Facebook can adjust their algorithms over and over again, and Twitter can find new ways to target promoted tweets, but let’s face it: sometimes, social networks are just too big. Though millions of users are checking these feeds constantly, they’re not always paying close attention to what they’re reading. There goes your carefully-timed update.
When it comes to generating leads through social media marketing efforts, more and more startups are shooting for quality of users instead of quantity. By setting up a presence on a niche social platform, entrepreneurs now find themselves preaching to a jubilant choir, rather than shouting to the masses—and alongside tons of competition.
We just launched Plugged
It's our cool new gadget site.
I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs the following question:
What niche social platforms are you keeping your eye on to potentially use in your business?
Here are 10 segmented social spaces that startups should be exploring today:
1. Angel List Is Heaven Sent
We recently joined Angel List and have been connecting with other startups ever since. The platform allows you to post updates, and stay connected with other startups all over the world. Users can follow the activity of other individuals or companies, or connect with them on other social platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
2. Weibo Wins in a New Market
We all know that China has a booming economy, with lots of opportunity on the ground. What many fail to realize are the opportunities for Chinese-based websites. Weibo is a Twitter/Facebook hybrid that’s used by over 30 percent of all online users in China. That’s over 300 million people — talk about an opportunity!
3. BizSugar Beats New Sites
It’s an older social news site, but BizSugar is very niche: it focuses only on business news, making it a perfect place to connect with other business owners and find useful information.
4. Pinterest Has the Potential
I run an e-commerce store, so it’s a no brainer to use Pinterest at a time when many sites claim that Pinterest drives more traffic than Facebook or Twitter. If you’re in retail, then you need to get on Pinterest and start sharing photos of your products and inspirations for the way to use your products.
5. Social Video Platforms Have Arrived
SocialCam and Viddy are two social networks that are blowing up. They’re both dubbed the “Instagram of video.” Still unclear as to which is the leader so for now it’s important to focus on building a presence on both.
6. Highlight Has Hope!
Highlight is a geo-location app that lets you learn more about the people around you. The app broke out at SXSW 2012 and though I think it is still more of a personal play than business, it is another step in the right direction of how businesses will be able to address and care about their customers right in their own backyard.
7. Yammer for Chatter
I’m watching Yammer. It’s growing quickly, and it gets a ton of positive reviews from users. It also promises to make users more productive, and nobody can afford to turn that down.
8. Blurtt Will Be Big
I’m a big fan of Blurtt, an independent application in the iOS App store. The company allows users to add captions to pictures. I predict companies will start using captions with a photo accompanying it as a marketing tool. Our company uses Blurtt and our users love it! If you are a small business owner, try it and use it as a unique marketing tool.
9. The Fancy for Social Shopping
The Fancy is an incredibly fun shopping site that allows you to discover cool products and services. We’re excited to use the site as a way to learn what new watch designs people want us to produce. The more a watch is “fancied,” the more we’ll learn people’s tastes — while also being able to offer them a special discount!
10. Pick Up Polyvore
Polyvore is a great product for the online apparel niche. If they can continue to gain traction and popularity, it could be a great source of traffic.
Image credit: Pond5
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.