When reaching out to clients on social media, you have more avenues than ever to engage your target audience. Over 246 million Americans use at least one form of social media, including some lesser-known niche social media platforms according to Entrepreneur.com.
These smaller "niche" social media platforms attract individuals who wish to socialize around a particular interest, demographic, or topic. Similarly, some may be in search of smaller, more consumer-conscious platforms that they find more closely aligned with their social concerns than large players like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may be. Many businesses are curious as to where else their target audiences are spending their time online. Where are they flocking to outside of large, worldwide social media outlets? These are some of the niche platforms with which businesses should familiarize themselves, so as to reach their target audiences more directly. People are migrating to the following social media sites/apps and each has experienced tremendous growth.
This social media platform isn’t necessarily small, but only recently has it gained the influence to be deemed a social media platform. Quora was initially designed to be a simple question-and-answer site in which users can post questions for other members of the public to answer.
Some may see similarities between this site and Yahoo Answers, although the latter has fallen out of fashion and will soon shut down permanently. Not only do Quora users engage with questions, they engage with fellow users and questions often act as open message boards on which users across backgrounds and locales can discuss the original poster’s topic.
On its surface, Spotify may seem like a large music streaming service. However, like Quora it has become a niche social media platform due to its users’ behavior.
Users curate Spotify pages to feature their preferred genre(s) of music and even music that they personally produce. In fact, it’s now common for some with accounts in large platforms like Twitter and Instagram to provide links to their Spotify pages. While this is a non-traditional social platform only allowing small fields for users to provide detailed bio information about themselves, many advertisers have flocked to Spotify to reach a younger, more engaged audience.
Meetup is the social media platform primarily for organizing in-person (and virtual) social outings. Users can connect with other people in their common meetup groups and the larger community. They congregate around a shared interest, such as hiking, cooking, watching horror movies, fashion, etc.
While user age ranges, demographics, and interests vary, individual Meetup groups each become their own niche pages (target audiences).
An alternative to LinkedIn, Alignable is a small business networking tool designed to serve independent and family owned businesses. Alignable users can build relationships with other business people, refer employees or services, and even advertise themselves to the local community. This social platform is US-based and has a nationwide presence.
While Alignable is free, there are premium features. The free account consists of a connection radius of 2 Miles, sending 10 monthly connection requests, and an optimized profile. With the paid versions, you get more connections and a larger reach.
While primarily a news outlet, Flipboard is, at its core, a social media platform designed to connect users with news publications, as well as individuals with whom they share interests. Curation is the key to Flipboard. It combines world news with special interest stories, local news, lifestyle, and more. In addition to providing links to headlines/stories, this platform actively responds to user behavior, feeding them real-time news that aligns with their interests and preferred outlets. It also allows users to link to other social media accounts like Twitter.
As with Spotify, many users seem to employ Flipboard as an accompaniment to other platforms, and Flipboard encourages visitors across platforms to engage with their service.
An aggregate service for text chat, voice calls, file sharing, and video conferencing, Discord enables users to chat publicly or via “servers”: community pages that each serve a niche market.
Joining Discord as a first-time user or entering new Discord servers often requires a virtual invitation in the form of a page link. Once you accept your invitation, you can interact with other users in these private custom pages.
One of the most notable features of Discord is its compatibility with other social media platforms, as if it’s a partner app to groups and pages in other virtual locations. For example, those who follow a specific YouTube channel may have a related Discord server on which they discuss the content creator’s latest videos, talk about related subjects, and engage on a personal level. Discord is highly popular niche platform with youth, especially those who connect around gaming and other entertainment.
“Does anyone know a good pet groomer in the area?”
Nextdoor is a highly localized social platform on which users can communicate locally with their neighbors. Users can discuss local recommendations, crime, unusual happenings, community events, new neighbors, community beautification, and more. NextDoor users can simply log on and join their neighborhood on the website or app, then discuss topics of relevance to them.
While just about anyone can use Nextdoor to communicate with their neighbors, marketing on NextDoor is ideal for businesses trying to target suburban adults with children - real estate agents, local businesses, local restaurants, etc.
Designed for “no-collar professionals,” The Dots is a professional networking platform with a younger user base than LinkedIn. The Dots is designed to attract workers with a more relaxed and modern perspective on careers including young entrepreneurs, freelancers, upstarts, and creatives. Anyone who wants to connect professionally without any perceived stuffiness or the need to ingratiate oneself is attracted to The Dots.
It's a place to talk to other professionals, learn new skills, get on board with projects, and collaborate with other experts. Businesses who advertise on The Dots are generally targeting young, skilled individuals who enjoy breaking the mold.
If you want to follow your target audience to the online platforms where they spend time, stay clued into the social media sites/apps onto which people are flocking. There’s no better way to portray your company as relevant, attractive, and engaged than to be present on niche social media platforms.
One of the prime benefits of including niche social media in your marketing strategy is that you may be able to reach a target audience before any of your competitors can. On these niche social media platforms, marketing isn’t quite as saturated and your efforts may be even more fruitful. Finally, familiarity with several platforms on which to reach target audiences is essential to any successful marketing strategy.
What other social media platforms are you experimenting with to connect with your prospects?
Guest Author: Robert Andre Rios
Robert Andre Rios is a marketing copywriter and editor. He is the owner of Written Media, an online editing service that accepts appointments through Facebook. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he attended the University of Texas.
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