If you are considering starting a social network for your customers and fans, you may think it’s too difficult or too costly. In fact, it’s relatively easy to set up a social network, and a web design firm, like one of the many and excellent Chicago web development (www.intechnic.com) firms, can help you create your network.
There are five steps to setting up your social network:
1. Decide on your site’s topic: This may seem obvious, but you have a choice here. Will the network be a company social network about your products and services, or a social network for enthusiasts in your field, such as fishing? There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
2. Choose the functions you need in your social network: The common features include profile pages, comments, privacy settings (you won’t want to leave this one out), photo albums, personal blogs, friend groups, video uploads, forums or message boards, apps, and widgets. There are many other functions you can add, but these are the basics.
3. Build your social network: You can use an existing social networking platform like Ning, which is fast and easy. If you want something you have more control over, you can run a social network script on your website. Your web design firm can help you set this up. Or you can have a custom social network set up for this. If you choose this route you might want to choose a major hub of web design, Chicago. Web development firms there can help you get your network up and running quickly.
4. Create content: Your users will generate their own content, but you should jump-start the process with articles, images, video and links. Visitors will only be drawn to a network that looks active and well-tended.
5. Build traffic: You will need to generate interest in your network. You can start by announcing it on your website and to your mailing list. You will want to continue by networking with bloggers, submitting articles to directories, posting on social media and other free traffic generation techniques.
Your social network will prove very valuable in building your brand. These steps will help you get it underway.