If you are thinking about how to make a social media app successful, it is easy to feel a little intimidated by the big players in the industry. It is no secret that the social media space has well-established companies that basically control the entire industry. They already cater to what feels like every human social need, so why bother getting into this market? This is a common assumption among many prospective developers, and it discourages them from coming up with what could potentially be outstanding, innovative and million dollar social media apps. The fact that the big players have blanket control over the entire industry only means that niche markets have been overlooked, and are ripe for the taking. This is where the opportunities lie.
The countless opportunities in the social media niche markets bring us to the main point of this article: How to make a social media app that stands out from the crowd and holds its ground among the giants. Many wonderful niche social media apps have already proved countless times that this is in fact possible to achieve. Some of the examples that immediately come to mind include Strava, an app for athletes, Upmyle, a sports and fitness lifestyle app, PensterDocs, an app for pet lovers, and District27, the app that allows you to meet people around you. All these apps have garnered millions of users and have become immensely successful despite venturing into what seemed like a crowded market.
The trick here is simple. If you come up with a unique concept that caters to a specific niche, coupled with original ideas and great content, and you have a recipe for an outstanding app. As long as you put the needs of your users first, they will love your product, and your app will be successful.
So, how to make your social media app successful?
In order to come up with a successful app, you need to understand how social media apps work. Every successful social media app has three main features: the profiles, the feeds, and the connections. These three features are usually given different names on different social media sites.
The profiles are unique personal accounts within the app design that users get to personalize and promote among their circles. Good social media apps make the personalization of profiles fast, easy and effortless. This can be done by allowing users to link to their other existing accounts and import their details so that they do not have to recreate their entire profiles.
Next are the feeds. Feeds are the stream of content that your users get to see. This is what they have come to your site for, so it needs to be as engaging and entertaining as possible. You need to keep your users on your app for as long as possible. A user’s feeds come from other users, so your app design needs to make the creation of attention-grabbing feeds as easy as possible. This can be achieved by enabling users to target the audiences their posts reach and allowing the creation of content that makes your users feel good about themselves, such as enhanced photos.
Finally, great social media apps are all about the connections. If you are making a social media app, you need to put in place strategies that will allow your users to connect with one another. Have an option that will let them search for people with similar interests to theirs, have the ability to group people into communities of similar likes and values (think Facebook groups or Twitter lists), and the ability to connect with other existing social networks if your users so choose. Additionally, a suggestions system can open up your users to newer connections. Lastly, understand how your users interact with the content. Are they out to discover new content, do they seek out specific content, or are they there to interact with other users and share their views through comments? Every user is unique, cater to their unique needs and your app will be successful.
Once you have a concept you believe in, and you understand how social media apps work, you can finally start creating your app. Here are a few pro tips to help you create a successful social media app:
- Put Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes
Who are you building your app for? What do they need? Put yourself in their shoes. Make your app as easy to use as possible. Good app development means keeping everything simple. If you stumble upon something that works really well, do not change it. Instead, simplify it even further. Your users need to perform the smallest number of actions as they interact with your app. Do not make users recreate social profiles and networks when they can import them from existing networks. Do not make your pages heavy and slow to load when you can simplify them. Make your app effortless to use and it will be a success.
- Pick A Niche And Cater To It Completely
People identify more with other people who have similar interests to their own. A niche social media app that caters to a smaller group of people will be more effective than a broader one. Think of it this way. Assume you have been asked to organize a meeting. The main aim of this meeting is to allow your guests to share their stories, connect with each other and build relationships. Your level of success in your task is measured by how well the meeting goes. You have two groups of people, you can only pick one group that you think will make your task achieve the highest level of success. Group A is made up of people who love colors Anyone who is partial to a color, any color, is in Group A. Group B is made up of left-handed people who love the color purple. Which group do you think is likely to help you achieve the highest level of success?
- Observe Your Competitors
Learn from both successful competitors and those that have failed. Be quick to adapt. As Picasso put it, good artists copy, great artists steal. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to make a social media app successful. If a key competitor implements a feature that works wonders for their app, take a deeper look at this feature. Adapt it, develop it, make it better, make it yours.
- Watch the Trends
What trends are popular among your users today? What are some future trends that have been predicted? What impact will they have on your niche? Answer these questions and design for your answers. Trends like instant messaging and live video streaming have revolutionized the social media space. Today, ephemeral content, or content that lasts for a limited period of time, is trending. How can you harness the popularity of this trend in your app development to your advantage?
With these few strategies and tips in your back pocket, it is quite possible to strike out on your own and stake a claim on your very own little corner of the social media space. Hopefully, a little light has been shed on how to make a social media app successful. Go forth and conquer! So, is there opportunity in the social media app market? We say, heck yes!