Building your own online community & social network
The need to be part of a community is an intrinsic part of human behaviour. Ever since we crawled out of the primordial soup, the desire to be part of a group that shares, engages, cooperates and acts towards a common goal is a basic human instinct.
While this desire has never changed, the technology we use to facilitate this behaviour has changed dramatically over the years. Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms are well known for their online communities, but despite certain targeting tools, it’s very difficult to adapt these networks for specific audiences.
What does BrightLemon do?
Our particular area of expertise and ethos is to build collaborative learning communities. Put simply we build websites with a standalone social platform where people can collaborate, connect, share, create and all act towards a common goal.
The benefits are that you control the data, content, functionality, rules and workflow that supports the needs of your online community. By providing an environment that’s tailored to their own unique needs, we’ve helped create thriving online communities for the British Council, Cambridge University and MTV.
How Do We Build A 100,000+ Social Network?
To help you grow your online community, we always start every project with some basic fundamentals that combine both technical expertise and strategic planning.
Understanding your audience
Every community is different. If you don’t know who’s going to be using your social network, you won’t know what functionality will meet their needs.
During our Discovery stage we will work with you to uncover the needs of your community. Understanding what will inspire them to join your community and how this translates into your technical requirements.
Defining your objectives
To plan for success and report on key metrics, we will need to understand what this means for you? Common business objectives could include:
- Establishing your brand as a thought leader
- Decreasing the cost of customer service
- Educating customers
- Achieving better search results
- Increasing sales
- Raising your brand awareness
The processes we have refined over ten years ensures that the requirements of your community are carefully aligned with your business objectives. This is extremely important for measuring the success of your social network where all stakeholders can understand the value and contributions being made from your online community.
One of the biggest concerns organisations have is will their online community be a success?
We’ve always believed that the secret to success lies in careful and in-depth planning. We don’t like to guess; we make informed decisions based on research, psychology, behavioural economics and volunteer management. Our content strategies are fundamental to the success of every project and through careful planning we’ve helped our clients to build social networks with over 130,000 users.
Online community software
We’ve been building websites and communities using Drupal for over ten years. The open source software is flexible enough to evolve as your community grows and with a strong emphasis on social publishing, it’s the perfect solution for online communities.
- Technical advantages of Drupal
- The software is scalable.
- Has enterprise-level adoption.
- You can add modules to extend the functionality.
- Has been tried & tested with excellent case studies.
A thoughtful content strategy can make all the difference between an active community, versus an empty site filled with crickets and the occasional tumbleweed.
If your users can’t easily create, share and see all the amazing content generated, then nothing will happen. Our team will work with you to investigate how your users will engage with the content on your website , how to optimise it for SEO and what your social sharing requirements are.
Measuring your success
While visits and registrations are undoubtedly important metrics, they never tell the whole story. We provide audits, benchmarking and community dashboards that measure the health of your community from a number of different perspectives.
But most importantly, we will make sure you know how to use these metrics to manage your community, making real improvements as the needs and size of your community develops.