Monday, November 25, 2013

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking

Strategic Networking

Do you find it hard to connect with your ideal audience using the larger social networks?

Have you considered a smaller social network?

In this article, you'll find 7 niche social networks built to serve specialized markets.

Why Niche Social Networks?

Ask almost anyone what to include in your social media strategy and you're likely to hear Facebook, Twitter or Google+ in the response.

But you may find it useful to tap into a specialized network.

Use a niche social network to reach a narrowly targeted audience where strategic networking can help you connect with potential customers and business partners of all kinds.

A niche social network within your industry can work wonders to reach people of interest there.

You can also look for niche sites where people come together around one of the core values or interests of your business. It’s an easy way to find and connect with like-minded people for more strategic networking.

The easiest and fastest way to find these niche sites is likely to be a good old Google search. For example, see below:

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Google Search

Use the examples below to inspire you to connect with niche social networks for more targeted networking.

#1: Build Sustainable Relationships on Wiser — The Social Network for Sustainability

Is your business actively involved in sustainability and environmental topics? This is something that's becoming very important to many businesses and Wiser is a network built specifically to encourage dialogue about all things environmental.

If your company is green, you can use Wiser to add partner organizations, promote events and share resources that raise your company's profile where it counts.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Wiser

Much like with LinkedIn, you can also add groups where you can discuss issues close to your heart and propose solutions.

Create a profile on Wiser today and start to network with people whose values align with yours.

#2: Promote Your Books on LibraryThing

Are you a publisher, literary agent or author? In addition to Goodreads, give LibraryThing a try. You can join as an individual or an organization, then upload your own books with their covers.

You can also add books by capturing ISDN from web pages and use universal import to upload several books at once. This can also be done with .CSV files.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - LibraryThing

LibraryThing is ideal for companies that produce eBooks, as well as blossoming authors who want to cultivate social relationships with their readers.

#3: Reach Alternative Audiences With Vampire Freaks

Mainstream networks don't always work well for independent bands, tattooists, gothic clothing retailers and so on. VampireFreaks is a community made of people who share news, images and music from the alternative scene.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - VampireFreaks

Once you've joined the Vampire Freaks, you can add events, upload videos and join in discussions to create ties with others who share your same interests.

#4: Share Your Style and Designs on Kaboodle

If you're in the fashion industry, Kaboodle is full of opportunity. It's similar to Pinterest, in that it presents posts in image form. Kaboodle allows you to create style boards with different items of clothing and accessories, making it ideal for fashion retailers.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Kaboodle

Organize your products by creating lists, carry out polls to see what your connections love the most and create a blog magazine for your business on the site.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Kaboodle

Kaboodle is a powerful and aesthetically pleasing site that gives you plenty of opportunity to connect with your audience so you can learn more about their preferences.

#5: Talk to the Man on Gentlemint

Do you produce manly products? Then Gentlemint is the place for you. From cars to food and pop culture, there are plenty of opportunities here to reach your audience.

Like Kaboodle, Gentlemint is presented much like Pinterest in that it tiles images on the front page and is very visual.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Gentlemint

From fashion-forward items to tongue-in-cheek products, if you target the "gentleman audience", then you need to join, get those manly products uploaded and get involved.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Gentlemint

#6: Showcase Your Creative Works on Behance

Behance features creatives in everything from web design and advertising to music and food.

The site features a serious amount of talent from a range of industry sectors and as it's dedicated to creative people, it's bursting with original posts and jaw-dropping artistic designs.

Behance is a perfect place for you to build a following by featuring your work, or to network with other creative types for inspiration and collaboration.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Behance

If you're in the creative industry, you must give Behance a go.

#7: Serve It Up on Allrecipes

All things relating to food and drink belong on this fabulous site, which is lovely looking, so if you're a caterer, nutritionist or personal chef, Allrecipes will put you in front of your target audience.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Allrecipes

You can make shopping lists, plan a menu, answer questions and post recipes. There is a mobile version of the site and a YouTube channel, so your followers will be able to access your advice in numerous ways.

It's simple to create recipes and menus and there are plenty of options. You can also get your recipes approved by the "kitchen staff" so it's high-profile on the site. Allrecipes allows you to add nutritional information and provides more useful tools.

7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking - Allrecipes

As an added bonus, Allrecipes allows you to create your own URL, which is ideal for strengthening your brand.

Final Thoughts

Use these examples to inspire you to find like-minded people who fit well with your business audience.

The major social networks are great for reaching broad markets, but there are thousands of niche social networks out there that cater to groups with more focused interests.

Do some research, then join one that's highly relevant to your target audience to begin networking. Build visibility on the right platform to help you raise brand awareness, build your reputation and create a loyal following with people who share your interests and values.

What do you think? Do you use niche social networks in your marketing? Where have you had success?