How to Create a Social Networking App?
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Keen to build a network, an online community, for any niche or around your product/services? Social networking app can be the big idea!
Infinite in its strength, rigorous in properties, and desirable in nature social media has captivated all eyes and hearts upon it.
Just the right selections and you create a radically new world talking, expressing, sharing, and ranting for your service on social media platform.
But all this happens only when you control handles for your social media app launch. Here we share with you a step-by-step guide to create a user-sticky social media app in 2021.
Steps to Create a Social Networking App
Step 1 : Choose The Type of Social Networking App
To start with, categorize your app idea into the right social media segment. Focus on how people will pin their hopes after landing on your social media app.
Which category it is most likely to fall in. Knowing about these categories of social media can help you perform a thorough analysis to open up new ideas and understand channels for engaging with your audience.
As per the current market scenario social media network can be classified into the following types:
Social Networking App: Connect and socialize with people by sharing posts, media files.
Media Sharing Networks: Share photos, videos, and other content clips.
Community and Discussion Forums : Share new ideas, ask questions, and initiate discussions.
Content Curation Network: Save and discover information, write on any topic.
Micro Blogging Site : Send messages, create posts with text, pictures, video, audio, chat, and links.
Multimedia Messaging Apps : Share pictures, send voice texts, do voice calls, send MMS (images, video, audio, stickers, etc).
Consumer Review Networks : Write reviews and recommendations of websites, services, businesses, doctors, etc.
Social Shopping Networks : Shop online on eCommerce websites, post reviews, share feedback.
Anonymous Social Networks : Talk, comment, like anonymously.
Step 2 : Research. Research. Research.
If you’re planning to create a social networking platform ensure at your initial stage you gain a deeper understanding of your community– search your competitors, their business and revenue model, target audience, marketing strategies, ROIs, etc. This will pay back to understand or conduct your SWOT analysis.
Step 3 : Creating a Fascinating Feature List
This step is the heart of your app which will define how it will function, perform, and catch the interest of people to make them fall in love and super obsessed with your app. You may be wondering about the magnetic features that glue users to relationship networks. Here we have crafted a list to help you out.
Enthralling Features of Social Media This Generation Go Crazy For:
- Photo Galleries A survey from Hiscox, the online art trade report from 2018, makes it clear: more and more people no longer view art in galleries or museums but on social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. A photo gallery enables your users to interact with artists and take a good step forward.
- App Integrations No denying popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, and Instagram have taken up the internet by storm. Integrating these apps can give your users a new reason to be bound with your social networking app.
- Video Streaming Video streaming allows users to stream video to followers and engage with them in real-time. Like Instagram’s brand new feature ‘Reel’ allows users to create 15-30 seconds fun and engaging video content similar to TikTok and share them with stories, explore feed, and the new Reels tab.
- MessengerLaunching a lite version of fast messaging app that loads quickly and runs efficiently can help users reach out to people for chat, send photos or links, and make one-to-one voice and video calls without even sharing their private mobile numbers.
- Payment System Integration For any social networks business support angle, integrating a state-of-the-art and secured payment system or by launching a peer-to-peer payment support can help merchants as well as users in making easy transactions.
- Invite Friends from All Connections Social Media without friends. Does that sound right? An out-doing social media app must use algorithms that pulls users’ contacts from everywhere. From Phonebooks to professional network to other social media networks- accessibility of contacts should be from everywhere so that user can get quick suggestions and can invite his/her friends in a single click.
- News Feed News feed a vital innovation of Facebook is undoubtedly a delight for stalker friends who just want to be in know of every activity going in their network neighborhood.
- Story Highlights Sharing disappearing stories for 24 hours soon fades away from the memories. A highlight section on the users’ profile page can allow users to consolidate pictures/video clips into highlight sections.
- Private Community Creating private social networks where conversations can take place of different groups and fraternities can be a worthy idea.
- Push NotificationsPush notification is the key to driving user engagement growth on the platform. Social media alerts make it feel like a real conversation and increases engagement.
- Like, Comment, Share The likes, comments and posts might seem inconsequential but they do matter. They play a vital role in adding value to relationships.
- Follow and UnfollowGive users a choice to follow or unfollow their connections. This option gives them the ability to gain more followers but not engagement.
- Targeted Posts Many times users’ posts are aligned to specific users not for all audiences. Embedding a targeting feature put users’ updates only in front of the people who are more likely to share, like, or comment on them.
- Shoppable Posts Make your social media app business-friendly by enabling business accounts to use features like “Tag a product”, “Tap to view products” pop up. This makes it easier for businesses to reach their consumers.
- Photo Filters With amazing photo effects and filters, users can spice up their pictures by making it look more enchanting and exciting.
- EventsAllow users to create, edit and post events. This helps users in setting up an event, reach audiences and sell tickets.
Advanced Features of a Social Media App
Analytics : Collecting data to track where users are located, to know their device type, tracking posts with highest engagement, peak time of users, etc. can help drive key metrics that could help ensure that you create the best user experience.
Monetization : To open the doors of revenue generation you need to define the features that could help you achieve it. Like having ad placements, subscriptions to unbox special features, access fee for business accounts, commissions on products sold, etc.
Admin Panel : Assign various user roles to manage the site, block unreliable users or spam content, posts violating app rules and other admin functions.
AI Chatbots : This function of automated chatbots significantly fits well for businesses that need a 24X7 presence to respond to their customers. AI chatbots predict and respond to questions quickly and intelligently.
Step 4 : Development & Quality Assurance for iOS and Android
After designing the social media app and jotting down all the basic feature list, the development phase is about building the MVP, back-end, API integration, and database management. The selection of technology and tools depends upon the project goals, overall budget, and the platform i.e., Android or/and iOS, or Hybrid.
