If you’re building a platform, you know there are many social media options, and it can be difficult to keep up. If you participated in Robert Lee Brewer’s April Platform Challenge, you know about the Big Four social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. You may also be involved in social media sites like Goodreads, StumbleUpon and Pinterest. With all the social media networks, it can be tough to pick and choose. Each can be important for reaching your intended audience in various ways, and sites like Hootsuite can make your life a little easier when networking.
So, with all the sites listed above, why should you join another? Because Niche Social Networks can help you connect with people who share your specific passions.
If you’re a photographer or into graphics, I recommend this social network for photo sharing. Their blog also offers tips and tricks. Though it’s been around for a while, Flickr is worth mentioning here because they’ve recently upgraded the free photo memory to 1 terabyte, making it easier to upload your photos for sharing online. The privacy settings are the best I’ve seen, which means you can post photos to share with the public, and some to share with only your friends. You can comment and ask questions to other members, and link your photos to groups and your personal networks.
If you’re a yarn-o-phile, then you may have heard of Ravelry, a social network for knitters and crocheters. You can look up patterns, save them to your favorites, and add them to your queue. You can purchase patterns or download some for free, even post your own. As you complete your projects, you can upload photos from accounts like Flickr. These get linked to the original pattern you posted in your queue, and you can see the same project completed by others, as well as any notes they’ve posted on how the project went and whether they tweaked it. You can load the type of yarn you purchased onto the site, pulling from its extensive library, and compare yarn types for different projects. There are also many groups, from local areas to stores to Architects. If you blog about knitting and/or crocheting, this is the perfect social network for you, and you’ll meet tons of like-minded people. You can even link your posts to the projects that you’re working on.
If you review books, LibraryThing might be the social network for you. Similar to Goodreads, it is a social network for book lovers that I recently discovered. It’s a way to catalog books you’ve read, want to read, own, and lent out. You group books the way that makes sense to you, and you can see how others group them as well. According to their site, LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share. Mel Jones, who recommended it on her Google+ site said this about LibraryThing, as compared to Goodreads: “The community is very active, but less intrusive. The system is easier to navigate, in my opinion. Goodreads always feels like a “busy” interface — like it wants to be facebook for readers. Librarything wants to be library thing.”
This social media site isn’t for everyone, but I’m a member. Architizer is a niche social network site dedicated to Architects, Building Designers, Product Suppliers, and Trade Workers. The site allows firms and individuals to post images and link blog posts dedicated to architecture. You can browse by project type, by firm, or by individual.
These are just a few examples of the Niche Social Media sites out there that can help to establish you as an expert in your specific interests. There are many other networks out there, including culturally specific, writing (like ours), travel, art, writing critique, and even cat social networks . Though much smaller than the Big Four, they can connect you with people passionate about the same things as yourself, while building your expertise in your platform.
I’d love to hear from you. Which Niche Social Media networks are you part of?