Leveraging a white-label social network software to create an engaging online community can be a powerful business strategy for brands and creators. Among many benefits, some of the key use cases revolve around unlocking user-generated content for a brand, improving self-service, building stronger user connections, collecting feedback, enabling co-creation.
In the present day, some of the popular social networks are Facebook, Quora, Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok – these social media platforms are available to anyone with access to the web. All of these platforms have acquired a gigantic number of members who produce even higher amounts of content. Millions of users connect with each other, product content, react to the content with comments and likes. Businesses and creators with own followings and users can easily get overwhelmed with all the channels.
While the platforms can still help brands distribute their content and raise awareness, in recent times, brands are increasingly moving towards “white-label social networks”. This essentially means setting up a branded social network that is maintained and hosted by the company which doesn’t show any branding of the underlying software.
These communities are designed to involve people who are in some form engaged with the brand. It can be either public or private; however, even these public communities at least require users to sign up. Also, the private communities are typically designed to only allow only the customers, internal audiences, stakeholders to enable discussions securely.
Importance of white-label social network
Any business can register with a public social network such as Facebook and start publishing updates. But, note that there are millions of other companies posting content and it is very easy to get hidden in algorithm changes, countless notifications, and distractions. And what happens when you would like to have a collaborative conversation with your most loyal customers?
These social networks fail when it comes to collecting, connecting, and engaging your audiences in a segmented manner. Hence, white-label social networks that are hosted by the brand come into the picture and offer the following benefits:
- An online community instills a sense of belongingness and opens up a platform to create private spaces for loyal users. You can provide additional privileges, and engage with the customers to improve loyalty and lifetime value.
- A platform for users to carry out candid conversation so that brands can collect feedback and drive innovation by sensing user requirements in a secure space.
- You can drive the support queries to the online community as well and empower the users to help each other. This can further help other users with similar issues and in turn, help you deflect support tickets.
- Brands can quickly respond to the feedbacks posted in the community and rectify the issues raised by the users.
- Tap into the referral network of the users easily and drive brand advocacy.
- Gain total control over the data generated in the community and protect the personal data of the users.
White-label social network examples
We discussed the basic premise of setting up branded social networks. Now let’s look at some of the examples to get a better idea.
Komodo Platform, a leading company working in the blockchain space (cryptocurrency privacy and security) created own online community to connect those who have backed their project as well as people interested in learning blockchain technology. This way the company fully owns the platform and ensures that their messages truly reach the audiences without any distraction or algorithm changes.
Similarly, DeineTierwelt created own online community as well as embedded the community touchpoints inside the mobile app to socially connect their users across channels.
Similarly, retail companies such as Decathlon and technology/software companies such as IBM, Pipedrive, ConvertKit have created different types of public and private communities.
Apart from this, companies that sell membership subscriptions for courses and training launch private communities. White-label social networks are also popular in the education space as institutions create these online networks to connect their students and alumni. These networks are particularly helpful for sharing knowledge, job postings, raising capital, collecting donations, organizing events.
Popular features of white-label social network software
Social networks can be customized to any extent — for example, it can be a micro-blogging site similar to Twitter, an app-based social network like Snapchat or a Q&A-based site like Quora. However, the majority of the social network comprises of the following:
Activity stream – This is a feed that encompasses the content posted by different members and provides important updates in a contextual and personalized manner.
Post type – This enables different types of posts — Q&A, short updates, discussions, blogs, polls, etc. The ability to process videos, upload images, and compose content in a rich text editor is also crucial.
Content organization – A way to categorize different content posted in the community. It could be different topics and user groups.
Networking – Building connections by following member profiles — this could be a two-way connection or one-way connection.
Reactions – Ability to react to posts by posting replies and expressing own notion by liking or upvoting content.
Notification – Ability to keep members updated about different important facets of the account. This includes emails, digests, push notifications, etc.
Moderation – This is an admin feature to help the community builders keep the community safe, enforce regulations, and structure the community for the best user experience.
Analytics – This helps the community builders understand key metrics associated with the online network. For example, member growth, popular content, sentiment score, retention rate, content reach, engagement rate, active member growth are some of the popular metrics.
Selecting a white-label social network software
We discussed different popular features starting from discussions and networking to messaging and content categorization. Based on your requirements, it is time for you to note down the features you need. You might all of the features, you might need some of the features.
Here is a template we have created to help you gather requirements for an online community.
Now, with your social community software you will be connecting your audiences — could be your customers, employees, or simply the users of you niche network. When it comes to the software, there boarding the following solutions:
- A cloud-based platform
- Building from scratch or customizing an open-source solution
Let’s understand the pros and cons:
Cloud-based software – Pros
- It is very cost-effective to opt for a SaaS solution
- The security, hosting, maintenance is taken care of by the vendor
- Fast time to market
Cloud-based software – Cons
- The features might not be exactly based on your need
- The release of new features might not be under your control
Building from scratch – Pros
- Complete control over the features and how they would function
- Customization capability is very high
Building from scratch – Cons
- It’d be very expensive to work with a development agency or an engineering team to create a social network
- You need to take care of all the technical aspect of the network (including security)
A middle ground with the best of both worlds
Tribe offers such a solution with its cloud-based offering that can also be fully customized exactly based on your requirements.
We discussed several benefits of a brand-hosted social network using a white-label solution (e.g., Tribe Platform), various examples, and different options to create an online network. Based on your requirements, now you should be ready to get started with the right approach. If you have any questions or want us to cover additional details, post in the comments section.