There is power in numbers. But, if you think bigger is always better when it comes to social media, think again.
These days, more and more companies are realizing the importance of social media and becoming active on all of the major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Certainly there are many benefits to being on these larger platforms. Traffic is high and millions of users log on every day. However, what many businesses do not realize is that it might be just as beneficial to consider being present on a niche social media platform. The traffic is lower, and the audience is narrower, but return on investment can actually be higher.
Catering to More Focused Interests
A niche social media platform is an online network of individuals who bond over a specialized common interest. When making strategic decisions in regards to social media, it is imperative to identify your audience personas in order to determine where these personas can be found in the digital world. There are a lot of niche social media platforms out there, ranging from more broad lifestyle-based networks, to networks developed around very specific passions.
For instance, the social media platform CafeMom is an online community designed specifically for the internet-savvy mother. On this platform, users can find anything from parenting advice and support groups to reviews and recipes. While this platform cannot boast the same high level of traffic as say, Facebook, it does have a dedicated audience of mothers, and mothers represent a $2.4 trillion dollar market. If mothers comprise a large portion of your target audience, it may make sense to develop a presence on this platform. Perhaps you are looking for an even more specific audience. The niche platform, Ravelry, has a dedicated following of knitters and crocheters, while Raptr users are devoted to gaming. There are countless other platforms similar to these with content tailored to specific groups of hobby or lifestyle enthusiasts.
Using a Niche Platform to Your Benefit
Niche platforms can be valuable for business use because they capture a very specific audience. If there is a niche platform out there that aligns with your company’s product or service, being active on this platform can help you create a following among people who you already know share your interests and values. You won’t have to weed through the mass of users found on larger platforms to find individuals who fit within your desired audience. You already know what the users on a niche platform are interested in.
A more highly targeted audience can mean higher conversion. If you know that the individuals on a given niche platform have an interest in something your brand offers, then it makes it easier to convert these individuals into customers. While larger social media platforms have more traffic, niche platforms, when used effectively, can actually achieve a higher return on investment.
However, maintaining a presence on a niche platform is not a substitute for maintaining a presence on any of the larger social media networks. Rather, using niche platforms can be a useful complement to your social media strategy.
Finding Your Audience
The key to making a decision in regards to whether or not a niche platform is right for your brand revolves around finding your audience. Your effectiveness on social media is largely determined by the ability to locate your audience and then tailor your communication to fit their needs. Niche platform activity only makes sense if your target audience is active on it. You don’t want to waste valuable time or resources exploring a channel if you won’t find your audience there. Be sure to research these smaller platforms before becoming involved, so you can be sure the people you want to reach are present.
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