Creating your own social network might be easier than you think. Talking about creating a platform such as Facebook where users meet to share knowledge, discuss, dialogue, and work together.
Members can reach out to each other via private messages and where social interactions can be threaded through reactions and comments. It’s not that hard to put together a social network that gives every member a chance to air their views on almost anything and be heard.
Let’s just say there’s no limit as to the range of functionalities that you can throw into the platform and come up with something totally different from Facebook or any other social media platform out there.
Perhaps the question to ask is why shouldn’t you create a social media network? You have all the reasons in the world to set up one, but what’s even more important is the fact that you can. You don’t need any prior web development skills to get it done. Just follow this tutorial to the letter, and you’re good to go.
Ever taken a minute to find out how much Mark Zuckerberg makes from Facebook? The figure should be enough motivation to make you hop on this project like a pogo stick. If not for anything else, then it’s for the money bit of it.
If you’ve ever thought of creating something that may leave an impact into the lives of its users, then look no further than this project. A few hurdles do stand in the way, like dealing with the issue of finances, particularly at the initial stages of rolling out the project.
It goes without mentioning the issue of privacy and so forth. In other words, you need to be tough on this one and exercise a lot of patience if at all you want to make it a success.
In other words, you’re not just going to set up a social media platform and the next thing you know, you’re filling your pockets with money. You have to start small and take baby steps as you inch towards your goals.
You’re not thinking about creating a Facebook replica. No one wants another Facebook or Twitter when the platforms are already killing it in their areas of specialisation.
Plus social networking sites can take so many forms. You even have the option to work on your own idea and offer something that’s completly out of this world.
In a broader sense, though, here are the different types of social networks:
This is the standard version of a social media platform. With this idea, you’ll be simply creating a social media platform such as Facebook where people add each other to establish an online connection. These people don’t necessarily need to know each other in real life, not yet.
This type of social network encompasses all platforms that unite users based on their common form of entertainment. What you’ll be doing is bringing like-minded people together with the common goal of getting them to share ideas and hold discussions.
A social networking platform can also take the form of business. With this approach, you’ll be creating a platform that will be striving to accommodate business people with common commercial interests. This could be the people that are looking to improve their number of sales or business people that just want to have a word with each other and figure out how to better their business operations.
Lastly is the idea of a social networking platform that takes the form of a dating website. This option is increasingly becoming popular.
What you’ll be doing is creating an online platform that people can sign up and find their soul mate. You can even include a subscription plan that users pay to enjoy some of the advanced features you’re offering.
To create a perfect social network, there’re a few crucial elements that you have to factor into your general design, and they include:
Decentralisation: Perhaps you didn’t know, but it’s generally not a good idea to create a social networking platform that depends on the central infrastructure. In which case, you might want to consider using the P2P model.
Responsive: About 68 to 98 percent of your site’s users will be accessing it via a mobile phone. That means your social networking platform must be fluid enough to accommodate any screen size.
Security: A lot could go wrong if the security of your social networking platform is not perfected. Consider protecting the site through encryption, signature keys, and blockchain data storage.
No anonymity: You have to make sure that the bulk of the people signing up for an account are humans, not ghosts. So at least have a working verification process in place that you can use to minimise the number of people creating fake accounts.
You could use your users’ phone number or have them scan their identity documents or something.
Features of a Great Social Network
You’re not the only person conceptualising the idea of setting up your own social network. I can be there are thousands of you out there.
You want the platform you create to compete effectively. You want it to stick out and hoard as many social media users as possible.
Take no chances and make sure the platform you created addresses these needs. That said, here’s a list of features that you might want to consider including in your site while setting it up:
Full-featured search bar
Your social media site must feature, among other things, a full-featured search bar for brands, groups, and people. The site you’re creating must make it easy for your users to find absolutely anyone they’re interested in.
If one of your users stumbled across a profile they like or let’s say they saw someone that they happen to know; they should be able to follow them with just a simple click of a button. This will enable them to see what’s going on with their social media connects from their newsfeed.
It’s through the newsfeed that you get to see your friends’ posts and everything. It’s where every updated piece of content shows up for all to see. You want to find out what’s happening with your friends? This is where you check.
The wall is where all the news or status updates of a person appear. As a user of a social media platform, this is where other users can come to find out more about you and what you’ve been posting. This could be anything, the links to the videos you’ve been watching, memes, written posts, videos, or photo galleries. Or let’s just say whatever floats your boat.
