Social media market has been thoroughly captured by the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and many more. Each of these social media platforms brings something unique to the users, with added functionality and freedom. With the idea being the same in each social media app i.e. connecting people, it might seem hard competing with these giants, however, if you truly have a bright idea, go for it.
A good social media platform acknowledges the needs of the users and brings it out on the front. The more simplistic and effective your social media platform is, the more active users you will be getting. But how to start? Let us look into the two main back-end steps that you would have to go through to build a social media website or application.
Make a Strategy
The first and foremost, sit down and write down your strategy. You might have a basic rough idea until now, but that’s definitely not enough. Building a strategy means that you need to do a full market analysis, research the competition and define your target audience. While analysing your competitors, make sure to look at their strong points as well as their weak points.
You can even hold surveys or interview potential users to find out what they would like in their social media apps and what they dislike about a platform. These surveys and interviews can feed you important data, which will be crucial while creating the functionality and interface of the platform.
Other than this, you must also think of lead generation and user retention strategies. Outline the features that would make your social media different from your competitors and create a marketing campaign around the same.
Designing & Developing
Once you are done with the surveys and interviews, you will have your crucial data reports. Proceed on with the web & app developers to create a full-fledged design of the platform and its functioning. Most things in a social media apps remain common, however, you may add more business-related functionality for your own usage.
Designing a mobile app is unarguably the most important thing you can do right now. Smartphones have a huge advantage over traditional computers. Anyone can access almost any information or site in any part of the world with use of smartphones. Providing an app for your social media site is an absolute must! Today you won’t find any social media site without a mobile app.
Moreover, when developing your application, make sure you develop for both, iOS and Android, the two major mobile platforms. You can use specific tools that can allow you to develop for both at the same time. This can allow you to reach a wider audience.
Social Login Option
Signing up for the first time is the first experience the user will get. To make it user-friendly for the users, you can enable signing up with other social network accounts that your users might already have. This will save them from the hassle of entering the same details again.
A quick connect with Facebook or Google option will allow them to quickly sign up for your platform, while skipping up the annoying detail entering procedure. The more straightforward process will also be a lot more comfortable for most.
In order to give your users a more personalized feel, you need to offer a profile section where the user can provide information about himself or herself. Major personal attributes, photos, videos, job profiles etc. can be listed here for others users to view.
The more freedom you offer to the user, the better. You can allow for multiple customization and personalization options, providing them with themes, short bio sections, setting nicknames, having them provide links to their resources or even set up business profiles. A multitude of features can be installed in the profile section, though you must stick to the relevant stuff. Keep the mandatory fields low for users who are not comfortable in providing as much information about themselves.
As you are making a social media platform, the basis of it should be connecting with people. Users need to have the ability to interact with others, see what others are doing, what they have shared and should be able to make friends.
The application should have an algorithm to suggest common friends, or to invite friends who are not yet on the social media platform. Other features that must be included is the ability to comment on other’s photos or media content, liking each other’s statuses, adding reactions, sharing the media content, sharing links etc. Adding subscription may also be feasible depending upon the type of your application.
Some privacy options must also be included so that a user’s content is only seen by a his/her friend. Communities, groups and pages can also be added for the common interest of the people.