By Janette Speyer and Alison Brown, Web Success Team
Niche social sites are paving the way for the new era of online marketing. As businesses embrace social media strategies they are finding more and more that they can define their branding by using “niche” social sites to target their audiences and to interest smaller group of people. It’s ideal for small businesses that have local highly targeted niche markets such as fashion or food. With niche sites, communities are smaller and you can get your message to your audience without the clutter of Facebook and Twitter.
New Era of Online Marketing
In advertising there is an old saying that goes, “Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.” In social media there is now a similar saying that states, “Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them. Tell them to tell their friends. Then have their friends tell them what you told them.” It sounds a little confusing, but the basic premise is that in order to spread the word and tell your friends about your product or services, your friends or clientele must already have a common interest. Many niche sites have the advantage of catering to special interests groups and a lot of companies are “migrating” to “niche” social sites that offer more options and a unique opportunity for marketers to showcase their products and services in a specialized manner.
Niche Site Examples
There are many niche sites available. They can vary based on people’s interests and beliefs. Convertiv.com put together a list of niche social sites based on various targeted categories that include books, business, parenting and even politics. One of the popular ones you may have heard of is tripadvisor.com which targets people who are looking to book a vacation or travel. It offers peer reviews and articles about travel accommodations and provides users with tips on places to see while at their chosen destination. The site may not be as well known as other travel sites such as expedia.com, but it has a lot of features that Expedia doesn’t offer. The site attracts a certain type of “traveler,” perhaps one more invested in visiting destinations that are “off the beaten track” or not as popular.
Another great example of a niche site that’s being used by various people with a wide array of interests is a website called instagram.com. It offers amateur photographers the chance to share their iPhone mobile uploads directly on Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms. Not only has this site taken hold in the photography world, it is also being used by the fashion industry as well. Online retailer, ModCloth, which sells vintage clothing from independent designers, uses Instagram to share photos with customers to showcase new trends and accessories online. It takes advantage of the websites “niche” which mainly includes users that are of a young age, enjoy looking at “hip” Instragram photos, and are likely to respond positively to the company’s use of this technology.
Facebook and Twitter are No Longer Kings
Niche sites are quickly becoming a popular trend in online marketing. Social media expert Neal Schaffer (@NealSchaffer) stated in a recent article “if quality and relevance in social media is more important than quantity, it shouldn’t matter what particular platform those individuals are on because everyone is already a member of most of the major platforms.” In other words, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are no longer the only sources to use for social media campaigns. While these sites are still great for general purposes, more specialized social media sites will definitely be more important and used more frequently as time goes on.
Targeting Your Niche
In order to take advantage of the right niche social site, you must be sure of what your target niche audience is. There are a lot of niche sites out there so before you can choose the right one for your business, you must carefully identify your audience and ask the right questions.
- Why are your clients interested in your company?
- What are they getting from you? Is it a product or service, and how does it enhance their life?
Once you know the answers to the questions above, you can start narrowing down your target audience and researching niche sites that cater to the needs of your clients. Starting to get involved with niche sites now will only make your only marketing strategy stronger, more dynamic, and help you appeal to your target audience.
Is your company using Social Media Niches sites for targeting vertical audiences?
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