Having your own social media site is a great way to promote your niche business. By providing a venue where your audience can actively discuss a common interest, interact through various media, and create meaningful relationships, you'll be able to focus on strategically marketing products to people who are deeply interested in your niche.
However, social media hosting places a heavy strain on server resources, especially when the site starts to get large. Your webhost will play a big role in the success of the social media site, in terms of providing the resources that you need at any given time.
Social media sites differ in terms of complexity. At the very least, they will need to provide the following services to their users:
- A Friend System
- A Notification System (News Feed)
- A Photo Gallery
- A Communications System (Chat and Email)
You may decide on adding other services, like custom applications, that will add to the complexity of your site. Remember, the more services you add, the more server resources you'll need.
Managing a social media site will take a lot of effort on your side and on your web host provider. The larger it gets, the more effort and resources it will require, so you'll definitely need a web host that has the ability to provide you with the following:
- Can your Web Host provide the speed your site needs? One of the most popular characteristics of a well-known social networking site is speed. People want to communicate in real time, which means that your web host must be able to provide the speed that your users expect.
Site speed is affected by many different factors including design and bandwidth. You and your team of website designers are responsible for designing a site that is optimized for page loading. Your web host will be responsible for providing you a hosting plan or customized hosting packages that have sufficient bandwidth for your social media site.
- Will your social media site be stable with your web host? The key factor that has made Facebook such a success is stability. People know that when they get on the internet, Facebook will always be available.
It's imperative that your social media site meets the same expectations. You need a web host that can guarantee a very high percentage of up time. However, don't just take their word for it. Do your own research to find out if the web host has a good reputation when it comes to stability.
- Will your host provide scalability? Because your social media site is dedicated for people with a common interest, you won't be expecting it to get as large as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other popular social networking sites. However, this doesn't mean that there won't be a significant increase in membership, especially if you're in a popular niche.
When you're starting out, your site may not need too much server resources, but this can quickly change. Your web host needs to be able to provide your site with as much or as little resources you need at any time.
- Will your host provide added security? This has always been a factor in any social networking site. Your members need to feel secure when they're on the site. They need to be able to decide on what information they want to share with their friends or which they want the public to have access to.
- Can your webhost provide 24/7 support? Since your social media site will be up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can expect to have concerns or requests coming in at any hour. Some of these concerns may need to be addressed by your web hosts, so you'll need a host that can provide you with support when you need it.