The social networking industry is now wide enough to welcome new competitors. Your options are huge if you have the right people on your side and a great idea for a new network. Here are some of the things that you should consider if you are trying to build a social networking web site.
The Purpose of the Social Network
The first thing that your social network needs is a purpose. There are already too many general social networks, and if yours does not appeal to a certain niche, then you will build it for nothing! You will not be able to compete with the leaders in the field without innovation and a huge budget. You likely do not have the ability to compete with the billions of dollars and government connections that Facebook has, so your best bet is to take over a part of the market that they do not control.
Your Technical Expertise
Do you have an in house team to make a social network with a feature set that will attract your target audience? If you do not, do you have the budget to outsource the features that you want within your network? You must take stock of the skill set that your team has. The skills that you do not have you must find. There are definitely ways to get the features that you need; however, you must be sure that you have the money to get through the entire process.
There are also many add-ons that you can simply put on your social site a-la-carte. Many open source web app platforms give the Internet at large a chance to showcase their skills and passions. You should take full advantage of this expertise. If you join a few social networks that are based around open source tech, you will find the newest applications before anyone else has them. If you do not have the expertise to create yours from scratch, this is a great way to start your social network with the best features!
What audience are you going to target? Even if you want to expand into a mainstream audience, you need to start with a niche audience. You can find this audience in niche-oriented websites. Becoming a respected part of these communities can do well towards building your initial audience.
People will not join your social network just because it is there. They will be even less likely to join if you try to hard sell them in their forum. This part of your marketing will take time. It is essential that you have all of your ducks in a row when it comes to your site functionality. The web host that you choose makes a huge difference in the functionality of your site, so make sure that you have Drupal web hosting that enhances your performance.
Getting the Ad Support
In order to pay for the bandwidth and the resources that you will need for your social network, you may need to solicit support from advertisers. This is one of the best ways to get the support that your website will need. You also give your social network users the opportunity to create a relationship with good companies.
Although you may feel the temptation to join forces with every advertiser who wants to give you money, this is a bad move. You will do much better for the longevity of your network if you join forces with businesses that your target audience will appreciate.
Your Web Host
The web host that you choose will make a huge difference in how people view your social network. Having a great Drupal web hosting service on your side is especially important at the start of your site. You must be sure that your site is up all the time so that people can access their information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A social network cannot afford to lose this functionality. Make sure that you verify that the web host that you choose has security features in place that will protect your uptime.
Social networking can be a great business if you have the time and the inclination. If you train yourself to follow the tips above, you will have a great chance at building a social network that will thrive in the Internet world of the future.