from them. What they are good at? What improvement they should have? What are other members’ comments and requests about those sites’ service? All these time on investigating your rivals will help to improve your own online community.
Learn from the experts
Community Wins: 21 Thoughts on Building a Thriving Online Tribe is a 5 star rated book you can get free from Amazon. This book is for those who are seriously looking for help to get right into the right process of building an online community. It offers tons of practical tips in the workbook style. Best rated on this topic in Amazon.
If you are more interested in learning how to create sound revenue from your new social networking site, The Social Network Business Plan is a must-read. Check out the image below.
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