September 23rd, 2016
Social Media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are used widely enough that mentioning them in casual conversation requires little explanation. Capitalizing on their potential to reach large audiences in a cost-effective manner can reap valuable rewards for the disciplined user.
However, there also exists a wealth of smaller, more narrowly focused social channels alongside these giants. While niche social media does not promise the same potential to amass a large general following, using these platforms can lead to interacting with more specialized and focused audiences that share an interest in your industry.
For example, Goodreads is a social networking site dedicated to avid book readers. Authors, publishers, and readers alike all flock to this site to connect over an expressed, specific interest in books.
The largest and most recognizable social media platform that could perhaps qualify as “niche” would be LinkedIn. Though anyone can join, the expressed purpose of joining is to connect with others in a professional manner. In essence, networking is its specific focus.
Does the idea of establishing your brand’s presence on niche social media platforms sound appealing yet? If you’re still unsure, consider the advantages of embracing this type of social networking:
Using niche social media allows you to connect your business interests with fellow industry workers and, in some cases, devoted followers or consumers. Want to pitch an idea or gauge feedback from a more informed audience? People who use these types of networks can be a reliable source for this type of information.
Additionally, these networks provide you with audiences that already have an interest in and familiarity with your industry. Capitalizing on leads and creating conversions requires significantly less effort through niche social media than through larger platforms like Facebook or Twitter because less education is involved from a sales and marketing perspective.
For example, Dogster and Catster are niche social sites for individuals who love their dogs or cats. Working in the pet food industry? You’ll find that people here are going to care about the quality of your product, thus providing a path to easily communicate its value.
Forming connections in an environment that is specific to your industry encourages social interaction and can lead to new opportunities to connect and collaborate with likeminded individuals that can assist you in advancing your business. Need to outsource manufacturing for your product line? Rather than blasting Facebook and Twitter with requests for referrals, uncover a niche social network in your industry where those desired targets are likely already available and looking for your business.
Whether you’re seeking connection with potential industry collaborators or looking to improve audience engagement, do consider the human quality of your social efforts. On these platforms, users want to interact with the people behind the brand, not a faceless company account.
Can you identify direct competitors in your immediate market? Is there a Pepsi to your Coca-Cola? Those companies might already be using these networks that you have yet to join. Using these niche social platforms will allow you to track your competitor’s activities, get new insights on key decisions they’re making, and help you gauge your target market’s reactions through feedback from other users. Your desired audience didn’t like your competition’s newest product because of X, Y, and Z? Use that information in your own product development efforts so your business doesn’t fall to the same shortcomings.
If you think that joining a niche social network will help expand your business practices, start by deciding which platform best suits your needs. Convert with Content has a great list of over sixty different channels you can search through if you’re looking for a place to start. However, there are many more options available to you, so do your research. You might be surprised at how many lesser known social media platforms exist for you to leverage.