I am still in touch with my old friends and colleagues from the previous companies. Aren’t you?
I know how one can reach a mass without stepping out of home.
I don’t wait for the newspaper or TV channels to tell me about the hot happenings from the past day, as I’m notified about such updates almost instantly.
What about you?
I know your answer to all the above questions is an obvious ‘Yes’ courtesy social media apps !
...and the good news is that it’s not just you and me, a whopping 82% of the US population are socializing online too ! That piece of stat clearly points at the potential of social media apps beyond being the reason your (and my!) teen at home sleeps late and your wife (like mine!) forgets to take the steak off the grill at the right time.
No wonder like Mark Zuckerberg, you too smelt business at the right spot,
…and landed at the right place to shape it into reality!
Ahead is a clear picture of social media app development - A to Z - covering the good, bad and ugly.
Oh..that A To Z reminds me of our Social Media Scraping For Business Growth Smoothening - Your A to Z Guide !
Back to the topic..
Social media apps serve both the parties, the provider and the consumer, with benefits galore. Here are the top 10 benefits of creating a social media app!
Every generic social media platform has their own set of terms and conditions for information sharing. Based on those regulations, the information you want to collect from your target customer base gets limited too. If it wasn’t so, who would have gone back to the platforms for a second visit if they could get all at once? So, access to data is kept a fence of limitations and the highest bid away! While that makes absolute sense considering the specific social media’s interest, reaching close to the mass yet not being able to achieve the desired access isn’t the best thing for your business. Then, what is the most effective way to get to know your community like a mirror? Building your own social media app & magnetting them into it! With your own social media app development you sign up for in-depth knowledge about your followers based on fields that you determine yourself.
When you plan on using a generic social media app as your marketing medium, there’s an unpredictable resistance element that acts against you and it’s called ‘competition’. Because, the popular social media apps are a goldmine to the contemporary businesses as those apps are the easiest way for the companies & their offerings to be known. Thus, you would first have to create a page as your identity in the social media app of your choice and then, keep up with the competition. Doesn’t that look like a paradise and warzone both at once, with ‘the right people present’ but the ‘competitors sharing space’?
Building a custom social media app of your own basically cuts the warzone factor out and brings out all the benefits solely for your business!
No middleman. No external rules & restrictions. Just direct interaction & consistent engagement.
Your brain proposes & the conditions ruling popular social media app usage dispose. Result? You are bound to round off the creative edge and present your ‘extraordinary’ idea in front of your target audiences subtracting the ‘extra’.
Your own social media app development implies ample scope for incorporating your creatives your way. Designing and operating a custom social media app is an absolute must if you don’t want your unique business outlook to be compromised.
No more red flagging with a “Sorry, you’ve reached the character limit!.
How about that?
While social media platforms seem to be a great place for e-trading, the predetermined marketplace standards that it sets make it a ‘Blah!’. Thus, selling your offerings to the community over such traditional social media platforms come with a far-from-nominal price. However, opting for a personalized social media app development, you can embed a digital marketplace platform within the app with features thoroughly aligned with your sales strategy. One-click buying? Done. Express purchasing? Done. Earning made a breeze! What else can you think of?
We have custom feature suggestions bubbling in our heads at BinaryFolks!
Every other person is an influencer on social media these days. While fame comes easy, abuse of the same is on a rise as well. To manage the skyrocketing number of users, their frequently updated posts and e-businesses, the traditional social media platforms apply algorithms to prevent the slightest breach of their community regulations or even a possibility of so.
“No commenting till 7 days” to “Your e-updates not being notified to the audiences” & many more - the measures taken cause sheer damage to your online marketing game!
Creating a social media app for your business saves you from the frequent struggle of maintaining and expanding your reach.
No tricky algorithms. No restrictions over feed navigation or interaction. Simply, an ever-growing & consistent reach.
As you build a social media app, you actually create a marketing adobe of your own, away from the noise and barks of unrelated coexisting concerns.
No distracting ads. No dumb rantings of trends. No random Marvel memes attracting your audience’s focus off your words.
So, there’s only 2 clear ends - you and your community and maybe, the ads you let in by choice!
