You may feel like you’ve mastered Twitter and conquered Facebook—but can you really say that you know your social media stuff without touching on the lesser known platforms?
While the majority of people are on the mainstream services, the more dedicated flock to niche platforms. If you find a smaller platform that suits you and use it well for you brand, it can bring you more success than you expect.
But which one do you choose? Choosing a lesser known social media platform is far trickier than using mainstream brands – while you’re pretty much expected these days to be on Twitter and Facebook, lesser known platforms require more thought. Pick one that suits your company and you can thrive.
Recommended reading: The Power of Social Media
Here’s a social media platform for you that combines the traditional aspects of social media—messaging, connecting, making friends—with the social media taboo of actually meeting them in real life.
Groups form based around a particular interest: writers meet up to write together, book clubs form to read; bakers bake together, and business people network. There are even some more unusual groups: for example, the Bay Area Ghost Hunters are the biggest group of ‘paranormal researchers’ in California and go on outings to cemeteries and haunted houses.
There is something for everyone when it comes to Meetup, and ss a business you can use this to your advantage. All you need to do is set up or join a Meetup group and start organizing events that will attract local people. You can either charge for people to attend, or simply use it as an opportunity for promotion or networking.
Some of the most popular Meetup groups in the US are to do with business, tech or socializing. Find a topic that suits you and get going!
You’d be surprised at the power of Quora: they get approximately 200 million monthly unique visitors and were founded by two ex-Facebook employees. It’s a community of Q&As, with experts and casual users joining together on this unique social content platform. You can ask questions when you need to, and answer them when you can. The best answers get upvoted by the community itself.
The best part about Quora is that you can designate yourself an ‘expert’ in a certain field. This makes it an excellent way to connect with your potential client base—questions that are relevant to you will pop up on your feed and you can answer them at your leisure.
It’s not only Quora users that will find your answers: the nature of the website makes it very SEO-friendly too — it’s great for the awareness phase, as your Quora answers are likely to show up on search engines too.
For a professional social media platform, Xing is a great one to go for. You can present yourself in a resume-style format, connect with business people, and recruit new employees. It’s particularly big in the German-speaking world, so may be useful if you have an international client base.
Xing will help you reach out to people on a professional level. While it’s all well and good to do your social marketing and employer branding through bigger, mainstream social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get a targeted audience on Xing.
Now, this isn’t so much a social media platform in itself, but rather a platform to help you connect your social media in one convenient place.
As social media, technology, and commerce develop at an ever faster pace, platform connectivity is something that will save you valuable time. An ecommerce CMS can bring connectivity to your business when combined with Storify — you can gather posts, either made by yourself or by others to create a linear ‘story’ for your audience to read.
Storify has been used especially well recently by Adam Ellis: he has been documenting his experience of being haunted by a ghost in his apartment over a series of months. Combining his tweets about it in this way has made it easier for new readers to follower along and get involved.
With Storify, social media posts no longer get buried by newer posts—you can allow people to read information from the very beginning. This even means that you can cherry-pick content, saving only the best and most valuable for your Storify. Not only this, but the people who you choose to mention in your Storify will get mentioned, giving you that extra little promotional boost!
While you may not find these lesser known niche social media platform suitable for your needs, its good to know that they’re out there.
An incredibly popular, if rather niche, platform is Twitch. Here, gamers gather to live stream their games and chat with their audience. While it’s pretty much only gamers on this platform, there are some fairly famous streamers out there who may be worth considering if you’re interested in influencer marketing.
Allrecipes helps bakers and cooks gather to share their recipes and advice. You may not think that cooking would create so big of an internet community, but with opportunities for discussion and chat, millions of users find ways to connect and share on Allrecipes.
Goodreads allows people to catalog which books they have read and wish to read, as well as giving you a chance to submit reviews. It integrates well with other social media networks, and might be a great thing to integrate into a corporate challenge or personal development plan.
There are plenty of niche social platforms out there: depending on the area you work in, there may be something out there that is perfect for you! Don’t be afraid to branch out into these lesser-known social media platforms.
While they may take a little more effort to get started with, they can be doubly rewarding as dedicated users engage with you and your brand. Furthermore, you can find a whole new crowd of people to connect with. Pick your platform, work on it, and reap the rewards!
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant, marketing specialist, social media expert, and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on how new business owners can use social media and marketing to advance their brand. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Hey Victoria, thank you for the article. Frist time to hear about Xing, this will be definitely something very interesting to check on. Can’t wait to create account and see what’s happening there.
Olivia-Rose Leech says
This list is interesting, thanks for sharing. However, I honestly wouldn’t add Quora to this list, because at least based on people that I know, I find Quora to be quite popular social network.
Sylvie Coombes says
I didn’t know that Goodreads is now a separate social network, I was using it on Facebook as an app few years ago. But it’s not strange that now is a separate social platform, since it really has some great potential and users here must be very passionate about books.
This is really great, I never heard for any of these niche social platforms. I didn’t even knew for the term “niche platform” 😀 Thanks for sharing, will check it out for sure!
I have used XING and I’m still using it, great platform.I wonder why it’s not so popular, or, maybe it’s better that way, because only people really interested for good quality contacts, professional contacts are using it.
Rachel Stone says
The first thing to do is to accomplish goals and to learn how to use social platforms, so to say “big ones”, and then to go to “small platforms”, then we can reach our niche very fast because the smaller number of specific users