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How To Create A Social Network Platform In Five Steps

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Since the creation of Facebook, the social media industry has been booming. Mark was the needed trigger and catalyst that pushed entrepreneurs to think, take risks and create a social network that is new and fresh.

Have you ever thought of building your own social network? If the answer is yes, then this article has all the details that will help you create one.

But how do you start a social network? Do you have the needed resources to create a social networking site? In this article, we bare it all and give you the right steps to succeed.

1. Define Your Target Audience – know Your Community

Paying attention to this phase and focusing all of your work and energy at the start will pay off in the end. First, you must define the core and then develop a social network website based on these parameters and values. Ask yourself what is social networking service anyway? Defining your target audience by using as many filters as you can, will help you establish your social media network on a solid ground later. As we said this phase is crucial and by doing it right you will lower the risk level of failure significantly.  How to effectively define your target audience? You can choose between two approaches:

Online Research

The internet is a very good place for information. You can find, collect and analyze, demographics, psychographics and behavioral habits of large masses of people. There are a lot of available resources out there that give away the right data. You just need to dig deeper. Google must be your starting point which will lead you whenever you need to go to grab that valuable piece of information.  Online research can be time-consuming but it’s reliable and simple.

Test and learn

With this approach, you need a demo version prepared of your social media that you can test on real people and then prepare assumptions based on their behavior.  This approach requires, arranging test people, preparing various interview questions and providing testing equipment. The downside is that it has costs attached to it, the good thing is that you will have 100% reliable results.

How to create a social network when you have limited resources and what approach you should use? It really depends on the development process and what data you really need. Choose wisely.

2. Develop Growth Strategy Based on Your Users

How to build a social network in a market full of competitors? To build it from scratch you need to first prepare your growth strategy. Your target audience is defined, you have all of the important data but now you need to make them aware of your service. Sounds really simple but this part is tricky too. Fortune is analyzing interesting concepts in the article about The real way to build a social network that can be valuable when implemented in reality.

The need to define consistent growth strategy aligned with your target audience comes from the fact that the destiny of your social network commercial success depends on it.

There are two things you can do:

Begin Small and slowly expand your base. Remember Facebook started local and small. They used the information available in their high school yearbook. They expanded after the network became hugely popular. Entrepreneurs know how to take a calculated risk. Mark is an amazing entrepreneur and business conscious person. You should be one too. You can start your social network even with help of white-labeled instruments, like Ning.

Go Big – Focus your efforts on large demographic and your marketing on a larger base at the very start. Twitter used this strategy and became hugely successful.

Unless you have a unique solution or idea you should always begin small. It’s a less risky success strategy. The Go Big approach will expose your social network to other competitors as well, so growth will be tougher.

3. Follow these Social Network Development Check Points

What is social network site but a complex software that needs the right team to be successfully developed? After you get all the needed information about your target audience and strategy and you know the features and the look, it’s time to communicate everything to your team of developers. Before you do that you need to check you have everything prepared. Here are some checkpoints you need to reconsider before you get in touch with your development team:

The Money – The development process is all about the money. Instagram had a $ 300.000 development budget and Facebook around $500.000. It depends on the complexity of the features you are trying to develop. If you are going for a simple functionality then your cost will be lower, around $ 100.000. Have this in mind.

The Platform – Is it going to be web-based only social network or are you planning on developing a mobile app too? You need to know these things before the big talk with your development people. Use the data from your market research to decide what to do. How to launch a social network on the market is tightly related to the preferences of your target audience.

Data Base Volume – Traffic Estimation – It’s not possible to estimate your traffic with a 100% accuracy. The estimated number that will be close to what will happen in reality will be a valuable info to your development team. Here are some database options you can use:

–    Use MySQL or PostgreSQL for your structured data.

–    NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB for a high-load and high traffic surges

Base your choice on your estimation.

4. Use Minimal and Simple Social Network UX Design

How to design a social network that will be user-friendly and functional?

Keep it minimal and simple. Why these two rules exist? Because users want to make a social network that is all about them, not you. The user experience matters. Create your own network that cares about their journey and the value they get out of it. Flashy social network designs like HI5 and Myspace did not seem to go very well on the market. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have one thing in common which is user-oriented design and ease of use. Online tools can help you too. For instance, Ning has a simple drag and drop builder that can save you a lot of time.