Insights that you usually get from the traditional social media apps are provided keeping in mind the generic user interest, which obviously is not as in-depth as a business would require to track their growth. What about the business segments some social media platforms are specialising these days then, like Facebook Business, you wonder? Well, that’s their strategy to keep another earning option open, giving you some of what your business may need, clearly not all. But considering the raw fact that two businesses, even from the same industry, are only as similar as two fingerprints, the bottom-line is no one but a business owner himself / herself can figure out the exact areas of their business which are necessary and fruitful to track.
So, while planning your social media app development you can actually handpick the analytics field you want.
Want to be notified everytime someone talks about your business on the forum?
Want to see who all are repeatedly checking out your posts?
Basically, you get to check all the boxes you want - no periodic subscription, no limitation and absolutely no ambiguity in the insights!
The social media apps in existence offer limited medium options and the users are looking for more. From video comments to no restrictions on the video posts, shareable gifs and limitations of image size - there’s a long list of what the social butterflies are craving for.
With your own social media app, you can provide them and you the respective beneficial features and voila! They have a fun space to socialize while you have a community all for yourself.
Every step you take over social media platforms has a direct impact on your marketing game. Whether it’s about the number of visitor’s footprints or number of reactions on your posts - KPIs matter. With a social media app cookie-cut to complement your business workflow helps you score high on the KPIs!
Your followers showering shares, reposts and reactions?
Google search ranks you up.
You show up on their feed and be noticed by their network.
Your traffic grows left-right-and-centre.
Higher search ranking = better chances of conversion!
Did you spot the success avalanche yet?
Imagine a stray ad shifting your show out of focus.
Actually, you don’t have to imagine, every business depending on a foster social platform has been there & seen that!
Social media app development puts a full stop to that, as you get to choose whether or not to let an ad share space and if at all, then only the accelerating ones that add up to your business interest.
Social media apps are riding up the growth ladder with steady steps and COVID-19 has an active contribution in this mammoth popularity. The role of social media has changed since it became a part of our lives till now, across a whole wide spectrum. While a ‘successful’ social media presence implied an unusual number of likes & comments till a couple of years ago, now that success standard has changed upside down. Now, social media apps are not used for just socialising anymore, but also to exhibit skills and group with like-minded people, promote commercial offerings, buy and sell varied products & services to name a few.
Regardless of the industry, companies have started actively interacting with their existing & potential customers through the traditional social media apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and similar platforms. With such speedy evolution the immediate question is, what’s next? Is virtual err ‘social media reality’ going to replace what we call ‘reality’ soon? What more is in store for companies in terms of lead generation and maintenance this year and beyond?
Good news - the answer is positive.
That implies, ahead lies a massive opportunity to capture a bigger community and monetize the network harnessing the power of your own social media app.
Without further ado let’s dig through.
The benefits speak for how good the idea of building a social media app is, but with so many different types of such apps making rounds in the market, which type can do best justice to your goal? Let’s have a look at the basic fundamentals of different types of social media apps & then align them against your goal !
Named after the parent category itself, these relationship networks simply target staying connected to ‘stay in touch’. Twitter, Facebook etc. are classic examples of such social networks. The main goal of these platforms is to interact with like-minded people online and share information & opinions.
As the name goes, social media apps enabling you to share media files of almost all kinds including but not limited to photos, videos, GIFs, etc. are grouped under a media sharing network. Youtube, Tiktok etc. are some examples of this category.
These types of platforms are mainly for posting and answering others’, thus, making it a space to share experiences, learnings, and tips on varied aspects. Quora & Reddit are the top examples of such apps.
These social media apps are built with one simple goal - to share and explore content. Pinterest is the first name that comes to mind when talking about content.
Here, the customers can check or write reviews on businesses that they’re willing to work with or have already worked with. Trustpilot, Clutch are a few examples of these.
The name being pretty self-explanatory, these platforms let users create blogs and publish unique content on various topics. Medium is a classic example of this kind.
These niche types of social media platforms aim to unites people with shared areas of interests like Goodreads, Soundcloud etc.