This is another important feature that you wouldn’t want to miss on your website. We’re talking of an instant messaging system that your social media users will be using to talk or text each other privately. Where a user isn’t comfortable to posts on someone’s wall, there should be an option to drop them a message privately.
Users should have a way of exchanging files online. When they’re communicating and need to share documents or media files, there should be a place where they can just click and get it done without giving it too much thought.
Your users should be able to save any of their friends’ posts for later reading when they’re indisposed or would want to refer back to it sometimes later in the future.
As you can see, developing a social networking site isn’t something you dive into without a proper plan and professional approach. It’s not easy, but if done right, the results you get will be totally worth all the effort and money you pumped in.
Now on to the Meaty part of this post, here’s a step by step guide on how to set up a Social Networking site in Singapore.
Step 1: Come up with an Original Idea
If your idea is to create another Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, then forget about it. There’s nothing original about this.
Think carefully about everything and carve your own unique approach. What are you willing to offer to users to attract them? How do you plan to stand out from the competition you have?
Your site must be totally unique, with an approach that’s both clear and useful to the users that you plan to attract.
Step 2: Come up with a Brilliant Name
You need a brilliant name for your social media network. The name should be easy to memorise and catchy at the same time. It should also define what your platform is all about in the simplest manner possible.
Step 3: Choose a Target Audience
Who do you think will be most excited about joining your social network? What do you reckon will be their age, level of success, profession, taste, and hobbies?
Step 4: The finer details of your social media network
Now that you’ve figured out the idea or the direction to take and which group of users you’ll be targeting, what next?
Well, you’ll have to prepare a detailed list of all the minor requirements. You have to plan everything, based on the idea that you have in mind and how you intend the site to look. Here are some of the things you’d want to address with this:
How do you want your design to look? What will be the colour of your website? What fonts do you intend to use? And so forth…
Function potential: This one takes into account the avatars you’ll be using, dialogue structures, and the virtual albums.
The search bar: How do you plan to structure the search bar? The point is to place it at a place where everyone can see.
The punitive measures you have for the people that don’t comply with the rules that you’ve installed in place. What are some of the principles that you wish to uphold? Do you demand that everyone that signings up with you uses their real name?
Step 5: Choose the Technology you’ll be using
This is a delicate situation and one you’ll want to tread more carefully. You have two options to choose from when it comes to this:
A canned template: If your budget is a bit low and you’re looking to set up a social network really quick, this might be the option to consider. The only limitation is that your website won’t have the unique factor in it.
Design One from Scratch by Hand-coding everything: This option is only limited by the amount of money that you’re willing to pump into the project. If you’re not a proficient programmer yourself, the least you could do is allocate a budget for it.
There exist so many programmers (among them us, MediaOne Marketing) that can help you bring the idea you conceptualized earlier on to life.
Planning and Handling the Designing bit of it
This is the point where you hire a professional designer or Information architecture to help you out. Again, you need a budget for it.
Here’s a list of things that you’ll want to be performed:
2: Information architecture
3: Technical project
4: Interface design
Once your designers have finalized their work, they should pass it to a developer you hired to hard-code it to life. If you can’t code it yourself, then consider hiring someone to help you out.
In which case, you have a better chance of creating an even better site if you hire an agency or a software development company to help you out. That’s because they have a team that they’ll be working with to speed up the whole process. Plus they must have a way to test out the system and make sure it’s free of bugs before handing it to you.
So if you can’t hire an agency for anything else, then at least do it for your peace of mind.
Even with proper testing and editing, your site will not achieve perfection right away. You have to keep on working on it, bit by bit until you’ve ironed out all the issues. You can publish a beta version of the site. But be sure to inform your users that you’re still in the process of testing the platform, and should they encounter an issue that they want you to address, they should not be hesitant to drop you a message.
Another option, an expensive one though, would be to hire a QA analyst to help you test the website from every possible angle. You should consider taking this approach if you’re more concerned about your first impression.
Commissioning the Platform
At this point, you’re free to go ahead and launch your website. There’s a process involved though, and it goes like this:
First, you have to configure your hosting platform. After which you can go ahead and load the system and make sure that you’ve configured everything exactly as they should be.
The next thing you do is to set up analytics tools and make sure you’ve configured them right. Lastly, go ahead and test everything and make sure it’s working properly before you can go ahead and start shouting at the top of the roof for your targeted users to come and sign up.