Here you can check a few steps needed to create your own social network. There are basic elements that you must think of before you start defining your social network front end. You must think of:

  1. The elements of a standard profile
  2. Chat options and features
  3. News Feed design
  4. Connect Buttons
  5. Engagement Buttons
  6. Comment Section Areas
  7. Social Groups options
  8. Setup Page Design

The UX design can be tricky. You must make sure your social network provides user-centric and enjoyable experience for your target audience. Consistency across all of the parts of your social network is a must. Heavy investment into quality app architecture is something you have to be prepared on time financially and structurally.

5. Promote Your Social Network Effectively

After all, is said and done and you have the final product in your hands, it’s time for promotion. Follow the AIDA marketing model. It’s an acronym used in marketing and it stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. Following these steps will help you communicate with your target audience in a way that better respond to their needs and desires. Implementing the basics of this model in your digital marketing strategy can do wonders. It may even have some AI within, as we are confidently moving to the computer powered world.

The final goal is to monetize your efforts in the market properly. Combine your passion with money earning:

  1. Advertising on your platform – banners, sponsored posts, sponsorships, brand mentions.
  2. Cooperation with other companies and influencers via affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing is a well-known monetization way;
  3. Sell digital products (like e-books, games, software, music, apps) and physical goods (paper books, electronics, craft, food);
  4. Event organizing: charging for participation or sponsorship;
  5. Freelance services like training, coaching, consulting;
  6. Donations – “Donate” button could be a good way of passive income;

Few concrete digital marketing solutions you can do to promote your social media network better:

  1. Build Your SEO strategy – SEO is equally important for social media network as to any other e-commerce site. There are a lot of experts on the market that can help you in building quality SEO strategy that will not cost you much but increase the ranking and the online exposure of your business.
  2. Use Lead Generation Tactics – Build a landing page and give free access to some premium features for free. This will help you build your database with leads which you can use later for newsletters and future cool updates about new functionalities. You may even try recent chatbots marketing strategies.
  3. Use another social network for promotion – Use your followers base to dig deeper and find out about their friends on other social media. Ask them to invite them manually. This means that you have to set an automatic invite system that can invite friends based on their email or social media profile. Facebook implemented this tactic for so long and later all of the popular social media networks did the same. It will really help you in building your community.
  4. Find the perfect name that will define social networking – Analyze popular names for social networks, find what is the best fit for your business and use it in the marketing campaign. The name is an equally important element of your marketing strategy.

Final Thoughts

Developing your own social network, it’s a process that can last up to six months at least. Following the five steps will let you slowly and on time transition from each phase. What is social networking service without their users? You know the answer, nothing. In every phase, always have in mind the needs of your target audience. Never forget that.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.

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Unilever Turns Up the Heat on Facebook & Google Over Tech’s ‘Unintended Consequences’

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Unilever has issued a stern warning to digital platforms including Facebook, Google, and YouTube: do more to improve transparency and clean up the “swamp” of fake news, exploitative, and socially divisive content, or be cut off from its multi-billion dollar digital advertising budget.

CMO Keith Weed recently spoke at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting held in Palm Desert, Calif. CNBC quotes him as saying, “We need to redefine what is responsible business in the digital age because for all of the good the tech companies are doing, there’s some unintended consequences that now need addressing.”

Two of the most important consequences being referred to include the threatening of safety of users, especially young children, and loss of trust by consumers and companies at large.

While it’s unlikely that Unilever will turn its back on the two largest digital platforms, Weed’s words matter because of the sheer amount of ad budget Unilever holds across its portfolio brands. MediaPost reports that in 2017, the company spent approximately $9.8 billion on marketing and advertising, a quarter of which went to digital.

Beyond the public denouncements, Unilever is also working with IBM to develop a blockchain with which the company can more effectively reduce ad fraud via a record of what media is purchased and how it is delivered.

A separate MediaPost article shares YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s response to Weeds comments on Monday. In her own statement at Recode’s Code Media conference, she assured,
“We want to do the right set of things to build [Unilever’s] trust. They are building brands on YouTube, and we want to be sure that our brand is the right place to build their brand.”