In social shopping networks shoppers' friends are also engaged in the shopping experience. Basically these apps attempt to mimic physical social interactions across the malls and stores. Take a cue from one of the new ‘unicorns’ in the block Meesho !
These are a socio-economic model utilizing peer-to-peer (P2P) based trading opportunities for goods and services. AirBnB, Uber are great examples of this type.
You sure haven’t forgotten about Sarahah yet! That app everyone went crazy over FB, welcoming anonymous comments on them. Such anonymous social media apps revolve around a few common features like providing some sort of user ID or enabling users to build up an anonymous profile & share content without revealing any info at all.
As the name speaks for itself, all the social media apps have one thing in common and it is the networking elements that contribute to its first name - ‘social’. Where’s the unique factor then? It is in the way you plan & build the features including the networking elements around your specific purpose!
Saving your struggle and presenting a list of features that you must not miss incorporating in your custom social media app:
User Interface (UI) is the entry point to an user’s experience i.e. the point of interaction with the app. The UI of a social media app incorporates an array of elements including the representation of content and media, input controls, navigation speed & ease, and many more of such. No matter who your target audiences are, a simple & intuitive UI on your social media app is sure to guide your users to reach where they want to be, saving their time & effort (and interest!).
Out of other factors, a new social media app’s possibility of a bright reputation depends straight on its design. However, the ‘design’ shares its priority with ‘accessibility’ here - next is why! Randomly put together, individually catchy, mutually non synchronizable elements end up making the UI a confusing concoction and most importantly hardly accessible. So, the trick is to hit the sweet spot combining consistency, accessibility and an appealing design to contribute to a cohesive and engaging User Experience.
Using any social media app involves sharing information and even though there’s a choice when it comes to publicizing it, guaranteeing safety & confidentiality in the first place is a must. With the rising number of social media users, chances of identity theft and other cyber attacks increase too. So creating a safe login for user accounts with unique identification options like backup email or MFA(Multi Factor Authentication) works wonders in gaining users’ faith in your app.
Building a social media app of your own will be useless without networking features, right? Strengthen the “social media” feel with convenient search and intelligent recommendation to simplify creating a network through adding members or following them.
Sharing content with the network is a basic requirement. Content sharing options are offered by every social media app, so the better convenience & file support you incorporate, the more attention you get! Pro Tip : Not everyone wants to share every content with the entire network - so let the users have customized choices for whom to share the content with.
The feature that comes to our mind as soon as we hear the word ‘social media’ [soon after content sharing] has to be chatting. Be it public and private - messaging is what adds meaning to networking. These days most of the social media apps have covered a long way of advancements when it comes to chatting options, with one simple goal of making the chat process engaging for users with each functionality added, be it group chat, video calls, in-chat funny effects & filters and more. There’s more room to get creative here - innovate away.
Social media apps these days enable ordinary people to voice their opinions, gather people around a common cause, or showcase their talents. So while building a social media app, start with a forum-type platform and enhance with features to create and maintain a close-knit network.
“Jack mentioned you in a post.”
“Brandon shared your post.”
“You’re being noticed! You appeared in 30 searches today.”
This is what keeps the users coming back to your social media app - real time notification. Whether it’s about an update from whom they follow, or the new offer you unveil that they don’t want to miss out on, or a trend they would like to know about - keep them notified . So with the real-time notifications feature embed in your app you can grow your community while answering their FOMO.
Content sharing is a common interest of social media app users but the choice for ‘share to’ isn’t. Be it ‘showing personal information to the network’ or ‘finding whose posts top the feed’, be it ‘how they want to come across as a search result’ to ‘opt out of notifications from selected pages / profiles’ and more - customised privacy settings are required in several aspects. Thus, the more ways to control their confidentiality you hand over to them through settings, the more faith you’ll gain.
Last but not the least, contemporary social media users are always on-the-go and so, they require access to your app from their desktop/laptop and mobile alike. Ensure your UI adapts to the medium without taking a toll on the quality or screen appearance of the elements and is responsive in nature.
