How to Build a Successful Social Networking Platform? Cost & Features to Integrate
Social networks have already conquered a major portion of the digital population. In fact, social media user accounts for 70% of internet usage as for now. By blending both fun, entertainment and other useful elements social media websites offer their users an unrivaled experience. Besides, the advertisement options allow businesses to utilize these vast consumer base. Since, the business opportunities within social networking are massive, by integrating a smart revenue model, one can earn a substantial profit. Anyway, building a social networking platform from the scratch can be considerably expensive, moreover, it comprises a series of processes which requires great dedication and expertise.
Building an Advanced Social Networking Platform from the Ground Up
As mentioned above, developing a social media website similar to Facebook/ Instagram can cost you a fortune, especially if you are a startup organization. In fact, it is observed that only 50% of total software development projects succeed. Anyhow, here we document the essential steps, which have to be taken by entry-level businesses while developing a social media platform from the scratch.
Develop a Concept- Define your Target Market
To have an outline of your entire business process is necessary, for it will give you a direction. One must need to have a clear-cut idea of their desired demographics as well as the main attraction of the business. Conducting a market analysis and a direct survey can be helpful in finding the demands of your targeted audience. Not only that, instead of having a massive inception, try to begin small with an understanding that you can always expand your base whenever you want.
Moreover, it is always smart to go for a large demographic and a more general focus. This will help you attract a much bigger audience comparatively. However, keep in mind that, if you are focusing on a more generalized approach, you would always have to encounter the biggest giants in the market. And without the right amount of innovation and uniqueness, growth will be hardly possible.
Business Model is the Key
Despite the type of business or the industry you are involved in, business models are always crucial. In fact, it decides the way your business runs. It is your core plan to move your business forward. When it comes to social media, there is always a handful of business models to consider. One can choose any by taking into consideration their goals and demands.
Freemium is the most adorable business model from a typical social networking perspective. It works by providing a range of services for free while offering premium services as well. The best example of adopting this business model is Flickr and Linkedin. They managed to succeed by implementing this model.
This model focus on driving traffic to other affiliate websites. Business who sells any kind of products depends on affiliate websites to achieve their traffic goals. Business such as Illuminated Mind and ShoeMoney achieved enormous success by integrating this particular business model.
This is familiar among businesses like Label 2.0 and Scrooge Strategy. This model gains money by charging their users for the services offered, on a monthly or yearly basis.
Virtual Goods Model
Similar to a subscription model, users should have to pay, but this time for virtual goods such as weapons, upgrades, points, or gifts. Weeworld and Facebook Gifts are familiar for their success in implementing the virtual goods model.
Social media businesses such as Myspace and Twitter Later follows this specific kind of business structure. The approach here is to sell advertisements against the traffic. In fact, the more traffic you have, the more you can charge for ads.
Features to Integrate
This is where you can showcase innovation and uniqueness. While developing a customized social media platform, one should need a keen grasp about the features and attributes that contribute for an excelling user-experience. Here we mention some of the crucial attributes that can help you bring the best out of your social networking platform.
Varied methods to connect
Providing diverse authentication options is essential. One can integrate social media sign up along with the usual Email authentication method. It brings flexibility and eases the user-side operations.
Engaging news/content feed/messaging/content sharing
Since users belong to the most crucial factors of successful social networking businesses, to deliver the best possible experience to them requires great attention. By offering easy and interactive methods to share, react and post stories, you an elevate user-experience and credibility to a great extent.
Advanced Search Options
Don’t let your users search hard for anything within the platform, this is the fundamental rule to build an excellent UI. You can tackle this situation by placing a search bar, which helps users to find their desired results without trying so hard.
Security and Privacy Options
Ensuring data freedom and privacy is vital. By integrating the data encryption feature, you can guarantee the best yet secure social networking experience.
This gives back power to the hands of businesses. It aids businesses to organize and manage the operations. They can monitor and take logical decisions based on the data collected.
Apart from all these aforementioned features, you should integrate some unique and interesting attributes to invite the user’s attention. Providing quick filters to enhance video/photo posts, anonymous messaging etc.. can be handy.
Marketing and Promotion Activities
Last but not the least. Marketing your new business venture is so important, that it is the source through which you get enough customers. Promoting the unique and innovative characteristics of your platform, promoting the potential business opportunities and advertising options can be the best way to attract users as well as businesses. Most importantly, invest in digital marketing strategies, for it can drive enormous value to your business in the long run.
Moreover, whenever you get a new user, take time to dig deeper and to find his/her’s contacts and friends, thus creating an opportunity to expand your business. Instead of doing this manually, integrate an automatic system that invites members of their email lists, and that shares their membership on all of their other social media accounts.
Monetizing the Platform
Have a clear shot at revenue models. Since this part is responsible for profit generation, one should give utmost preference to this. However, advertising is the most familiar and successful way ever invented. Potential partnership possibilities can also be helpful. Most importantly, the advertisers associated with your platform should be reputable and genuine, or else it will have a negative impact on user experience.
Developing a Social Media Website – Cost Estimation
Apart from investing your valuable time and effort, you should spend a considerable amount of money as well. Hiring a team of experts, the spend on marketing campaigns, etc.. can be overwhelming. However, to develop a customized social networking solution, it takes approximately 18 weeks. The back-end development itself will take 10 weeks and the front-end process can be finished within 8 weeks. The cost associated with building a social networking platform varies in accordance with your requirements. It is dependant on the features included, the business model and so much more. Anyhow, the approximate cost to deploy a complete social media website will be around $20000.
Nevertheless, there is an alternate option to set up an impeccable social media platform, which is ready-made software solutions. Agriya, the leading software development service provider has introduced an open source social networking solution, which can be employed by entry-level businesses to deploy a comprehensive social networking portal seamlessly.
By integrating all the needed attributes, we ensure a world-class social networking experience for the users. Moreover, businesses can control/manage the entire process easily with the help of a built-in admin panel. The in-depth software solution from Agriya is open to further modifications, it can be reframed according to your needs.
Social networking platforms are evolving big-time. Renowned social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc..survives by driving innovation constantly. Normal and typical doesn’t sell anymore. One should consistently add unique attributes to attract more customers, moreover, they must value the existing customers to keep them engaging. However, building a social media website or engaging a ready-made solution, both are acceptable, but to have a clear grasp of the budget and the requirements is crucial to managing your resources well.