This week on WPblab we talk with Eric Tracz & Brad Bihun of PeepSo about how you can build a social network on your existing WordPress website.
Why do we need a social network on WordPress?
We all live in our own little niche communities – we can translate that into online communities – with very detailed content that is relative to a very specific group / niche
Facebook groups are great, but you don’t get the feeling of a small close-knit community that you would from a social network built on a niche site
There are a lot of people that prefer not to post/share on Facebook due to privacy
When you create your own community, you have more control and you can empower your users – they can help each other and answer questions or give advice to fellow community members
Private social communities can be especially useful for people who want to share sensitive and private information (such as communities built around a support group)
Building community takes time and effort regardless of the method you choose. No matter where you build community, you have to be welcoming. You need to greet people; you need to genuinely care. People can tell if you aren’t authentic.
It’s important to keep in mind having proper security on your website if you’re going to implement a social network/community – https is a necessity
If you need to really lock things down and keep them private, you could take the approach where only members can invite new people to join, that way they are already known and they can vouch for them. You could also charge a nominal fee for membership to keep things more exclusive.
PeepSo Whitepaper free download “The Secrets of Successful Online Communities”
When building a community, try to think ahead about what you will need and the next evolution of your site. Will you need forums, will you need chat? Try to think of the future and not just what you need right now.
You have a choice as the website owner whether or not you want to build a community around transparency with users sharing their real names or anonymity with users relying on screen names
For examples, check out the PeepSo website, which uses the technology – they will also be creating a Community Showcase in the next couple of weeks. There are also demos available on the site.
Thanks for helping with our show notes!