To build an app you will require following team size and members:
- Project Manager: 1
- UI/UX Designer: 2-3
- iOS Developers: 1-2
- Android Developers: 1-2
- Back-End Developers- 1-2
- QA Engineer- 2-3
After app development, it is important to provide a user-friendly and bug-free application. To ensure the product development quality, the QA Engineer conducts detailed testing of all functions. If any issue arises, the error is reported to the developers for debugging and instant issue resolution.
Step 5 : Publishing & Marketing the App
The deployment of social media apps on Android and iOS has to go through different processes individually. Both the platforms i.e., Play Store and App Store have different processes and guidelines to deploy the app. Once the app is submitted on a specific platform, the platform verifies the app and its details. If every detail is according to the platform, the app gets live otherwise, the platform rejects the app.
The marketing phase starts way before the social media app deployment phase. It requires thorough market research and a strategic approach to promote the product and create a buzz in the market, which is quite a time-consuming process. The marketing process involves traditional and modern approaches to educate the target market about the product. Overall, the marketing of social media apps relies on the budget, so design strategies with sheer precision.
Step 6 : Make Good Use of Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics tool arms you with valuable data related to audience demographics, consumer sentiments, audience session lengths, and impressions. In addition to this, the admin platform also measures campaign performance against industry benchmarks. All this collectively helps you in making actionable changes for the future.
Step 7 : Maintenance & Support
Social Media App maintenance is an ongoing process that never ends till the app is live. Evidently, there is always a scope for improvement, as nothing is perfect. The user also seeks the introduction of the new and interesting feature in the app. It is important to engage the user with the app for a longer period. So, market research and trend analysis allow apps to stay competitive in the market.
The regular introduction of new features requires a highly scalable product that can provide a stable app after the deployment of each new version. To implement all these changes in the app, constant and reliable support is required from the mobile app development company.
Step 8: Start Building Your Community
Brands that keep ranting their messages or posts in the audience with no specific interests or behavior generate no engagement and conversations and make themselves appear spammy and untrustworthy. On the contrary, brands that encourage and build a community and care about their customers by solving their problems result in creating a loyal customer base. This is the importance of building an online community. If we talk about them in pointers this is how the benefits will look like:
- A community adds value for your customers and creates a high-engagement group
- A community adds a tint of exclusivity and increases brand ambassadors
- Groups with specific interests, choices, habits, and likability increase the customer retention rate
- Increased engagement on community sites results in up to a 25% increase in revenue
- Decrease costs by 80% to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.
The Essential KPIs of Social Media Application
Customer engagement is built on data. To analyze the social media application’s performance, it is recommended to evaluate that dispersed amount of data through some metrics, benchmarks, and key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs act as a catalyst in taking the most suitable and accurate actions.
These actionable measures lead to generating new traffic, promoting your business and brand, and increasing lead generation.
While there is an abundance of tricks and techniques when it comes to analysing and tracking social media app performance. For marketers, to gauge the success there are a few crucial techniques that will help them to examine engagement and performance on their app.
1. Acquisition: CPI & CPA
Cost Per Install (CPI) can be monitored by tracking the number of users who installed the application through advertisement. It can be calculated by dividing the expense over an advertisement by the number of apps installs.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) CPA is the total amount spent on different marketing mediums to attract a client. In other words, CPA helps us know how much amount has been spent on each prospect you acquire. This helps the company know the viability of their social media app and enables them to further be mindful of their marketing spend.
2. User Activation
The user activation is about tracking the user activity or interaction with your platform in the past 30 days. As a matter of fact, a huge number of Social Media posts, groups, or pages exist which most of the users ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the page and later forget to visit the page, check the posts, or might perform inappropriate activities.
Such incidents, make it crucial for apps to analyze the number of active users. It is quite a daunting task to filter the active users, but it becomes quite convenient with automated tools, such as ‘ManageFlitter’ suitable for Twitter, to identify active, inactive, or fake users.
3. Retention Rate and Churn Rate
User Retention Rate is the percentage of users who regularly visit the app or a certain number of days after app installation or not at all visit the app. It is crucial to check the retention rate to analyze the app’s performance or what new is required to be introduced in the app to increase the retention rate.
Whereas, the Churn Rate presents the data of a number of users who have stopped using the Social Media Application. Focus to minimize the churn rate by figuring out the user’s needs and introducing unique features to retain them.
4. User Engagement
It is one of the crucial metrics which measures how people are interacting with your app, post, or brand, in terms of likes, comments, and shares. The more engagement on post results in a higher reach of your post, app, ideas, or whatever informative post it is, and will automatically attract new users too.
5. Traction & Burn Rate
Traction depicts the periodic growth or decline of the app users. Basically, it is a quantitative representation of the market demand for social media applications among users.
Burn rate is the total amount of expenses done on the app periodically, it includes server cost, staff, advertisements, etc. The proper analysis and management of expenses (burn rate) help to plan further growth and fundraising opportunities after estimating mobile app development cost.
Technologies Used To Develop a Social Media App
Top Social Media Market Players Worldwide
The Total Cost to Create A Social Media App
The total cost to create a social media app ranges between USD 18,000- USD 35,000. Furthermore, this cost has its dependent on the type of social network you develop, features and functionalities you embed, no. of integrations, location of app Development Company, development charges per hour, etc.
Now that you know….
Social Networking sites and apps have the power to increase brand awareness, improve brand loyalty, and establish your brand as a thought leader while giving a human touch to your brand.
So, why not build a separate social media app and website to cater to different fraternities? Codiant helps companies stand out by providing product innovations in conventional software development (web/app) services and help you make it stand out from the existing market competitors.
Want To Build A Social Networking App That Can Stay Top Of Mind With Your Targeted Users?
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