There are hundreds of social networks online. Most small business owners, however, focus their attention on the big three: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But are those sites where your ideal customer spends time online?
In January, the Pew Internet Project reports that a mere 19 percent of all adults online actually use Twitter. While your perfect customer may not frequent Twitter, there are niche social networks online that cater to just about every interest you can fathom. Putting time and effort into exploring them could help you expand your customer base and boost your bottom line in the process.
Here are five thriving social networks you’ve probably never heard of that cater to a diverse group of potential customers to help you grow your small business.
Film buffs: If you’ve got a product or service that caters to the film buff, don’t just try to find customers on Instagram. Check out Letterboxd, a social network that lets you create an online diary about the movies you’re watching and share it with others. Then there’s Flixster, a social network that lets you compare your taste in movies with those of your friends. Find both here: www.flixster.com/homepage and letterboxd.com.
For moms: If your small business is geared toward
mothers, there are dozens of social networks out there, but CafeMom is one of the most popular. With a community of over 1million moms strong, CareMom is a great way to market your product or service to this important demographic. There is also SocialMoms, a company that bills itself as “one of the world’s largest networks of women influencers — comprising more than 45,000+ bloggers, sites and social media personalities.” To learn more about CafeMom, visit CafeMom.com. To find out about SocialMoms, visit SocialMoms.com. And if you’re looking to connect with parents from all walks of life, be sure to check out NickMom, which connects parents from around the world who share experiences, give advice and connect based on their kids’ shared love of all things Nickelodeon.
Find out more about
NickMom at NickMom.com.
For the environmentally conscious: Are you marketing a sustainable product or service? Then make sure you check out Wiser, a social network that describes itself as a global community for people who want a more sustainable world to live in. Another social network worth exploring is Inspire, an online community focused on health and sustainable living. Find Wiser here: wiser.org. You can visit Inspire by going to inspire.com.
For the wine lover: If your ideal customer is a connoisseur of wine, explore Snooth, a social network that provides the latest in wine news and products. You can also download Sipp from the iTunes store. It’s an app that lets you take a picture of the wine you’re drinking and share it with friends. Learn more about Snooth by visiting
For the fitness fanatic: If you have a product or service that caters to the fitness community, take a look at Dailyburn and SocialWorkout, two social networks for the avid workout fan. Dailyburn helps you stay
on track with helpful articles and tips on exercise, while
Tasha Cunningham is a vice president at Commonground/MGS.