Social networking has become an aspect of our everyday lifeâ€”whether it’s Facebook we often use, or Twitter, or Pinterest. Relationships and communication are now managed and maintained mostly through social media.
Considering the speed through which our lives currently operate, it’s no wonder people took to the internet like wildfire. Today’s internet speeds help almost anyone get in contact with their friends, family and peers with the simple click of a button. With the internet being available in nearly every corner of every metropolitan area, people are able to stay in touch nearly 24 hour a day.
It’s no wonder, then, that many forms of social networking sites have emerged. Along with this trend comes BuddyPress, a WordPress plugin that allows you to create your very own social network within your WordPress site.
Granted, integrating BuddyPress into your blog or website doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s intended to be a massive social networking site. Instead, BuddyPress allows you and your site’s customers to be able to interact with one another through a small yet essential array of mediums.
Installing BuddyPress means that you can allow users who sign up for accounts in your blog to be able to get their own blogâ€”as a part of your own, larger site. This is actually perfect for guest blogging and creating a community around you brand or business. It creates a sense of community around certain topics or niches, niches that your site should already be catering to.
Adding a bit of interactivity to their experience with your site can only enhance it moreâ€”if done properly. It’s kind of a step up from the usual forum posting. But then again, BuddyPress has that too.
Not only do users have the chance to create their own blogs within your site, but they can also post to and interact within the forums. If community is what you’re building in your website, then why not go all out and provide enough avenues for your visitors and readers to interact? The best thing about it, all the traffic is yoursâ€”not Facebook’s nor Twitter’s.
Like most social networking sites, BuddyPress has activity streams per user. This helps everyone keep track of their own activities on the website: their posts, conversations, and updates. Like any social networking site, this creates the life blood of the community. When everyone is sharing with one another their thoughts and opinions, the community is richer for it.
How Does This Apply to Your Website?
BuddyPress has been used to create online communities around campuses and companies. It can operate as a wide social network for a particular university or college, or even serve as a means of internal communication within your company.
In business, however, BuddyPress is more useful in creating small communities around certain niche topics. If your business is about cars, for example, the social network could be a way for the community to discuss every aspect they love about driving, fixing, or tinkering with cars. If you’re planning on launching certain products, a social network is also the perfect place for you to be able to communicate quickly and easily with your audienceâ€”much like how email marketing makes it easy to reach your more dedicated fans.
In the end, it’s all about how you manage and strategize the use of such a network. Your social network will never surpass Facebook or Twitter, however it doesn’t need to. All it needs to be is a sanctuary for like-minded people to share their thoughts and opinions about a topic that they themselves already love and are knowledgeable about.