We live in a world where people love sharing what’s going on in their lives online. This trait fuels usage of social media platforms, as evident from the ever-increasing number of active users on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
These platforms’ global popularity makes them the perfect playground for digital marketers and brands that want to increase their market base and generate sales while at it. Earlier, we discussed how to create a social media network from scratch. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can use the available platforms to catapult your business to the next level of success.
Here are the best rapid social media growth hacks for businesses that you should consider embracing today.
Focus on One Platform First
Different social media platforms have varying audiences and features. Focusing on all the platforms will hamper your business growth. You won’t have enough time and resources to run successful campaigns on all the sites.
You are better off focussing on one platform first to learn the ropes then use the experience acquired to expand to other platforms that your target customers use to socialise with their peers.
The top five social media platforms today that you should consider joining and marketing your brand on are:
Familiarise yourself with how each function, the strengths and weaknesses to develop robust campaigns. Keep in mind that the ideal platform is not the one with the highest number mobile app downloads, but one where you can easily find and connect with people who are genuinely interested in your business.
Identify a Niche and Work on It
Social media marketing strategy is a must-have to rival your competitors and generate sales in 2022. Your goal should be to attract like-minded people and not random followers. The latter may have no interest in buying your product or service. Focussing on them is a pure waste of time and money.
Research to find communities that resonate with your brand and focus your marketing energies on them. For example, if you sell physical training shoes, advertise your brand on fitness Facebook groups. Simply put, identify the target audience and connect with them before the competitors.
The human brain is wired to look for a story in experiences. In the context of social media marketing, telling the target customers stories about how your brand was established, production processes, and the vision is one of the most effective ways of bringing them onboard.
Get comfortable telling stories and connecting them with the product or service you are selling. Countless brands have successfully grown their social media community by telling a fantastic tale that depicts the audience as heroes on a noble quest.
It’s not complicated. People relate to stories that positively represent them. Ask yourself, what can I offer to my followers on this platform to tell my brand’s story and connect with them? Focus on the three Fs: Fun, Facts, and Feelings.
The story will not always hit all the Fs; strive to hit at least two in every post regardless of the platform you publish it on. Monitor the engagement levels after posting to know which content best resonates with the audience.
More clicks and comments on posts that humorously describe your service or product mean that audience is OK with subtle humour. Be creative but be careful not to include jokes about sensitive topics such as religion and politics.
Embrace Influencer Marketing
Yes, your business is new, and you are on a tight budget, but that doesn’t justify your reason for trying to do everything yourself. Find social media influencers who are willing to push your brand on various platforms by posting content on their accounts. Give them incentives such as a commission for every sale they make via their affiliate link.
A recent study by Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that 90% of businesses today are aware of the potent power influencer marketing holds and often use it for brand awareness and lead generation.
The macro-influencers with millions of followers charge thousands of dollars per post. Unfortunately, most of them are not effective in generating sales because their community is not niche-specific. That is, the followers are often not interested in the brand.
They follow the celebrities to keep tabs on their daily lives. You stand a better chance of growing your brand in 2022 if you work with a network of micro-influencers whose followers have the characteristics of your target audience.
Before putting pen to paper, check whether they have promoted similar brands and the results achieved. Dig deeper into their understanding of influencer marketing and how the social media platform they are fond of works. Checking their background information will help you get value for money from the campaigns.
Save Time by Repurposing and Reposting Content
First, it’s not good to post the same content on every social media platform. Modern-day social media users have a distinct culture that’s different from the previous generation. The same conversation or content structured using the same style on different platforms won’t endear your brand to them.
Stand tall and make the distinct culture work in your favour by repurposing the content to blend with multiple social media platforms and their users. That calls for repurposing content or repacking it before sharing it on other networking sites.
For example, if you have a YouTube video that garnered many views and comments, convert it into an evergreen blog post and publish it on your website. Share its link on Twitter and Facebook to increase its visibility.
Alternatively, you can cut the video into snippets and post them on either Instagram Reels or TikTok. Each snippet should convey a different message to the audience.
In addition, to knowing which type of content works best on a particular social media platform, devise ways of repurposing it for other platforms. Full episode videos are perfect for posting on YouTube, while video clips and sound bites are best suitable for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Be sure to optimise the video titles, descriptions and captions by including the target words. Also, use hashtags to increase their visibility and discoverability.
Establish a Solid Social Media Marketing Team
Remember the benefits of having a team of micro-influencers on your side? You also need to have a solid in-house social media marketing team to help you come up with marketing campaigns.
If that’s not possible, outsource tasks to a reputable social media marketing agency. The agency will do all the heavy lifting for you, from analysing the target audience to creating and running the campaigns until the set goals are achieved.
