A white-label social network lets organisations and individuals build a platform like Facebook, but one which they have ownership over. You can brand and customise a white-label social network to match your own company’s look and feel. It can be used for social media marketing, building online communities, or simply providing a platform for users to interact with each other. In short, it’s a turnkey solution that you can customise with your own branding and use to enhance customer relationships.
Define: “white label”
The term “white label” is bandied about a lot these days but not a lot of non-tech types know what it actually means. So before we get any further into explaining how to create a white label social network, let’s take a minute or two and clarify exactly what we mean by white label.
A white label product is one that has been designed and manufactured by an anonymous (at least to the end user) manufacturer who then sells that product to another party who adds their own branding cues and presents it as their own.
An example of white label products many people have direct experience with would be the “house brands” you will find in some supermarkets. But that is hardly the only example.
White label products are everywhere these days and include cosmetics, clothing, electronics, phone accessories, stainless steel water bottles, dietary supplements and much, much more.
The process of white labelling also extends to high-tech items like computer software programmes as well as the subject of this page: the social media network app.
Why White Labeling is So Popular
Now that you know what a white label product is, it no doubt begs the question: “Why would anyone choose a white label online community?” Actually, there are a lot of reasons.
When you choose a white label social network you don’t have to invest in R&D, office facilities or hiring the programmers to man those facilities. Those costs are shouldered by the company creating the white label software.
And because they sell to numerous parties they can afford to offer their product for a lot less than it would cost a single company to produce the same product from scratch. The result is you save. A lot.
When you decide to use a white label social media platform for your online community you can launch your service practically overnight. All you have to do is customise it to adhere to your branding guidelines, populate it with content and open the door to members.
If you tried to develop your own bespoke online community platform it would take months, if not years from your first meeting on the subject to launch day. Why subject yourself to those kinds of delays when you don’t have to?
If you go to all the time, trouble and expense of creating your very own one-of-a-kind social network/online community you are going to have to invest heavily in making sure you have the in-house personnel to maintain and troubleshoot it. Either that or you will need to farm out your support needs to a contractor.
When you take advantage of a Disciple Media white label online community app Disciple provide the expert tech support you need as part of the package. It’s just one more part of our complete white label solution and one more way we simplify the process of launching your own online community.
Why do you need a white-label social network?
While mainstream social media is often considered the holy grail of digital marketing, it’s only getting harder to make yourself heard among the rising tide of digital noise. But with a white-label social network of your own, you’re the one in control.
Reason #1. Keep your brand centre stage
White-label products are turnkey solutions that allow you to apply your own branding and enjoy complete ownership over the platform. That means you don’t have to surrender brand visibility and loyalty to a third party like Facebook or Twitter.
Reason #2. Supercharge brand advocacy
Having your own social network might mean having a smaller audience, but that’s actually an important advantage. With a close-knit community driven by common goals and interests, you have many more opportunities to build brand loyalty and empower brand advocates.
Reason #3. Add more streams of revenue
With your brand in the centre stage, your community members will be far more ready to buy from you. By integrating online shopping or providing paid subscription services, you can add more streams of revenue to grow your business.
A white label social network also allows you to:
Simplify the user experience
In this case, you get to streamline the user experience without sacrificing anything in terms of features or functionality.
In fact, both the features and functions of a white label social media app are likely to be an improvement over what’s available within the framework of something like Facebook Groups.
Why? Because Facebook’s primary allegiance is to its shareholders, not community leaders. That’s understandable enough because it is, after all, a publicly traded company and it has legal obligations to put the interests of shareholders first.
But it doesn’t always work out for community leaders trying to build their own brand when all features are orientated toward shareholder satisfaction.
Removing the onus to satisfy the demands of millions of stakeholders means that our white label social media network app can have features that put the member first. That typically means fewer steps to accomplish things and fewer unwanted side trips down the corporate monetization rabbit hole.
Charge more for your service
We touched on monetization issues briefly above, but it warrants a bit of extrapolation. Here’s the bottom line: If you are able to provide your social network members with a white label app that improves their experience you should have no qualms about charging more for that service.
