Step by Step Guide on how to Create a Social Network from Scratch

social network

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.

Why should you create a Social Media Platform?

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.

Different Type of Social Networking sites you can make

social network

 

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:

Social Communication:

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.

Entertaining:

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.

Business

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.

Dating

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.

Elements of a Perfect Social Networking Site

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.

Friendship connection

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.

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

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.

Chat

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.

File Transfer

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.

Deferred Reading

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.

Step by Step Guide on how to Set up a Social Networking Site

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:

1: Prototyping
2: Information architecture
3: Technical project
4: Interface design

Site Development

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.

Stabilization

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.

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.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is the CEO of MediaOne, a leading Asia digital agency. He comes packed with 2 decades of international digital marketing experience. In his spare time of maybe 20 minutes a day, he loves coaching, blogging about all things digital and trying to figure out how to make his dog do the roll.
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September 09, 2019

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