Social media is a 21st century cultural phenomenon. From humble beginnings it has gone on to attract millions of users all over the world. What’s more, social networks aren’t just consumer entertainment platforms, they are also genuine business tools that are being adopted by a broad spectrum of industries.
However, not every business may be able to find a social network that suits their particular aims and ambitions. If this is the case, there is another option available to you: starting your own social network.
Room for everyone
One of the primary reasons why many businesses do not consider creating their own social media platform is because they feel as though it is already a crowded market. While it is true that established social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will not be easy to compete against, there’s plenty of room for more bespoke, niche platforms.
There are already a huge number of smaller social networks out there, focusing on specific interests in order to find their audience. Platforms exist catering for the legal industry, business professionals, pet lovers and many more user groups. Don’t worry about whether your social network will be lost in the crowd. If you think there’s a genuine need for something new, then start your own platform and watch as your membership numbers rise.
The financial conundrum
When you do begin your own social network, you’ll likely be focusing on its design and usability, but don’t forget to consider the financial practicalities of starting a site like this. Operating a social network costs money, whether it’s purchasing the domain name or storing user data.
You could choose to ask for outside investment or go down the less common route of asking users to contribute via paid membership. Alternatively, if your site grows quickly enough, you may be able to sustain yourself through advertising revenue alone.
Aside from money, there are a number of other practical concerns that surround starting your own social network. How are you going to use, and secure, your user’s personal data, for example? Are you meeting compliance standards and do you have a clear user policy in place?
You’ll also have to choose your social network’s design and where it will be hosted. Companies like Wizz Hosting will be able to help with the latter and offer support should anything go wrong.
If you do decide to create your own social network, you’ll encounter a range of benefits. Firstly, it will afford you the kind of freedom that wouldn’t be possible if you simply joined a pre-existing platform. With your own social network, you choose its focus and you make the rules.
Another benefit is that having a unique social network can provide a big boost to your business. It makes your company look professional and willing to embrace new mediums. It will also give your company access to a large amount of user data, which can be used to generate insights and grow your organisation.
Social networks are being embraced by consumers and businesses alike, but that doesn’t mean that the industry won’t continue to grow and develop – and you can play a vital part in that by creating a platform of your own. Don’t just follow others, tread your own path.