Filed Under Social Marketing
Social media networks have definitely been increasing over the last few years. Sites like MySpace had a meteoric rise to popularity but have since fallen out of the spotlight to make way for others. Today, social media sites like Facebook are filled to the brim with members, and the community is still continuing to grow.
With so many people occupying a space in the more popular online social communities, more people are becoming overwhelmed with these platforms. On networks where the focus is on quantity and not quality, where do you go to build relationships that actually, you know, matter?
Social media networks like MySpace, Yahoo! 360 and Facebook are popular because they encompass a large array of topics, interests and issues. These sites don’t specialize in any one group or hobby. While being open to everyone is good, giving you the chance to connect with a wide variety of people, having too many options can also be a bad thing. A lot of times, people on popular social media sites are more focused on building up the number of people on their “friends” list, while doing absolutely nothing to foster a relationship with those connections.
When you want to use a social network in order to build connections that mean more than a notch on your tally board, you want to find specialty social media sites. These are networks that bring together users who share a common interest and want to interact with each other. You can find sites that focus on certain topics and hobbies, everything from knitting to travel, baking to web design.
On these specialty sites, the community is what sets them apart from the rest. You’ll automatically be connected to hundreds or even thousands of people who share your interests, views, or beliefs.
Specialized social networking sites can also be much safer than the larger ones, in that users may need to be approved before they can join. They will be asked questions about why they want to be a part of that community and may have to fill out a questionnaire. This can help site regulators determine whether or not a person has a genuine interest in the network’s subject matter. This is a great way to keep out spammers who plague other social media sites.
Large, over-populated social media communities can be too much for many people. When you have a desire to connect with others who share your interests or beliefs, looking into smaller, more focused social media sites is the way to go. You’ll be able to build better online relationships and network with people who actually take an interest in you instead of just being another person in a long list of “friends.”
What is your experience with the specialized or niche-related social media networks? Have you found them to be successful in your social networking campaign?