It’s a classic case of getting what you pay for. Or, in this case, charging a fair price for what you are providing. So go ahead and factor your white label costs into subscription prices upfront. After all, it’s the new and improved features and functions that the people are coming for. So it’s only fair you should be able to recoup those costs.
Many community builders are all-too-ready to simply write-off the cost of white labelling, but you should resist this temptation. That would be like selling airline tickets without considering the cost of fuel.
Are there any downsides to a white label social network app?
There are potential downsides to everything including travel, ice cream and online courses. So, yeah, it wouldn’t be right to say that white label social media platforms are free from potential disadvantages.
What matters is the significance of those disadvantages, which are pretty modest and more than outweighed by the upside. But just what are those potential disadvantages?
If you spend any time surfing the internet using a browser you will notice an awful lot of sites seem to be cut from the same digital cloth. That’s because they are.
Countless websites these days are built using only a handful of different WordPress templates so many of them wind up looking the same except for details like photos and text.
The same thing can potentially happen when you use a white label app. However, it should be noted that the number of businesses using the same white label social networks app is minuscule compared to the number of websites using similar templates to hang their content on.
So the odds of someone actually saying “hey, this app looks just like that other social network app” are tiny and can typically be mitigated by clever customization efforts.
You don’t own the source code
When you buy a white label app for your online community you do not buy access to the source code. That remains the property of the developer.
While this may seem like a big deal at first in reality the odds that you would ever need (or want) to dig into the source code as part of your digital strategy, when you have a thousand other things related to your social network to worry about, are pretty slim.
Still, if you are a dedicated tech geek who has an insatiable need to know you may want to develop your own bespoke social media network app. That way you can tweak that code to your heart’s content.
What are the most important features to look for in a white-label social network platform?
Many white-label social platforms provide a wide range of features, some of which you can pick and choose to better align it with your goals. By translating your goals into needs, you’ll be able to make a shortlist of required features.
Here are some of the top features to look out for:
Feature #1. Customizability
Although white-label social networks offer turnkey solutions, that doesn’t mean they have a one-size-fits-all approach. With powerful customization options, you should be able to choose your own colours, logos, features, backgrounds, icons, and menu structures.
Feature #2. Messaging
Online communities are where relationships are made. That’s where the power lies in social media marketing and brand-building. Messaging lets members communicate with one another and the community at large.
Feature #3. Friending
When people get involved with the community, they’ll start to make friends. The relationships they forge will become an integral part of their association with your brand, so it’s always good to let people add friends and send private messages.
Feature #4. Groups
Larger communities can quickly become fragmented as different interest groups struggle for attention. The ability to define separate interest groups can help keep conversations on topic and segment your audience effectively.
Feature #5. Archiving
Although they trace their history back to online forums, modern social networks offer media-rich experiences with photo- and video-sharing. You’ll need a way to archive all your content so that it’s readily available to your community.
Feature #6. Analytics
Analytics help you understand your community by providing information about your members, content, and device usage. This provides invaluable insights into how you can improve your community and drive stronger user experiences.
Feature #7. Mobility
Most of the time spent on the small screen is spent using native social media apps. Having a native mobile app is crucial for enhancing your reach, especially if you’re primarily serving a consumer audience.
Feature #8. Integrations
A well-run branded social network can become a crucial component in customer relationship management, support, and product ideation. To streamline your workflows, you’ll likely need something with an open API for seamless integration with your existing tools.
How should I choose a white-label social network platform?
Choosing the most suitable white label social network platform is one of the most important aspects of creating a custom social network. For example, the platform should be easy to use and navigate, with a clean and modern design. And it should also be responsive, so that users can access it on any device.
When choosing the platform, it is important to consider the user experience and how you want users to interact with each other. As such, the user interface is another critical element. This should be intuitive and easy to use, with a consistent functionality across all devices.
When choosing a white-label social network platform, you’ll probably already have a vision in mind, as well as a shortlist of features. But social networking is all about people and relationships, so it helps to translate these into the user experiences you want to achieve.