Let’s face it - the basic features are an absolute must for your app to get an identity amidst the overwhelming number of existing social media apps. But to make it to the frontiers you need to stun the users! Here’s what can help :
Instagram is doing it well. You can do it better! Brainstorm exciting filters to add to the fun factor in chatting .
Whether as a fun element to get a dose of laughter or to provide answers to your users’ basic questions - a chatbot makes all of it (and more!) interesting.
Social media apps have become like a personal diary and ‘found cute, may delete later’ is a frequent caption on the feed. That means people are more into bite-size content that’s easy to absorb & goes off after it serves the purpose. So, to let them share moments just for a day came ephemeral content - some redefined status and some called it ‘stories’. You have enough ground to play well!
Coming to the point - what’s the best plan to create a social media app? Have a look!
Figure Out The ‘Why’ & ‘For Whom’ - ‘Purpose’ & ‘Target audience’
As we have already discussed about the different types of social media networks and what they are meant for, it must be clear that a type picked at random for your social media app isn’t going to be as beneficial as expected. So, an in-depth understanding of your target market, what the competitors are up to, and how you want to present your content to the target - getting these three sorted is an absolute must before you jump into development.
Fix Your Features and functionalities
Considering the fact that the social media app market is a tricky maze to navigate through, planning convenience-packed striking features is equally important after gaining a thorough knowledge of the market scenario. After you have your answers for the app’s ‘what’ & ’for whom’ ready, you need to list out the ’how’s of capturing that target market and your app’s behavior. Then, you’re done with step 2!
Design & Develop
Once you’ve determined what core features and functionalities you want in your social media app, it’s time to start with the design followed by development.
Decide whom you want to make your apps available for which platform - Android, iOS or both.
Next, get in touch with a software development team that has intense knowledge and experience in app development..and don’t fall prey to self-proclaimed number 1s, choose the right development partner or settle for a half baked app!
Test - Fix & Repeat !
While creating a social media app, testing is as important as the development phase. So having a frequent testing cycle following development every few features is important. Needless to say, testing bears no fruits if the bugs are not fixed. Thus thorough testing and quick fixing of the bugs is a great way to enhance the quality of your app development.
Build Your Community
Like every other app your social media app isn’t going to sell itself as well. So you have to strategize a strong marketing plan and broadcast the goodness of it along with how being a member of the app will be a rewarding experience for them.
Apps are not avocados - so there’s no flat rate for them. The cost of building a social media app can not be standardized as it is directly dependent on several factors - the number of features and their complexity, the timeline you’re looking at etc. to name a few. However, considering the extreme values of the factors, creating a social media app can cost you between 30K to 500K. Looking for a narrower range?
Clearly no one wants to invest such a mammoth deal of time, effort and money on a social media app without a plan of making money out of it! Here’s a list of possible ways you can monetize your app :
Subscriptions are a great way to monetize your app given you make the app experience equally rewarding for the members. All it’s going to take to convince our users to subscribe to you is great content paired with a great experience. Think of free access to the first layer of engaging content and charge a subscription fee for the following layers of deep-digging content that genuinely add value to your community. Don’t forget to include convenient payment methods like Apple-pay or Google-pay to make it easy for your social media app users to pay their subscription fee.
Whether it’s your brand's tagline or the logo - create an e-store with merchandise that doubles as brand awareness factor. With such a decked up e-store you make it to the community members’ lives with an opportunity of direct purchase & better bonding.
Unlike traditional social media apps , in your own app you can handpick what ads you let in and in fact, if you allow ads at all. Back to the point, it’s wise to choose ads that drive traffic to your offering instead of stealing the same away. Smell earnings yet?
Every other person is on-the-run today and that makes time the most valuable asset than it has ever been. Thus, people value when they get an insight that otherwise takes a huge timespan to derive, without spending the same, they commit their time to it. So, engage them by hosting events based on their interest & see your community expand!
Building a social media app doesn’t end at the development phase and goes on till insights management. Talking about tracking the important KPIs, the first step is to know what you want to achieve. So, start with setting SMART Goals which expands to imply goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-restricted. Keep an eye on the following major KPIs to make sure your social media app is always on track!
[i] Impression : Impressions is the number of times your post showed up in your connections’ timeline or feed. However, this has no relation with views.
