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5 Services That Let You Build a Private Social Network

December 13th, 2012 ::

Members onlyWhen you’re building a community around your business, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will only get you so far. After all, they can be pretty noisy–and crowded. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have your own exclusive online community to take engagement to the next level?

Whether you want to better connect with customers, business partners or your own employees, you can easily create a private online community. Here are 5 free popular services to check out:

BuddyPress

If you’ve already got a WordPress site (or wouldn’t mind creating a new one), BuddyPress is perfect for you. Their platform lets you easily create a fully featured social network inside your WordPress.org powered site. They offer numerous features that you can turn on and off at will, plus lots of plugins, from videoconferencing to captcha for new users (handy for keeping out bots).

Everyme

Available as an iPhone or Android app and Web app, Everyme lets you choose who to share with and how. Think of it as SMS texting, but way better. Just divvy up your friends, family and communities into separate circles.  You can customize your group’s settings and easily manage access to the things you share, and you can share photos and videos. Everyme works across devices and is available on the Web and by email.

Path

While this iOS and Android app was designed to be a personal journal and thus a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, it is absolutely applicable to business use – especially for branding purposes. Described as “the dinner table at home,” you can share photos, videos, who you’re with and where you are. It learns about you as you use it, and of course allows for commenting.

Sgrouples

As they say on their site, “In real life you don’t have 700 friends, and you don’t talk in 140 characters.” Similar to EveryMe, Sgrouples lets you invite your friends, family and communities to join you in private groups where you can share what you want with exactly who you want, just like in real life. You can also store photos and documents in your own private cloud – a great feature for businesses!

Yammer

As the first enterprise social network, Yammer is specifically intended for businesses. Their robust feature set allows for easy collaboration, file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency. You can access Yammer from the Web, mobile device or a tablet, and you can add external customers, vendors and partners.

Do you use a private social network to improve customer and employee engagement?  How has it impacted your bottom line?

Image courtesy of mysecuritysign.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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