Leverage Automation Tools
It can be cumbersome to post on multiple social networking sites manually several times a day. Unfortunately, that’s what digital marketers had to endure a decade ago. Today, there are many automation tools specifically tailored for social media marketing.
One such tool is HubSpot, which automates the process of posting updates on different social media networks. The tool further generates analytics reports with valuable information such as engagement level and reach to help you fine-tune your campaigns.
Concisely, leveraging automation tools saves time and streamlines the process of posting fresh updates on multiple social media accounts. They also guarantee consistency by enabling you to schedule posts to go live at specific times when the target audience is online on the said platforms.
There is a lot you can do with automation tools. Compare and contrast the features of each tool to find one that is user-friendly and matches your business goals.
Spice Up Your Posts with Emoticons
Emoticons or emojis are effective in spicing up social media posts. They breathe life to them by adding personality. Social media users are more likely to click, share, comment, or like a post with an emoticon than a cold post that appears hurriedly written.
The emoticon should resonate with the message and the emotions you intend to evoke. They will get your followers thrilled to read the content and take the desired action. So, please don’t shy away from dropping your favourite emoticon in the next post and watch it go viral.
Budget for Social Advertising
Yes, you can profit from social media marketing without paying a dime. But if you are serious about growing your brand and ramping up sales, consider having a social advertising budget. These paid ads are effective in increasing exposure and eventually sales.
Run the paid ads on platforms that your target audience uses. Virtually all the platforms have a paid ad program. Customise it to match your audience and the locations that you service.
Use the data you have about them, such as age, location, social class, level of education, and marital status, to customise the paid advertising campaign. The more focused the campaign is on a specific group of customers, the more successful it will be in generating sales.
However, we do not suggest that you start right away with a fancy budget. Look into your financial books to know the amount of money you can afford to spend on the ads.
Take baby steps to learn the ropes and evaluate the results. The decision to increase your allocation to paid ads should be based on the results achieved and projected potential.
Be 100% Authentic
The social media world is filled with brands that depict false information about their products and services’ capability. This kind of information offers short-term success but soon enough works against the brands when the truth is revealed.
Negative feedback can ruin your reputation, and it may take months for you to rebuild your brand. Therefore, strive to be 100% authentic in everything you do on social media. The posts should be a true reflection of your brand and not meant to create a false buzz.
Its authenticity will set your brand apart from the res. It will radiate your transparency and commitment to offer customers nothing but the best products or services. The customers spend time researching before buying, and their ability to sniff out a fake review is more laser-accurate than ever before.
Create and Share More Visual Content
Visual content gets more engagement than all other content formats on social media. It’s shared more, and rarely do articles with blocks of text only go viral. Short clips that are informative and entertaining have the highest potential of going viral.
Set aside time to create and share more quality visual content such as infographics and videos related to your business. If your budget allows, hire a professional visual designer to create stellar infographics and other forms of visuals for you.
For example, you can repurpose an evergreen blog post into an infographic. Post the infographic on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to encourage your followers to visit your site to learn more.
Focus on Establishing Cordial Relationships
The quality of relationships you establish with followers is reflected in the campaign results. Therefore, your content must be customised to resonate with their needs. Fill the information gaps and flaunt your products/services as the best options in the market.
You don’t always have to post visuals and links to articles. Take time to interact directly with the followers via a live session. Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for going live. The session can be anything from a Q&A session or a snippet of your office. The followers will be more willing to engage and do business with you if they see you genuinely care and want to know their feelings and expectations from your brand.
Use the comment sections to a have candid conversation with them about their concerns and needs. Engage! Engage! Engage! to transform followers into loyal brand ambassadors.
Desist From Using Too Many Hashtags
Hashtags will enhance visibility of your social media posts. Users can easily find content related to a specific hashtag by just searching or clicking on it. They enable brands to start conversations with followers.
Unfortunately, having too many hashtags in a post reduces its engagement level. Such an action has the same impact as including too many keywords in an article (keyword stuffing). It only annoys the followers but also confuses the social media algorithms. Limit yourself to 2-3 hashtags and make sure they are relevant to the post.
The Final Thought
This post should guide you on how to set up a professional social networking site. As you can see, there isn’t much involved. That’s not to say that it’s easy. What it means is that it’s something you can pull off if you put your thought to it.
We can be resourceful to your project, both in developing and marketing it. All you have to do is to visit our contact page at MediaOne Marketing and talk to us about it and let’s figure out how to bring it to life.