Here are examples of some successful (unfamiliar) ideas and concepts:
Kaboodle. A social network focused on people who love shopping. At the same time, the site does not sell anything, but is an ecosystem for the exchange of information, feedback, recommendations and tools for organizing purchases. Kaboodle boasts 2 million registered users.
Most Kaboodle members communicate using smartphones Ravelry
. This site is focused on knitters, weavers, spinners, designers and dyers - almost everyone who works with yarn and patterns. A great example of how to build a community
around a popular hobby. Ravelry has more than 400,000 registered users (1 million visitors per month), many of whom regularly share their experiences, ideas and inspirations.
The social network Ravelry is simple and minimalist, but captivates with its design Classmates.com
. A website
linking former and current classmates. This project was the first successful social network in America, and probably based on its example, Pavel Durov created VKontakte (the most popular social network in Eastern Europe).
Classmates.com would be much more popular if it were not for the controversial business model, fraud and self-will of the owners
These are just three striking examples of popular social networks
, sharpened for a specific audience. In fact, there are a lot of them, and in different countries there are niche sites that enjoy great success. Here are some of them:
- Care2 — healthy lifestyle, humanism and popularization of science.
- Dogster — playground for dog lovers with the ability to create a profile for your pet.
- Catster — same as Dogster, but for cats.
- Untappd — unites beer lovers who talk about the best bars in their area and around the world.
- Lost Zombie — social network for zombie lovers in movies, TV shows, comics, books and real life.
- BikerOrNot — unites bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts.
- LawLink — platform for lawyers, notaries and judges.
Social Network HoffSpace - a vivid example of a failed concept
The point is to find a unifying entity that not only appeals to many people, but is also capable of encouraging them to communicate. For example, actor David Hasselhoff has many fans, but they are unlikely to want to become members of the HoffSpace social network
just because it is named after him. And if they want, how long can they communicate on the life and work of their favorite actor?
Step 2: Choosing and checking the domain name
When you choose an idea and concept, you can ponder the name. Ideally, it should be one or two short words that are easy to pronounce and remember, like the names of Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp or iPhone. At the same time in the title it is desirable to somehow play up the idea
and concept, but it is not necessary.
More specific advice on what the ideal name of a social network should be, cannot be given, but it can be said how it should not be:
- violate copyrights (you need to check the domain and trademark, perhaps someone has already registered interesting names for you);
- be like the names of other social networks, sites, brands;
- have negative connotations (propagandize fascism, sexual discrimination, religious intolerance, etc.);
- deceive, for example, when the domain is called CatCommunity, but the site is dedicated to dogs or western lowland gorillas;
- associate with content 18+.
Step 3: Site Requirements
The list of site requirements is based on the needs of the target audience and analysis of competitors. Ideally, your social network
should stand out, provide additional features and bring about a WOW effect. To achieve this, consider the following things:
- user scenarios (how participants will use the site);
- design (fonts, colors, visual effects, design of the main page);
- functional potential (avatars, dialogs, virtual albums);
- the ability to store and retrieve data about other participants (the border between confidentiality and transparency of information);
- principles of using services and penalties for violations of the rules (temporary and permanent ban, prosecution through law enforcement agencies).
An important point in creating any social network is the development of the User Agreement. This document will protect you from liability in case of violation of the law by users or force majeure situations, so take it seriously. And better hire a lawyer, let him do everything.
Step 4: Technology stack
Sample Solution. Development with the help of special tools that allow you to use template solutions with minimal design and functionality settings. These can be themes for wordpress or white label solutions. This approach is cheaper, but with its help it is almost impossible to create a truly unique website.
Development from scratch. The best option if you want to stand out among competitors, creating a unique solution. It is more expensive and longer, but the return on this approach is much greater. All successful social networks are designs from scratch.
Step 5: Planning and Design
At this stage you need to develop:
- information architecture;
- interface and design concept;
- plans for MVP, prototype;
- technical design.
If you decide to hire a company to outsource, then these things need to develop with them. If you decide to use template solutions, most of these things will already be solved before you (template developers), you just have to choose a specific template and personalize the design.
Step 6: Development and Testing
Depending on the approach, the development process
may take from an hour to a year of real time. If you do everything yourself, do not forget about testing the site
. This is important, because buried or slow projects push people away and create a negative reputation, which will be very difficult to fix in the future - many companies had to rebrand to launder their project.
Step 7: Commissioning
This stage includes the following:
- Setting up hosting. Ensure that the operator and the dedicated channel are able to withstand heavy loads or the service can increase power when needed.
- Download and configure the project. If you do not know how to do this, ask for help from the hosting platform specialists, usually it is included in the cost of even the most basic package.
- Configure analytics tools. You need to connect Google Analytics and Google tools, as well as Google My Business to promote.
- Final testing. Pre-release site health check, preferably with maximum loads and a large number of users.
Step 8: Support Team
For the site to function
normally after launch, you need to take care in advance to create a support service that will handle system maintenance, catching errors and fixing them. And since this is a social network, the list of support service specialists, among others, should be present:
- Content expert. His responsibilities include checking user pages, groups and advertisements for compliance with the User Agreement and the presence of prohibited content.
- Head of communication platform. Its primary responsibility is to ensure optimal network community performance.
Step 9: Social Media Marketing
The easiest way to promote a social network
is to use other social networks. If you have a niche project, for example, about computer games, then look for groups on this topic and promote your site on these sites. You can still run:
- Targeted advertising - shows ads to a certain group of people, selected according to certain criteria (gender, age, place of study, marital status, participation in certain groups, etc.).
- Marketing Impact - using media personalities to promote a project. In practice, this is an order of advertising with the participation of popular people, such as show business stars and bloggers.
- Content marketing - using articles, videos, pictures and other things.
- Organic advertising, or paid seeding - placement of advertisements in popular public groups.
- Other: widgets, games, applications, contests, tests, cross-promo, etc.
Step 10: Monetization
If you created a social network not just like that, but for the sake of money, you have several ways to monetize your resource:
- Advertising (contextual and banner). The easiest and most profitable way to monetize. To use it, you need to pre-build in the interface of the site space for ads, banners and recommendations.
- Paid features. Access to specific tools, filters or features for a fee or by subscription.
- Premium Content. Paid access to certain content or to its version in high quality.