Perhaps you have a business idea, and maybe a social network will benefit it.

Maybe you would like to help tourists and sightseers find unusual and not very well known historical sites and monuments. You might want to help people share their food or perhaps farmers to exchange their seed. Whatever you have in mind will probably benefit from many social interactions from people online and will work like a social network.

There are bound to be those who say “Hey I have a business project, I’m not into creating another social network. The market is crowded enough. I don’t want to compete with Facebook and Instagram. I can just open pages and groups on existing social networks and encourage people to connect to my app/website to buy my services/products.”

Businesses have been started on the Facebook community but usually they had a very slow start – no plan, a bit of luck and mouth-to-mouth hardly made a real business. Think big, don’t rely on “being lucky”. Your business plan should consider creating your own social network.

Here are 8 very good reasons to do just that:

1.Image & Reputation

If your social business uses its own social platform everything will look highly professional. You can allow people to login to your social network with their Facebook credentials so they won’t need to create a new account.

2. Data

All your users data will be kept by you and not by someone else. You can guarantee the best safety and privacy to your users/customers. You are in control of how this data will be used. Respecting users privacy is very important (big social networks aren’t doing a very good job from this point of view) but you should also remember that in marketing data is the real mother lode.

3. User Experience

Your niche is your niche. This means you know it better than anyone else and you should be able to provide the best possible user experience. You can tailor their user interface around them – their needs and requirements.

4. Freedom

No one can close your pages or groups or tell you how many friends, followers and images etc. You create your own rules and no one will tell you what you can or can’t do.

5. Growth

As your community grows you can improve the platform in line with your needs and add new and better features as the occasion demands.

6. Be conservative

If you so wish and if your social network is working well for you and your users/members are very happy with their experience, you don’t have to change anything. You can keep everything as it is. For ever.

7. Tracking and Analysis

Using your own social platform you will be many times faster (perhaps 10 times faster) in tracking every result. You can do a lot of the work that is usually is done with expensive tools, and you can create your own metrics. For example you can create different sentiment categories and make a perfect sentiment analysis.

8. Monetize your social network even if it’s not your main business

You are probably using your social platform as a marketing tool for your business but it comes with costs. You may not be thinking to monetize it directly from people using it but if you are able to target your niche and create a vibrant and dynamic community, a lot of companies will be eager to advertise on your social network. This will help to make your marketing affordable by paying for itself. Maybe even give you some extra income.