Recent efforts we’ve seen in support of this include significant updates to its Creator Program policy. Further, in light of the recent Logan Paul controversy involving a video in which a suicide victim was filmed inside a Japanese forest, the company has suspended running ads on his channel, per Ad Age.

While brand safety is a concern on the minds of many marketers, Unilever’s public comments this week indicate that brands are viewing the issue with a much broader lens, and seriously questioning the role these platforms play in people’s everyday lives, beyond the world of advertising. In this important cultural moment, people are looking to brands and platforms to assume responsibility and be proactive to keep their spaces safe, trustworthy, and suitable for communities.

To further explore the overarching question of how technology, including digital platform giants, can be used to bring us closer together versus further apart, join us at SMWNYC April 24-27. Register today and save 20%.

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Facebook’s Next Step in Building Community: $10M in Grants

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Facebook has made several important announcements as of late the support its mission to create more “meaningful communities.” The latest? Investment in a newly announced Community Leadership program designed to support its community-building leaders through a variety of residency and fellowship opportunities that offer training, support, and funding.

Here’s how it will work: Facebook will name five “community leaders in residence” and provide up to $1 million each to fund their proposals, in addition to providing them with the opportunity to attend a customized leadership development training session.

Moreover, Facebook will select 100 individuals to join its fellowship program and receive up to $50,000 each for a “specific community initiative.” They’ll also participate in four in-person gatherings during which they will have the chance to meet and collaborate with other fellows.

Another key initiative in the works? Expanding Facebook’s “engineering team for community safety,” which is headquartered in London. In particular, the company hopes to double the number of employees focused on such efforts including detecting and stopping fake accounts, protecting people from harm (e.g harassment and scams), and making it easier to report content, by the end of 2018.

Further, Facebook outlined new tools for group admins, including page personalization options (e.g. color and the ability to pin announcements to the top of the page), the ability to create and share group rules; and more features to monitor Group Insights.

Outside of its Communities Summit, but along the theme of ensuring time on the platform is time well spent, the company also confirmed last week it was testing a downvote button that would allow users to provide feedback on comments in particular. The downvote button is being tested within a limited group of U.S. users for the time being.

This is not to be confused with a “dislike” button, but rather a more “lightweight way for people to provide a signal to Facebook that a comment is inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading”—this according to a Facebook spokesperson quoted in TechCrunch.

Here is what the button looks like in action:

Image via TechCrunch.

As the screenshot depicts, the user will have the ability to select whether the post was found to be “offensive,” “misleading,” or “off topic,” the choices aimed to help guide Facebook’s course of action with respect to the particular piece of feedback.

Forbes adds that, the downvote option in its test mode only applies to public posts as opposed to Group posts or the Pages of public figures. It also doesn’t affect the ranking of the post and the number of downvotes a post gets won’t be publicly shared.

These initiatives by Facebook to reverse some of the negative perceptions of its role in society come at a critical time as brands and citizens alike are putting more and more pressure on the world’s leading tech platforms to course-correct their products for the safety of their users. Just this week, Unilever threatened to yank ad dollars from Facebook and Google due to the company’s growing dissatisfaction with their overall impact on society.

“We cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online,” stated Unilever CMO, Keith Weed, to the BBC.

Learn about Facebook’s increasingly complex role in society by joining SMWNYC April 24-27. The conference will offer multiple sessions designed to explore where brands and platforms fit into tech’s future in our world. Register today to secure your pass.

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5 Ways Cryptocurrency Can Help Entrepreneurs in 2018

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Cryptocurrency has revolutionized the way we transact value, invest our savings and raise capital with its decentralised digital cash system. Blockchain technology is a once-in-a-lifetime invention; never before in history have we been presented with such a breakthrough in financial technology. In 2018, entrepreneurs are well positioned to become early adopters of blockchain technology.

1. Raising capital

Cryptocurrency has disrupted the way early stage companies raise capital. With initial coin offerings, startups around the world can raise money quickly and cheaply from a wide pool of global investors. The valuation of a company is almost immediately reflected by the market, a process that has traditionally been challenging for early stage businesses. Shares are issued as tokens and tradable almost immediately, bringing large amounts of liquidity to the company.

