How to create a white-label social network [Ultimate Guide]

Black and white staircase with a sign all ideas grow out of other ideas

A white-label social network lets organisations and individuals build a platform like Facebook, but one which they have ownership over. It’s a turnkey solution that you can customise with your own branding and use to enhance customer relationships.

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.

What are the most important features to look for?

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. Customisability

Although white-label social networks offer turnkey solutions, that doesn’t mean they have a one-size-fits-all approach. With powerful customisation 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?

When choosing a white-label social network, 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 platform 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.

Mike Harrower in
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