In today’s world, it seems like everyone’s on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok are social media staples, with users from all generations and walks of life. However, the volume of users and general ‘noise’ on these platforms can make it hard to find interesting content. With many people taking a break from the bigger platforms, niche and sector-specific social media platforms are becoming increasingly popular. In this article, we look at how you can tap into this trend in your digital marketing and sell to a ready-made audience of interested people!
What are sector-specific social media platforms?
A sector-specific, or niche, social media platform is a platform that has a specific focus to appeal to a group of people who share a specific demographic or common interest. Niche platforms don’t attempt to cater to everyone. As a result, they have a sense of exclusivity and relevance that broader social platforms lack. They’re popular amongst professionals and businesses as they’re a useful tool for building networks and brand awareness. They’re also an effective way to create communities in which users can connect and interact.
Some popular niche platforms include:
- Goodreads: With over 6,000 members in the UK alone, Goodreads claims to be the “world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations”. It has been around since 2007 and its mission is to “help people find and share the books they love”. The platform allows book-lovers to see what their friends are reading; track the books they’ve read or want to read; receive personalised book recommendations; and access community book reviews. (PS: if you’re a Goodreads user, a wee review of our ‘Embrace the Space’ book would be gratefully received!!)
- Dribbble: This platform is the go-to place for creatives to find and showcase their work. Its mission is to “build the world’s best community for creatives to share, grow, and get hired”. Users create profiles that they can use to display and share screenshots of their designs and projects. Over the years, we’ve used Dribble to identify creative talent for website design and branding work. In fact, we still maintain relationships with many professionals we discovered on this network.
- Houzz: This site connects homeowners with home professionals such as interior designers and architects. Houzz describes itself as “the best way to find design inspiration, research and hire home professionals, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals”.
- Stack Overflow: This popular Q&A platform is aimed at professional and aspiring computer programmers. Users can ask and respond to technical questions, allowing them to solve problems with the help of their peers.
- ResearchGate: This useful site allows users to access scientific research via an extensive bank of publications, and connect with others working in scientific or academic fields. The site covers research on a host of topics, including Engineering, Computer Science, and Climate Change.
How can my business use sector-specific social media platforms?
Like social media groups, sector-specific social media platforms are powerful tools for gathering insights about your customers and creating a community. By seeking out relevant niche platforms, your business stands a much better chance of marketing to an audience that’s already interested in what you have to offer.
Tailoring your digital marketing for sector-specific platforms
Users of sector-specific platforms are likely to have a certain level of prior knowledge about your industry or offering. You, therefore, need to reflect this in your digital marketing – with messaging that has the necessary detail. Rather than using generic messages that speak to everyone, use this opportunity to emphasise your specific areas of expertise, USPs, and what makes your business or products and services different. Listen to user conversations and tap into what they’re saying or want to know. If you do this effectively, the insights from sector-specific platforms could prove an invaluable part of your marketing research and activities!
We think the popularity of niche platforms, together with an almost captive audience, makes them an ideal marketing channel. So, why not try them out?