Related: IPOs Are Boring But You Must Keep an Eye on These 9 Initial Coin Offerings

This new approach to raising capital has changed the world and enabled the best technical talent to build their companies at high speed. In 2014, a teenager from Canada called Vitalik Buterin raised money for his startup, Ethereum, through an initial coin offering. He wanted to improve on Bitcoin’s blockchain and create a platform for people to build unstoppable applications. With just a whitepaper and a vision, he was able to successfully raise $18 million for his new blockchain, which was valued at over $100 billion as of January 2018.

2. Transacting value

Cryptocurrency enables us to transact value between peers without a centralized authority. It provides a cheaper, faster and more efficient alternative to traditional payment networks. As a company, accepting cryptocurrency payments is becoming increasingly efficient, saving on fees and bringing faster settlement. Soon, startups will no longer need to go through the long process of setting up a business bank account to receive and distribute funds. In 2014, Overstock.com became the first retailer to accept bitcoin, receiving over 800 orders worth $126,000 in bitcoin in the first 22 hours. It has since amassed a $403,000 portfolio of cryptocurrency.

Related: 5 Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs Serious About Cryptocurrency

3. Investing for the future

For entrepreneurs, cryptocurrency may be the investment opportunity of a lifetime. Never before in history have retail investors had investment access to high growth early stage companies. Traditionally, venture capital funds and private angel investors have held monopolies on access to investment in the world’s best technical talent. Cryptocurrency provides a gateway for anyone in the world to invest in the world’s most exciting technology, allowing retail investors to own a basket of high growth companies. For example, through the decentralized method of blockchain investment, teenager Erik Finnman was able to invest in Bitcoin in 2011, becoming a Bitcoin millionaire at age 18. These types of investment stories would not be possible with traditional private venture capital fundraising.

Related: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Anymore

4. Developing on the blockchain

The blockchain offers powerful infrastructure for companies to run their technology and create entirely new business models in a trusted way without a centralized authority. Blockchain technology is already revolutionizing the way startups create value. The Ethereum platform allows companies to build unstoppable blockchain applications quickly and for free. One example of a company leveraging the Ethereum blockchain is OmiseGO, a payments company that is using blockchain to provide banking services for the world’s 2 billion unbanked population. Blockchain technology is a cost-efficient way of building decentralized applications that can scale to a global population.

Related: 6 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know About (and None of Them Are Bitcoin)

5. Joining the blockchain community

The blockchain community offers access to some of the world’s best entrepreneurs, who are actively investing, advising and building upon the blockchain. Telegram, Facebook, WeChat, Slack and WhatsApp groups have proved popular in building communities of decentralized blockchain investors who can communicate with each other on a daily basis. Many large investments in early stage technology companies can be coordinated within minutes, a process that would traditionally take months in traditional venture capital. For example, in 2017, Brave’s Basic Attention Token sale sold out of its $35 million offering within 30 seconds. The blockchain community offers a strong sense of purpose with all members committed to a common goal of advancing blockchain technology to global adoption.

Related: How Digital Wallets and Mobile Payments Are Evolving and What It Means for You

Cryptocurrency provides a platform for entrepreneurs to raise capital quickly, cheaply and efficiently. Entrepreneurs can transact value through the blockchain at high speed with limited setup costs and invest in high growth technology companies at an early stage. Platforms like Ethereum allow entrepreneurs to build decentralized applications to a global audience for free. The blockchain community offers access to some of the top entrepreneurs, engineers and investors in the world and in 2018, cryptocurrency will continue to provide a viable means for entrepreneurs to create value in the world.

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7 Ways to Get Recruiters and Job Offers to Come to You

Entrepreneur

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“You are your own brand, and you need to build that brand and promote it as much as possible. It is important that you start building your brand online, because this is where employers are going to be looking for potential employees,” suggests Dima Midon, an expert from TrafficBox. Use all of the online tools at your disposal, particularly LinkedIn, which is a professional network that allows you to really promote yourself as a professional, and someone who is an expert in your field. This is a great tool for job seekers. Make sure that you keep your profile up to date, especially when it comes to contact information, so when an employer searches you, they will be able to contact you if they are interested in learning more.

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