White label (aka private) social networks have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Their appeal comes from allowing a company to completely own and control everything regarding the network, ranging from appearance to content. However, this type of ownership comes at a significant price, especially when compared to the available public social networks. White label networks certainly have advantages over public social networks, but weighing the advantages against the incurred costs is paramount when considering building a company’s own private network.
When evaluating private networks in relation to non-profits, like Ronald McDonald House Charities, the situation becomes all the more favorable toward public networks. Most non-profits, RMHC included, simply cannot afford to create these private social networks when the public networks offer equal benefits, in terms of outreach. However, using a site like Ning (link below) to build the company’s own social network may provide the benefits without the large costs.
That said, a theoretical private social network for RMHC does have strong branding possibilities. The company could make the network available for employees, families, and the general public. There would be no stringent membership requirements, although the sign-up page could encourage providing a location of which the potential member has partaken in. The network could host global company information while providing a comprehensive list (with website links) to every single RMHC branch around the world. Beside the traditional information and pictures readily available elsewhere, the network could feature a sliding display of tweets, pictures, and posts from various RMHCs, with the aforementioned posts coming from employees, families, or volunteers.
In addition, personal experience posts with RMHC would be encouraged, along with comments. Furthermore, the network would have information regarding opportunities to volunteer or donate, alongside finding the nearest RMHC to a person’s location. A mobile app could prove beneficial here, with location services being made available for the app.
In essence, expanding a company like Ronald McDonald House Charities to include white label networking has the potential for benefits. However, those benefits may not be necessarily benefits that are not gained from public social media. If RMHC were to jump on the private network bandwagon, a site like Ning could be used at a much lower cost than other private networks.
It is important to note, however, that this post is referring exclusively to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown, WV. If the global headquarters chose to implement the white label network and make the network available for all RMHCs, then the prospect of white label networks becomes far more enticing (and possible). However, RMHC branches operate independently of one another, making this idea null at the present time.