It’s hard to surpass the domination that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube have over the social media space.The major thing these networks have in common is that they tap into the unique interests a person has online that they’re interested in sharing with others.
This is also what’s truly valuable about a person to the key social media players, but at times these social media platforms can’t fully support their users the same way a niche social media channel can.
Social media networks like ComicSpace, Untappd and deviantART are the perfect example of how niche networks will always have a place in the social media landscape.
Focused Content – Less is More
The content featured in a niche social network is all related to the shared interest of everyone on that network, so for the most part nothing is irrelevant to the network’s users. The content of these networks follows the idea of less is more where the extraneous content won’t bog down the users experience. For instance, ComicSpace, the niche network of 109,756 comic book lovers, is a community centered on discussing, sharing and shopping comic book related materials.
Users aren’t interested in photos of their neighbour’s kids or posts from an unrelated brand. They come to this community for its specific focus, which can be used as a supplement to their activity on Facebook, Twitter and other networks. An Internet user has many needs and visits multiple websites, a niche social network caters to these specific needs and this won’t change.
Targeted Engagement for Businesses
Like mentioned above, businesses can take advantage of the major social players by targeting the interests of their customer base. When it comes to targeting relevant users, a niche social network can be a gold mind. Facebook and Twitter’s paid advertising tools allow for targeting of their users based on the interests they specify in their profile. What if an entire social network was a relevant user for your online advertising promotion? That’s where a niche network like Untappd comes into play.
Untappd is a social network dedicated to the interests of beer drinkers worldwide. It’s huge user base shows how engaged people with similar interests can be when interacting with others that share their passion. A niche network like Untapped presents an opportunity for businesses to focus their efforts on a highly targeted and specific audience, interested in your brand without the need of dedicated targeting to sift through the irrelevant users for your promotion.
It’s very important for you as a business to first understand the demographics of your audience to decide if aligning with a particular niche network make sense for your existing customer base. Once that’s made clear, starting a relationship like Samuel Adams and Dogfish Head have on Untappd can be a worthwhile investment. Since both beer companies work to have an official presence on Untappd, they’re reaching their target market gaining deep engagement and long lasting connections with their demographic.
With a niche social network, the functionality is limited and specific to the medium making it a rich experience. deviantART, the network for the creative to share and interact with different art forms, has amassed over 22 million registered users since its launch in 2000, making it one of the unsung hero’s of social media.
Users on the network can share, discuss and download art, as well as participate in creative contests to share their expertise about a particular subject and even buy art featured on the website. This is where deviantART has a leg up over the key social networks that allow users to share imagery because a user can take advantage of the unique features deviantART is able to offer.
The niche network offers the full content experience from discovery, interaction and the ability to purchase. The unique functionality of deviantART helps to enhance a user’s hobby, making their time on the network valuable. By using a niche social network a user is explicitly sharing and creating a particular type of content, an experience best suited for a dedicated channel.
What niche social networks do you find yourself using the most? Do you prefer Facebook and Twitter to a niche network centered on a specific shared interest?
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