5 Tips for Unlocking the Full Potential of a Social Network
Each day, the Web grows with another clever social network aimed at uniting the world of cat lovers, fly fishermen, cigar smokers or other niche groups. Although many of these sites utilize impressive technologies and fun designs, most lack the essential ingredients of a successful social network or online community. These ingredients include many of the core online strategies that many publishers have already implemented, such as: providing valuable and current content; drawing a large interested audience; and creating a regular dialog with the audience informing them of content updates and special features. When combined with social networking technologies, these strategies can help engage your audiences, further driving page views and encouraging return visitors.
What makes an online network social? On the Internet, social networking is the ability to declare mutual friendships. While most of the successful social networking sites allow you to specify “friends,” the ability for users to interact and develop relationships with these friends is limited by the publisher’s ability to attract an interested audience. In fact, the successful social networking sites owe their success to offline environments, most notably campuses and schools, that spread and promote their services like a virus.
By creating valuable online content to help attract audiences and encourage returning visitors, many publishers have at least some of the essential ingredients in the recipe for developing a successful online community and social network. Their Web-site visitors tend to share common interests with each other that can readily create bonds for a strong online community and social network. These five tips can help you harness the power of a truly effective social network.
Align your goals with your audience
What would the audience gain or enjoy from social and community interaction on your site? What additional audience feedback would benefit your organization—where is the overlap?