Social media websites are everywhere, and they’re huge. Facebook alone has around 2.7 billion active monthly active users, and considering the global population is estimated at around 7.7 billion people, that’s an impressive target audience on this social media website alone.
Not only that, but social networking websites attract celebrities, influencers, brands, organisations, and even government institutions wanting to connect with audience members better. With numbers like these, it’s not really surprising that many are looking to create a social network and gain at least part of the benefits it could potentially bring.
Here’s how you can build a social media site.
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First, Establish the Type of Network You Want
Did you know there are different types of social networking sites? If you go through the list, it’s easy to see each platform has a different set of goals it uses to guide itself through deciding features. Some are designed to encourage user interactions, others have a more informational purpose and work on allowing like-minded people to find each other online.
Choosing the type of social network website you want to build is something you should work on from the beginning, as the decision will end up guiding you through the entire development process.
We can categorise social media sites as follows:
- Media sharing sites, like YouTube or TikTok
- Career-focused or business sites, such as LinkedIn
- Forum/informational sites, such as Reddit or Quora
- Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram
- Niche social media networks, such as Academia.edu for education, or dating platforms like Match.com
Some of these sites may seem surprising since most people tend to associate social media sites with giant platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
But Facebook and Academia.edu don’t seem to have a lot in common, so how come they’re both considered the same type of website?
It all has to do with what the user can do on these sites. Granted, the lines get blurred a lot when you look closely at most modern sites, but the general rule of social media networks is that they allow users to create, share, and directly interact with content. That’s the driving factor behind these websites, and why people love them so much and spend hours scrolling through a news feed.
You’re not just going on a news site to read articles. On a social media site, you can write, share your photos, direct message a brand, and more. You’re a consumer and creator of content at the same time.
Deciding the type of social media platform you want to develop can help all the other pieces of the development process fall into place, such as establishing a target audience or even choosing the platforms’ unique features.
What Does the Development Process Look Like?
Developing a social network is often more complicated than people think, both in terms of conceptualising the social media website, and taking care of its functionalities.
Remember, a social media network is not just a website with content on it. It needs to enable the user to take a variety of different actions through which they can interact with other users. Some things you’ll need to consider include:
Who Your Target Audience Is, and What They Want
Even if you have the concept or the type of social media platform you want to build clearly defined in your mind, much of the decisions regarding actually creating your social network site must be taken based on what users need or want.
For instance, let’s assume you want to create an informational social media site that can allow a local audience to find frank reviews on craft beers. You need to consider:
- Who is your target audience, in terms of its size, demographics, expectations, etc?
- What they need to get from your site – such as reviewing, adding their pictures, etc.
- What unique features that are absent on other similar sites would your target appreciate or want from you
Building a social network site must be done with a clear audience in mind if you want the result to be something consumers love.
Your Development Team
Developing a social network is a team effort because there are many different layers to the process. In the end, you want to ensure you are offering a great user experience to your audience members.
The big roles to fill in your development team can include:
- UX designer
- UI designer
- Marketer and PR specialist
Building a social network from scratch is also a lengthy endeavour, even if you are working with a great team.
Create a Marketing Strategy
A social network platform that’s just been launched must have a good marketing strategy around it to ensure it can reach its target audience. By working with a good marketer or PR specialising in your development team, you can establish different steps to take advertising-wise, and create some buzz out of your new social media site.
The marketing strategy will be influenced by the type of site you have, and the target audience, but in general it could consist of the major digital marketing efforts we routinely see these days:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- PPC ad campaigns, etc.
Can We Help?
If you’re looking to create a social network website from scratch, Australian Internet Advertising can be a trusted partner to assist you every step of the way.
We’re happy to lend a hand to Sydney business owners with all their web development needs, and will bring technical know-how and creativity to the table every time. To find out more about our services and process, get in touch with us online, or give us a call at 1300 304 640 for a quick chat.