If you’re like 90% of the businesses we see, the first step in creating value for your customers is providing them with valuable information and connections.
It’s a footrace out there, because your competitors also want to be first to assist them. Whoever has the most valuable, visible, and readily available information comes out on top – and we’re finding that the businesses with custom communities and social networks are the #1 place for users to find those answers and make connections.
You want to know places to visit on vacation? 9/10 times you’ll land on a community such as Tripadvisor.com.
Looking for a place to eat? You’ll probably end up on Yelp.
Want to raise your voice on civil issues you’re passionate about? Sure, you could annoy your friends with another political Facebook post… but you’d be better of taking it to civ.works, a more targeted social network for civil action.
The Power of Custom Social Networks and Communities
There are all kinds of business uses for custom social networking platforms or communities. Ask yourself this question: could your business use a community site or social network to connect users with valuable information?
Chances are, whatever your field, there’s a community that you support and depend on. The idea behind making your own social network or community is that by offering a platform for that community to interact on, you can:
- Increase engagement
- Improver user experience
- Ultimately, achieve your purpose – whether that’s driving bottom line profits or promoting a cause you’re passionate about
We’ve had the opportunity to work with some innovative companies who are now killing it with their own custom social networks and communities, and wanted to provide a few examples of that in this post.
Note: If you’re looking at making your own social network or community, make sure you get in touch – we’re experts in the area, have taken on dozens of similar projects, and would love to consult with you for free.
Civ.works – A Custom Social Network for Civic Action
There’s a classic battle on Facebook – the guy who posts too much about politics on vs. the guy who thinks all political posts should be banned from the social media site.
Either way, it seems they both care enough to join the conversation.
Civ.works caught on and created a more targeted social network specifically for these purposes. Rather than starting threads full of heated argument, Civ.works is focused on civil action. It’s a place to make things happen, rather than just talk about them. This is the perfect example of innovation in the social networking space because it’s built with a specific utility in mind.
Trivantis Created a Thriving Community Around Their Product
Lectora is a leading elearning platform offered by Trivantis, which allows you to design, author, and publish training courses for desktop or mobile.
Often, a software product is only as good as the community surrounding it. That’s what makes open source projects so powerful – WordPress, for example, has a thriving community dedicated to its success and improvement. The same goes for a service like Lectora, even if it isn’t open source. A thriving community is a priceless tool for improving user experience.
That’s the strategy that drove Trivantis to invest in making their own community. They talked to us, and we basically developed a knowledge base on steroids. Users can contribute, ask questions, and search through an impressive collection of content. The site has been a great asset for customers, and also adds value to Trivantis product.
The coolest thing about this project? It wasn’t a headache to get it started and get users involved. Because Trivantis was already running their marketing site on WordPress, we used Buddypress development to allow single sign on – meaning users didn’t have to deal with a handful of usernames, passwords, and sign up pages to access their account. It was all very customizable and integrated perfectly with their existing site.
Making your own social network or community could also be that simple.
Comradity Expands Its Community and Increases Its Value
Comradity is a growing co-working space just outside of New York City. They provide much more than just an office space for entrepreneurs – they create a social network and community for them to interact with. When they came to us, they wanted something to build up their online community that could also integrate with their current services. Nothing like that existed at the time, so we went ahead and built it.
The cool thing about the custom community we created is that it allows members to import data from LinkedIn, showcase their projects, and locate or communicate with other like-minded or like-purposed individuals. This is Comradity’s big value proposition to entrepreneurs and small businesses – to put them in an environment where they can thrive, connect, and grow. This project amplified that experience by creating their own custom online community
Comradity has also benefited because they’ve increased user engagement and created a platform to manage all the financial and subscription aspects of their business – making the custom community a win for both the business and the customers.
Making Your Own Social Network or Community
These sites are leveraging the power of community to offer superior services and information to their customers. They build trust, form relationships, and create an environment where users thrive.
We’d love to take a look at your product, service, or community and search for ways you can make a better social network or community site for them to interact with. We’re experts in developing the software that runs these applications, and we’ll consult with you for free and take a look at all your options.