Even though it’s only about ten years ago when the question would have been whether you should build a social network or not, today the question has shifted to how you should be building that network. What this shows is that both individuals and businesses have realized the power of social networking as a means of bringing people with similar interests together and in the process making money. But what should you consider when you want to create social network?
Specify the reason
Just getting into the social networking space without deciding the reason why you want to be there is more like getting into a car without knowing where you are going. The idea is not just to aimlessly join the crowd, but to focus on a specific goal.
To identify the reason, ask yourself a few questions. What do I want my social network to do for me or my business? Answers to this question could include facilitating conversions, driving a particular campaign, being available when your customers have challenges with your product or increasing your online presence. Whatever it is, consider your reason.
The target audience
Whether you’re presenting a talk or having a conversation, you first consider the general information about the person you’re speaking with. This is also an element you want to take into account when you’re starting a social network.
Defining the target audience ensures that you know what the hopes, fears, and aspirations of that audience are. When you know who the people you want to have in your social community are, it is much easier to look for them where they hang out.
Finding the target audience helps you identify the areas of common interest. After all, building online communities should be based on areas of common interests. There is no way of knowing where the interests of your target audience intersect with yours unless you know the character of that audience.
Who is responsible?
This may be a community but we all know that in all communities there are leaders. Hence, apart from deciding the platform you’ll use as your social network maker, you also need to clearly identify the individuals who will run the project.
When making the decision regarding who will be in your social network team, you’ll need to remember that a community is a team effort. For this reason, just giving the job to one person is like trying to play a game of soccer with just a defender. Clearly define who will play a leading role in the team and also be clear about those who will play background roles.
The home of your community
Now that you have an idea of what your goals are, who your audience is, and the team behind your social community, you will need to determine the channel where your network will be based. There are a number of things to consider here of which one of the biggest is the budget and the manpower you have at your disposal.
If money is not an issue, you would want to have a presence on every network where you are likely to find an audience. However, if resources are scarce, you would want to identify the channel that delivers the best chance for you to connect with your target audience.
Learn from the best
There is no need to reinvent the wheel; neither is there a need for you to do the trial and error your competitors have already gone through. Use your competition to determine what is working and what is not.
While the tactics of your competitors could give your ideas, copying everything they do will make you look like a copycat and no one will take you seriously. Take all the good things from different places and create your own hybrid that will set you apart from the rest.
How will you engage?
There is nothing that makes you look as unorganized as successfully building an online community only to stop engaging with it once you think you have become successful. Always be thinking about ways of improving all the time. If you don’t, the community will move elsewhere. Consider of your social media presence as a lifelong project that can benefit you as long as you lend your sould to it.