Social Media: Niche Is In
My colleague Pete has done a great job these past few weeks giving the run down on some of the internet’s most popular social media sites, including Twitter chats, Pinterest, Instagram, and most recently, LinkedIn. With the addition of Facebook, a company could gain a steady stream of publicity and consumer interest by being active on at least one of these larger social networks. When it comes to social media, the larger the network, the better, right? As I will point out, sometimes smaller, or “niche” social networks, are the way to go. The right niche social network can deliver better results, help connect a brand with the RIGHT consumers, and even offer a more intimate setting for brands to interact with consumers.
Social Media Examiner gives a few more benefits of a niche social network: “Use a niche social network to reach a narrowly targeted audience where strategic networking can help you connect with potential customers and business partners of all kinds. A niche social network within your industry can work wonders to reach people of interest there.”
Paul Chaney via ClickZ also offers insight as to why these niche sites are becoming very popular:
“Rather than connecting people with family and friends across their social graph, the nexus of these communities is shared interests and passions, or their “interest graph. Another factor contributing to the growth of niche communities is that major networks like Facebook and Twitter have become incredibly noisy and over-crowded, with much of the content lacking any degree of relevance or depth.”
Personally, I agree with him. Facebook is the new MySpace, something most people have, but don’t necessarily like. It’s also loosing teens’ interest fast, a major driver for most social sites. Twitter is a personal favorite – but unless you’re on it all day, it can be hard to follow your own Twitter feed that gives you 50+ new tweets, or more depending on the number of people you follow, in only a few minutes time. But I digress…
So, if niche social networking is in, what exactly does a niche social site look like, and what interests have their own networks? I can’t quite answer the second question, because honestly, as long as your interest isn’t too specific, I bet you could find a related social networking site. To give you a glimpse of what one looks like, I provided a link to one of my favorites below:
Houzz.com – “Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish.” I’ve helped clients set up a Houzz profile, which is extremely easy to do. Houzz users can be your average consumer, a brand, an installer, or essentially anyone with an interests in home design, decorating, architecture, etc… If you’re in the home or interior design business, Houzz is certainly worth checking out.
Have you found a niche social networking site that you use frequently? Or if my blog encouraged you to do some niche searching online, I’d like to hear about what you find. Mainstream social media sites are great for connecting with friends, family, and even brands, but when it comes to interests and hobbies, you may be better off joining a smaller, niche social media network to help connect you with others who share the same interest.
Tim Viall, account coordinator, @TimothyViall