Ally Windsea
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Thinking how to create a social media site? Then the first thing you have to remember: “social” is in its veins. Within Ning platform you can create a social online community, and turn it into a powerful magnet for many devoted followers.

Whatever you do, always make the word “social” primary. Remember: your social network is made by people, for people. Otherwise it’s just one more ordinary website.

Use these simple ways to create a social media website and take a full advantage of it.

1. Add social sign in to your network

If you want to create a social media website that is easy to use, then you have to make the first step of your members as easy as possible. What’s their first step on your network? Right, sign up process. It’s obvious – people want to save their time and skip all those forms. Using social sign-in in your Ning network allows people enter the online community with the credentials from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and WindowsLive. Learn more how to do it here.

2. Keep a track on your website traffic

How does your online community work? Same as any other – it has to be “social”, which means bringing more participants into it. Whatever you launch: a group of “Game of Thrones” fans, or a community of retired persons, it is created primarily for people. I doubt if you want to be the only member.

The same thing with online networking. When people think how to start a social media site, at some moment they begin to consider having more followers. Those people are your website traffic. There are special tools that help you see how many Internet users are visiting your website. Moreover, you can analyze their behavior and use this information to build your social network they way you want it.

Use Google Analytics to track the web traffic on your Ning network. Learn how users discover your website, define your target audience and focus on the right people. This feature is simple to add and easy to use. Get helpful insights and make your next marketing steps more thoughtful. Read how to set up Google Analytics here.

3. Social Feeds feature

If you plan how to make a social media website, don’t expect that you can confine yourself to creating a social network only. There are many ways to connect your online community to other social media.

Ning Feeds features allows you to link the activity from your social channels into your Ning network. Add streams from your Twitter or Facebook page, build on your custom searches and RSS feed. Enjoy having it all at your elbow.

4. Sharing is caring

If you search how to create a social media website that will be talked around, do not forget about “share” feature.

On Ning community building platform, you can easily share any important updates from your online network.

Want your Facebook friends or Twitter followers know what’s happening on your network? Just post your status updates directly into other social media website. Sharing is caring – let people care about your social network.

Here you can find some tutorials on how to share content directly to Facebook or Twitter.

5. Add some extras

It’s not enough to start your social media website – you have to keep it running. For full integration with other social services, Ning platform suggest you Extensions and Apps. The streamlined users-friendly atmosphere lets you pull in the content from WordPress, YouTube, SoundCloud and Ustream. Choose what content to post and where to take it from. Your network is your world, and here you can live it to the fullest.  Find an introduction to Ning Apps here.

6. Use Flickr

Your message speaks louder to the readers and spreads faster if you help your readers imagine what you are talking about. What can work out better than some striking photos? Using images makes your social network content more eye-catching and readable.

Long paragraphs make people tired only by watching them. Can you imagine what happens when they start reading it? (if they ever start, of course) That is why it is so important to use engaging photos to drive attention of your network members.

Do you have a Flickr account? Ning features allow you to add it directly into your network. Upload and share photos across the web to all groups of people. Now there are definitely more chances that people would not leave your social media website right after the page uploaded! Discover how to use all benefits of photos for your account in this guide.

7. Like it

“Likes” matter. That’s why it’s considerable to make this process of “liking” easy and affordable to your network members. The “share” and “like” buttons are always at your disposal at Ning social network site. You can also add buttons for Google+, Facebook and Twitter. There is also such thing as Network Like option – you can have the likes live within your online network. You don’t need any coding to get your members engaged! Here is the detailed instruction on how to enable the Like Feature.

8. Constant contact

So you learnt how to create a social media site and how to communicate with your members within your online community. Now it’s time to learn how to talk to them outside your social network. Use e-mail marketing and communicate externally to your followers with the Constant Contact platform.

Here you can automatically synchronize member information to your constant contact account. Now you can easily message them and always be in touch. Your online community members will never miss any updates or news. Read the full tutorial here.

So you’ve just read a guide on how to create a social media site. Now ask yourself: how social is your network? The word social is in Ning’s genes. And we are always going the extra mile to improve our genetic history – with more opportunities available. So which features do you want to see on your Ning social network?

🙂 UPDATED. This post has been updated and amended due to the recent Ning’s news and trends. Feel free to contact us if you want to add something or share your thoughts in the comments!
Always yours, Ning.