Beyond Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: Making Social Media Work for Your Business
While it's difficult to ignore the millions and millions of followers that the big three social media sites have, there are more than 500 other social media platforms. Niche social media sites target specific audiences like book lovers, knitters and car enthusiasts. If your business targets one of these niche markets, you can get more for your social media efforts by focusing on a few small sites than by spending all of your resources on large, generalized sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Beyond Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: Examples of other social media sites
Just where are these niche social media sites? You may already be a member of one or more for you own personal interests and hobbies. A few of these sites include...
• Goodreads. A community of book enthusiasts, where editors, publishers and authors can interact with readers.
• BlogHer. A community of female entrepreneurs, bloggers and digital marketing professionals.
• Letterboxd. A place for movie enthusiasts.
• Houzz. A site for those interested in interior design and DIY home projects.
• NextDoor. A hyper-local network of sites that connect neighbors within small geographic areas.
• Ravelry. A community of knitting and crochet hobbyists.
• Care2. A site targeted at those who are interested in "green" living.
• Dogster. A community of dog lovers.
• CafeMom. A community of more than one million mothers.
These are just a few examples to give you an idea of what a niche site looks like. There are hundreds more. Look for one that appeals to your target customer.
Benefits of using niche social media sites:
- Your target customers are already there. When you post and advertise on major social media sites like Facebook, you are putting your information in front of a lot of people. However, most of those people have little to no interest in what you are selling. When you work with smaller, specialized sites, you're reaching more of the people who are likely to buy from you.
- You can often interact with potential customers for free. Many small social media sites are something of a community. By answering user questions and commenting on posts, you can very gently promote your products without paying for advertising. However, be very careful here. Most sites have rules regarding posting overtly promotional content. In addition, if you look like a spammer to the community, you'll likely be treated as one. Subtlety is the key here.
- Users will likely be already familiar with your type of product. You'll also have less educating to do when you work with smaller, niche sites. For example, book enthusiasts are already familiar with the features they want in an e-reader.
Small niche social media sites should be a part of every marketing plan where there are sites that match the target customer's profile. Using these sites can give you a bigger return for your investment of time and money as well as help you establish your company as an industry leader.