Here’s how to choose the right platform:
Step #1. Define its purpose
The secret to running a successful social network is building a community with a shared vision. Common purposes include peer-to-peer customer support, product ideation, accessibility to online services, or organising events. You might have multiple goals, and that’s fine too.
Step #2. Count your members
Most white-label social platforms are very scalable, but they still have their limits. For example, if you expect to have hundreds of thousands of members, you’ll probably be looking for an enterprise-grade solution, but that would be overkill for a small business.
Step #3. Know your members
To know your members, you’ll need to refer to your audience personas. Identifying their needs, pain points, and desires gives you a powerful starting point when it comes to choosing features and empowering stronger user experiences.
Step #4. Determine your skills
Some white-label solutions are harder to implement than others. For example, if you need any complex integrations, you may need to hire a developer if you don’t have the necessary skills in-house.
Step #5. Brand your white-label social network
One of the key benefits of having a white-label social network is that you get apply your own branding to the platform. That means adapting it to an existing visual style, which may include factors like colours, typefaces, menu structures, and other visual or navigational content.
Step #6. Integrate your tech
By integrating your existing technology, you can boost efficiency and share data between apps more effectively. To do this, you’ll need a platform that provides an application programming interface (API). This provides maximum flexibility, but may also require specialised expertise.
Step #7. Control your content
Every social network needs its rules and policies. This helps create a healthy environment and set the right expectations. You’ll also need to be transparent about how you collect customer data and what you do with it to ensure compliance with Europe’s GDPR.
Step #8. Choose if your white-label social network should be public or private
One of the biggest questions is whether to keep your community open to the public or make it invite-only. Public communities are often more suitable for consumer-facing organisation, but private ones also have their advantages, such as offering a greater feeling of exclusivity.
Should I buy or build my own white-label social network?
Whether you buy or build your own social network depends on several key factors: your needs, your budget, and the level of expertise available to you. While building your own platform gives you limitless freedom and control, it’s overkill for most smaller brands. Not only is it far more expensive; it also takes a lot more time, and the responsibility to maintain it thereafter falls to you. According to this calculator, it can cost up to £40,000 just to make such an app. For small- and medium-sized businesses, a white-label social networking app is clearly a no-brainer.
Learn How to Create a White-Label Social Network with Disciple
If you go through the criteria laid out above for creating a white label social network, and then you peruse the feature set offered by Disciple, you will notice that we check all the boxes and then some.
- Customisability – Check
- Messaging – Check
- Groups – Check
- Archiving – Check
- Analytics – Check
- Mobility – Check
- Integrations – Check
In addition, Followers, Member profiles, @mentions, Commenting, #hashtags, Polls, Scheduling, Live Streaming, and Push Notifications, along with world-class Customer Support are all on the table enabling you to create a white label social network that rocks safely and securely. Your Disciple white label community app also gives you total control over user-generated content and the ability to manage all data in compliance with GDPR standards.
Let’s not forget one more thing: anyone who aspires to create a viable, resilient online community needs to be able to moderate user content and activity in a way they deem best for their members. Disciple provides the tools and puts moderation decisions squarely in your hands where they belong.
With Disciple, You’re Not Alone
You might be thinking: “This all sounds very well and good, but I don’t have any experience setting up a white label social network. Who is going to help me?” The short answer? We are.
We understand that creating a thriving online community can seem a daunting task. That’s why we’ve spent nearly as much time developing our helpful resource centre and customer support mechanisms as we have developing our white label social network app.
Our mission is to enable your success and that means being there for you when you need us, making our help resources easily accessible, clear and accurate, and backstopping everything with some of the best technical support in the industry.
The Power of Teamwork
We believe in the power of teamwork to overcome all obstacles. So when you choose the Disciple white label community software you’re also choosing the Disciple team. That team is on your side from Day 1 helping clear away the technical fog, showing you how to effectively monetise your community and guiding you through the launch process so that you can soar.
Disciple is a white-label social network that gives brands complete ownership and control over the experience. Contact us today to talk about your community.