Niche Social Networks have been a hot topic on this and many blogs for a few months now. Their popularity has been increasing exponentially to the point that businesses who are normally behind on the internet are now starting to take notice and find out “what is social networking and what can it do for my business?”
It is in the wording of the question itself that the problem lies.
First, here is a brief explanation of what a social network is done Twitter-style in 140 characters or less:
Niche social networks are websites where people with shared interests can network with each other, share thoughts and ideas, contribute resources, and be a part of a virtual community where they can interact with people anywhere in the world.
Social Media Marketing isn’t new. 2008 is simply the year that it emerges as THE thing to do if you want your business, charity, or blog to be “in” instead of “out”.
With companies that aren’t traditionally forward thinking in their marketing techniques, such as Ford Motor Company and Starbucks, making a push to enter social media marketing, it is clear that both big and small business are starting to take notice. Even local businesses are approaching anyone knowledgeable they can find on the subject to help them.
Below are some of the social media initiatives and trends from 2007 that tell of things to come in 2008. First, there are ways to create a web presence that goes beyond building a website or a blog. Then there are ways to drive traffic through social media to these websites. Continue reading Going Social for Marketing, Business, and Fun
MySpace, Facebook, and the other large social networks need not worry. The small, niche social network sites that are popping up faster than poker rooms in the 90’s are not going to hurt the big boy’s bottom lines. They’re just going to draw more people by the end of the year because of one fact.
They’re just more useful than the big sites.
The appeal that brought millions to form profiles and make friends on MySpace and Facebook will have the opposite effect in 2008 an beyond. We built our MySpace page and started Facebooking because everyone else was doing it. As closed social sites begin to gain in popularity, they will appeal to people because NOT everyone else is doing it. Inclusion is easy on today’s internet. Being part of something exclusive is becoming the new IT thing to do. Continue reading 2008: Year of the Mini Social Networks
This really isn’t a question of Facebook vs. MySpace. It’s a question of Alexa.com vs. Compete.com.
According to Alexa, Facebook jumped ahead of MySpace last week to technically take the #6 spot. While it hasn’t changed on the official Alexa Top 500, a close examination of the line graph comparison shows the too big dogs in social networking neck and neck on Novemeber 20 and 21. Facebook jumped ahead by a small margin after that.
With the increasing popularity of huge social networks like Facebook and MySpace, it’s easy to see why niche networks are entering the market and falling off almost immediately. There seems to be no room for networks that focus on a particular hobby, demographic, or profession. They are too small, therefore they will all fail.
When rumors like these start flying, it’s normally a bad sign, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. The Social Network’s meteoric rise and subsequent decline in users to Facebook has created these rumors, but there are still strengths that can be exploited. If they are going to make it, they will need to make some changes, but more importantly, they will need to rethink their focus and reimpose their will through marketing-guided changes.
Instead of making it the easiest platform to spam and game, they need to appeal to their current best demographic, teens, pre- and post-, and create ways for them to stay with MySpace instead of defecting as they get older to Facebook or someone else. More importantly, they MUST expand to the business sector. Sounds ridiculous, I know, when you consider the current state of the company and the growing disdain towards its inner-workings. Stay with me while Continue reading What can fix (I mean save) MySpace?