[ii] Follower count : Follower count implies the number of people that ‘follow’ your social channel at a set interval.
[iii] Audience growth : Audience growth is the measure of change in follower count over time.
[iv] Reach : This KPI does not need any introduction because if not you, every other person in your network must be complaining about ‘reach down’ these days! So, reach is the factor that is based on how the audience interacts with your content online and if it’s adding any value or not.
[v] Potential Reach : Potential reach states the number of potent viewers within a reporting period. In simpler words, suppose a follower shares your post on their timeline, around 5% of their followers would be able to see that content.
[vi] Social share of voice : As the name suggests, this metric shows the number of users mentioning your brand, in comparison with that of your competitors.
[i] Applause Rate : Applause rate tracks number of positive interactions or approval interactions such as likes, number of times your posts are saved, marked favorite etc.
[ii] Average engagement rate : This is the factor showing to what extent your content managed to engage your network.
[i] Conversion Rate : Conversion rate indicates the number of users clicking on the post out of all the visitors landing on the social media platform through CTAs.
[ii] Bounce Rate : Bounce rate implies the percentage of visitors clicking on one of your social media app post’s link but left in no time without any action.
Building a social media app isn’t enough for your business. To be ‘the trend’ that you wish to, you have to plan your presence that turns heads (or magnets clicks)! So now the question is how to broadcast your social media app without getting on the audiences’ nerves?
An interesting banner is an age-old technique to poke people’s curiosity & organically shift them from the website straight to the app store to install your social media app.
Content continues to be the king in marketing and making the most of it is a priority. Whether you are preparing blog posts or infographics, videos of your offerings or eBooks covering topics of your target market’s interest areas, carefully replace your usual call-to-action (CTA) link with one to join your app.
Chances are you already have a (if not more) carefully curated network over popular social media platforms. Be it the mailing list you pursue or the followers you have, casually tell them about your app and such channel-specific promotion will funnel your network into solely your social media app accelerating your community growth.
Ads are a marketing element that does its job REALLY well when done correctly. Disperse them around where your target audiences are. Think of Google ads, ads on popular social networks and similar to drive interest towards downloading your app and adding heads to your community.
Inflencers are the new crowd-convincing magic wand and you better remember that while planning your social media app promotion. List influencers that your audiences are keeping an eye on & connect with them to pitch your proposal. Partnership opportunities here aren’t any hard-to-crack nuts with this being a steady source of income for the most.
Your community will love you for this and your app fam will grow too! After creating a social media app, provide your app members with a referral code for inviting their network into yours through in-app text. Reward both the parties a little something when the invitee joins in.
PR works great for any business - mentions in the magazines & journals, esteemed blogs are proven to drive traffic. However, the task here is to find & approach the relevant fits ensuring that will bring in attention ideally from your target customer base. Then, present your pitch highlighting the USPs of your social media app in a way that completely portrays how you plan to add value both to their content and their audiences.
When you go to try out a new cuisine at a fancy restaurant, what do you prefer while ordering?
Playing the guessing game and don’t mind trading your visit for a so-so experience
Asking the staff for their input after informing them about your preference and having no less than an optimum experience
Well, be it a dining experience or building a social media app, an optimum result is only possible with seasoned expertise in that particular aspect enhancing your plan with their insights.
What’s the relevance of this, you wonder? Up next, under 30 seconds!
Starting with, what do we do at BinaryFolks?
Custom Software Development.
Yes, hundreds of ABC software companies do that too, but there’s still a DIFFERENCE (that’s exactly what got us Fortune 50 companies as customers!).
So what’s that difference?
Hands-on experience from 80+ completed projects across several industries in 15+ countries, that taught us the ‘musts’ and ‘no-no’s of development that no set guide can tell you about.
Unlike other app development companies, we don’t just blindly follow a plan you hand us over. Instead, we share our painstakingly gathered insights and ensure you get value for every penny you spent on us.
Social media app development with ABC development company = A developed social media app
Social media app development with BinaryFolks = A social media app rich in the best of functionalities from several developed and running top social media apps in the US market!