Mackenzie
Mackenzie
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A private beta is a great way to generate buzz for your social network, and to get things just right before the public starts enjoying your social network. While you’re in private beta mode, you can work on creating your perfect social network, including adding lots of content and getting the design and layout just right before you open the doors for the public.

You can create a private beta for your social network on Ning in just a few easy steps.

First, make your social network private. To do this, head to the Manage tab and click the “Network Privacy” link. During your private beta, you’ll probably want only people that have specifically been invited to join, so choose the “Private – Only invited people can join” option.

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Next, invite your first members. Start with a key group of people who will explore your social network, add content, and give you feedback. Your friends and colleagues are a good place to start. If you know people who are renowned or respected in terms of the topic of your social network, it’s great if you can get them to be part of your private beta. That way, when you open your social network up to the general public, prospective members will be excited to see that the experts are already there.

To invite people in, head to the Invite tab. You might want to include a message with your invitation, letting them know that you’re excited to have them be a part of your social network’s private beta.

During your private beta, listen to what your members like – and what they’d like to see more of – on your social network. Start a forum discussion or create a group where they can specifically share their ideas. It’s easy to do, and now is a great time to make your social network even better based on their feedback.

When you’re ready to open the doors, you can make your social network public. Just head back to the Manage tab, click the “Network Privacy” link, and select one of the “Public” privacy options. Your social network will automatically take on this new privacy setting when you click the “Save” link. With this simple step, you’ve opened your doors to the public!