A social network is an online service that helps its members build social relationships with people who share similar professional or personal interests. Social networks are an excellent way to create relationships among people online. However, the desire to segment the network depending on interests and offline relationships is on the rise. Hence, many site creators are turning toward niche social networks. In contrast to a regular social network, a niche social network is targeted toward a specific audience with featured content which helps them attain relevant information without the need for filtering or sorting. Though many people have a preconceived notion that creating a social network requires a big budget and high technical acumen; in reality this isn’t necessarily true. We feature just three steps, demonstrating that building a niche social network is not a complicated task:
In this first part of our article, we would like to introduce the first step to make a Niche Social Network “Decide on the purpose”.
The more detailed your understanding of your niche, the better off you will be. Your niche can be whatever you want it to be, but in the initial stages of the project, you need clarity about the purpose of the site. Do you want to build a tourism community? A network for knitters? Or do you want to create a social network that connects shopaholics? Also important are future considerations for the website. Do you want to monetize it eventually? To identify your niche, figure out how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and in what area you can specialize. Ask yourself these questions:
Once you have identified your niche, start seeing what’s out there in a related area. Join a new niche community and observe its activity. Make note of the features and tools that are provided by current websites. You should note what you like and dislike about the way the community operates, from the platform to the members. These actions will help you determine what you can add to your own website so that you can offer services or resources that the site’s visitors won’t be able to find anywhere else.
The next step to create a niche social network is to register a good domain name, including the .net, .org, .info, and some of the main country specific variants (e.g.co.uk). Of course, your domain name should fit closely to your niche field.
Whatever your goals and purpose are, you will need some kind of budget to make it work. Let’s take a look at the typical costs: