Why You Should Use BuddyPress to Build Your Small Business Social Network

I’ve talked about creating your own social networking site to support your overall small business branding campaign, and I would like to take this opportunity to recommend you BuddyPress – social networking in a box for WordPress-powered sites.

What is BuddyPress and how I benefit from it?

BuddyPress was founded in 2008 with the initial intention for the Founder to add social networking features for WordPress MU (WordPress with multi-user capabilities.)

BuddyPress main purpose is to build a community in which people can connect, communicate and share. If you have an established business web presence, adding BuddyPress to your web presence will give you enormous benefits in bringing prospects and ‘business evangelists’ in a melting pot – all in all pushing your business branding effort exponentially.

BuddyPress is like a seed thrown on a fertile ground – riding on WordPress growing popularity worldwide. WordPress has become the all-powerful CMS (content management system) instead of a mere blogging platform, and BuddyPress only add more power to WordPress – so, yes, it’s a very supportive relationship.

BuddyPress, very much like WordPress, is open-source. The coding, themes, documentations and plugins are all built by BuddyPress community. So, I think it will be around for quite a long time.

Just like building a WordPress-based blog/web site, you need a certain technical knowledge to get it up and running – but just like its big brother, WordPress, BuddyPress is easy to install and configure. If you are in doubt, you can always outsource the social networking site project.

Why you should use BuddyPress

Before I give you some reasons why you should use BuddyPress to build your social network, consider visiting these BuddyPress-powered sites: The Academic Commons of The City University of New York and Eco Living.

cuny academic commons
CUNY Academic Commons

eco living
Hello Eco Living

Visiting both examples above, you can see that BuddyPress is, indeed, a powerful tool to build your ‘endorsed’ business social networking site. The on-site features allow you to have inter-connected members and groups, and this is great in business brand evangelism and awareness.

Here are some benefits of BuddyPress for your small business social network:

  • Improved and empowered on regular basis. Errors and bugs are fixed on regular basis through upgrades. New features – through member-created add-ons – are added literally on daily basis, adding value to the basic software.
  • Community powered and supported. Related to the above, new add-ons will only be helpful in making BuddyPress as flexible and friendly as possible. Whenever you or your techie needs help, member-powered support will always be accessible.
  • Runs on powerful and popular WordPress CMS. A strong foundation is the key to success – BuddyPress is running with WordPress, and I don’t think you can find any better solutions for your social networking site.
  • Customisable to your need. You can do almost anything with BuddyPress – you can add features that can support your business branding the best, and yes – you or your techie can always develop custom add-ons to add features to your social bookmarking sites.

If you are one of the small business owners whose site is implementing BuddyPress, I’d like to hear your story and testimonial – please share yours by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Social networking in a box