Using Niche Platforms to Build Bonds
With so much clutter in the social media marketplace, it is often difficult for businesses to resonate with users who will find value in the products or services they offer. Big platforms like Facebook and Instagram are flooded with numerous messages from numerous places because of the vast number of users that can be reached. However, businesses need to remember that building awareness and engagement should be about quality over quantity. The key to being successful on social media is building customer loyalty. When you throw your message out in the marketplace because that’s where all your competition is you dilute the consumers' experience with your brand. That’s where niche platforms come in!
In our 20+ years of using the internet, the one thing we’ve discovered is there is something here for everyone. With niche platforms, you get to focus on what that “something” is. With our mass social audience networks you have to be a little “looser” about who you are trying to reach, but the benefit of using a niche platform is that you can get really specific about who your audience is. Brands that zero in on niche social networks can increase their odds of reaching their target audience significantly.
Niche platforms are built around this idea of creating “intimate environments” that focus on a commonality. More and more people are flocking to niche networks to help answer specific questions, hone specific skills, get specific inspiration, and identify themselves as members of specific communities. Because these platforms have areas where users can take a deep dive into topics that mean something to them or find answers from users who are knowledgeable about these topics, bonds are formed. Think of this idea in the form of a friendship; at one point you and your closest friend built a foundation based on something you both had in common, and now your loyalty to each other is unwavering. When a business is able to provide knowledge within a niche community, these same bonds are formed, and users establish trust with your brand.
Most brands turn to Reddit when they think of developing a niche social strategy because the platform has 2.2 million subreddits, also known as communities, where users get together to talk about the different topics that correspond to the subreddit’s title. An excellent example of a brand tapping into this platform is the car company Nissan who hosted an AMA — Ask Me Anything — where the CEO created an organic post within the “IAmA’’ subreddit, a community that focuses on Q&A’s through interactive interviews.
Posting organically vs. a paid promotional post shows users you don’t see them as just another click, impression, or conversion. The CEO took the time to introduce himself, talk about a Nissan launch, and invite people to ask him questions. This open forum for questions allows consumers to see Nissan as more than a brand; it allowed users to connect with the CEO of a major corporation and share knowledge about cars and the car industry. This moment allowed consumers to share a common interest or learn something new, and that shift in access and communication will enable Nissan to build that bond, or friendship, with its target audience. This is the type of experience only a niche platform can provide due to its more intimate nature.