How to Develop Social Networking App from Scratch
You might have a great idea of a social networking app. You will not be able to execute your app idea. If you are not aware of how social networking apps should be developed? You might think developing a social networking app is very easy. Your app can create traction/demand in the market. However, if you don’t know the steps to follow to build a social networking app, you might fail in your endeavor. Simaplm is a leading app development company in Virginia and has developed several social networking apps for startups and companies.
They all have to follow certain steps. Here is a list of steps you should follow to build your social networking app:
Write down your idea
This is the first step to begin the development process. If, you have imagined a new, innovative idea for the next generation of social networking app that allows users to do creative things and engage them. Then, you should write down your idea on a piece of paper. When you start writing, you see it from different angles. You will be able to provide a better shape to your ideas and understand the key aspects of your project. Hence, we suggest you write down your idea several times and in different ways. when you will write down you can visualize what the user can do using your app? People don’t want to write down the idea and start working immediately. They have to face several problems when they start implementing their ideas. Therefore, it is an essential step, you should always keep in mind. By writing down your idea you can change the complete scenario of your social networking app.
Identify the audience and the objective
The success of a social network app depends upon the installation and user engagement. Here you will be thinking about your app users. Who is going to use your social media app? Your app users are only youngsters or people of all age groups? Audience identification will help in designing a more appealing social networking app. The social networking apps are mostly used by people of a younger age of more than eighteen years. Knowing your audience helps you in designing the app according to their needs and wants from a social networking app. As fulfilling the users’ requirements, you can make them comfortable to spend more time operating your social networking app. User engagement will increase your app demand and indirectly increasing the chances of your app success. It is an ongoing process and you must carry out changes with the change in the taste of the people. Accordingly, you need to make possible changes in the app to fulfill the audience’s needs and without disturbing the core features of your social networking app.
Once you have decided that your idea is great, unique and can have enough audience, then you should conduct general market research. With proper market research, you can :
- Identify your app competitors and how their social networking apps have performed in the last 3 years.
- Know the reasons why social networking apps have failed, and try to see if you can avoid those failures.
- Identify the reasons why other social networking apps have succeeded and try to see if you can replicate those successes in your app idea.
- Analyze the general market trend for social networking apps that are liked by the people, retention rate, and others.
Identify the Monetization Strategies
Money is an essential element to convert your social media app into a success. You would feel more motivated when you start generating money from the social app. The reason for developing a social networking app is to earn money. There are several ways to monetize a social media app, such as paid subscriptions, paid advertisements, user data, in-app purchases, paid downloads of the app from the store. You need to identify the right strategy for your social media app before you proceed with the development process. If your thinking to launch the paid version of your social networking app, then you may fail to connect with a large number of users. You can make them pay for the upgraded features in your social networking app. The user data can also be used to generate indirect earnings for a social networking app.
Once you have decided on the core features and functions for your social networking app. Now, you should focus on creating the sketches/wireframes for your social networking app. You should focus on creating the sketches in an expressible way. As you will get an overall view of the app functionality. There are several free and paid designing tools available that enable you to prepare effective wireframes. Using these tools, you can easily add and remove unwanted functions from the wireframes, as it does not require many skills. Visuals will help you improve your app ideas and read out the wrong ones. So you can identify the drawbacks present in your social networking app and implement steps to overcome them. Sketches will help you to present your app idea in front of the concerned people, such as investors, developers, designers, project managers, and others. You can share these wireframes with them, but not without signing an agreement. These wireframes will act as evidence of ownership on the app idea. You can consult with family, friends, and colleagues to get valuable feedback and improve the idea.
Understand the Budget You Need to Develop Your App
To develop a mobile app you will be putting your money and time to build your app. So you should be aware of the cost charged at the different stages of an app development process. You should consider the cost, such as designing tool fees, designer cost, developer cost, platform fees, and others. There might be several app development companies around, you should visit them and get quotes from them regarding the duration and pricing. You should check their experience and expertise in the field of app development. You should try to shortlist at least 5-6 app development companies based on your app development budget. Different companies will provide you different costing. Companies based in the USA will be expensive as compared to companies based in offshore locations like India or Eastern Europe. You will have to share ideas and sketches/wireframes with them to provide a good estimate for your social networking app. You should make sure that you do not share wireframes without signing an NDA with them. Once you get quotes, you will get an idea about the money you need.
Understanding of Marketing Strategies and Cost
It doesn’t end at the development, you have to market your app if you want to connect with a large group of people. You should adopt different techniques for effective marketing. While adopting a strategy you have to make sure that it does not overlap your app budget. You need to understand that mobile apps are marketed digitally. There are marketing techniques, such as social media marketing, video marketing, content marketing, website optimization, direct mailing, and other techniques. You should choose a marketing technique that suits your social networking app. You should decide whether you want to hire a marketing agency or do it yourself. Marketing agencies will charge you a lot of money. Marketing companies in the USA will charge you around $5000 a month for 60-80 hours of work. If you are going to do it yourself, then you have to learn basic marketing techniques. You have to drive them yourself with the help of a freelancer that can be an economical way.
Hire an App Developer/Development Company
After planning the strategies for developing and marketing you need a developer to shape your design, code the program. You can hire an individual app developer or startup app development agency to design, develop and publish your first social app.
They will help you with the development process but also provide you with the back end services. They are aware of the latest trends in the market. You can consult your app features and functions with them for their valuable feedback. Based upon their feedback you can customize your social networking app. If you reside in the USA, then a professional developer may charge you high based on their experience. They will provide with effective and efficient social networking app. You can also hire an app developer offshore, but the cost would vary with the change in the geographical location. There are several places where you can outsource your development projects, such as India, China, Sri Lanka, and others. When we discuss cost, the developer in the USA charges about 70$/hr, but the developer in India charges about $25 to $45 per hour. Before you hire a developer you should go through with the past work performed as a developer. You can ask for feedback from the person who has worked with them that will provide you an idea about the effectiveness of their projects.
Before you proceed for beta testing, you need to understand why it is important for your app. As through beta testing, you can test the bugs present in your mobile app that need to be timely fixed. You can also test the user experience because the beta testing is performed by the clients or users of the mobile app. They are not an employee or associates of the company. They are allowed to provide their feedback on the designs, functions, and usability of the app. You can connect with the early users of your app and understand their requirements from a social networking app. With the help of beta testing, you can improve the quality and functionality of the app. It is a cost-effective method and a reliable test that will result in customer satisfaction. When there are no bugs present in the app and users are satisfied with the working and the app can be launched successfully.
Capture Market Reaction and Enhance
After the successful launch of the social networking app the experience and feedback of the user act as a motivator. Based on that you can easily identify the effectiveness of the social networking app. Through their feedback, you can understand the app issues and take steps to resolve them. Their valuable feedback will help you customize your app, accordingly. You can make possible changes to the apps with the change in the taste of the user but without changing the features of the app. That will help your social networking app to engage the users and retain them.
Building a social media app is a process that you should be aware of and follow carefully. You can add several features like other popular social media app but you should focus on the main features that earn your user base and provide value to your customers. Drop the attitude of copying features as it is from other networks. In the end, you want to spend limited money to test the key features and hook up your customers to your social network platform.