4 Niche Networks that Matter
Social media matters to an estimated 1.43 billion individuals who are active users of one or more networks. Maintaining an active and engaged presence on social media isn't optional for inbound marketers who may lack time to add an additional method into their social media repertoire. Still, keeping an eye on rising networks is a lot of fun. Pinterest and Google+ are both relative newcomers to the arena and they now dominate next to long-time Twitter and Facebook. Here are some niche social media networks which have recently caught our eye.
Quora is a social media network entirely built for question and answers and solely driven by voluntary engagement. Users can connect with their Twitter or Facebook accounts, and choose from to follow discussions taking place about an enormous array of topics. Before you compare Quora to Wikipedia, understand that editing on Quora isn't anonymous. Quora users takes accurate and up-to-date knowledge seriously, and providing wrong or careless information can ruin your reputation.
We love Quora because Quora loves small businesses. This social media network is likely only second best to your business blog as a forum for establishing expertise in your chosen field. Even if you can't afford the time to engage actively on Quora, following trending topics in your industry can provide great ideas for fresh blog content and social media linkbait.
Scoop.it is a baby in the social networking realm, having launched publically in November 2011. Scoop.it wisely capitolizes on the explosive popularity of Pinterest and rising need for content curation, allowing users to create striking magazine-inspired pages by combining curated content.
Scoop.it is gorgeous, visual and fun and we love this social media network because it so effectively facilitates best content curation practices. Scoop.it is ideal for annotation and rumor has it that a premium membership in the future will be optimized for embedding pages in your own business blog.
Instagram is a free service initially targeted only for users of iPhones, though it has now been extended to Android customers. Instagram is convenient, user-friendly and the price is right. Snap a picture on your cell phone and apply one of Instagram's filters to turn your shot into a winner. Use the Instagram to share mobile photos on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr.
Instagram wins because users can simultaneously edit and share their images without having to upload across multiple platforms. You can view photographs uploaded by your friends. Instagram could be expanding in a variety of ways soon, because the network was purchased by Facebook in April 2012.
Music streaming service Spotify barely qualifies as a unique social media network, but we love it anyway. Spotify features top-notch audio quality on an estimated 15 million tracks that users can stream and arrange in playlists. You can even send songs to Facebook friends with commentary.
Spotify is awesome because it effortless makes streaming music into a social, collaborative experience. As an avid Spotify user, I keep a close eye on the feed of songs that my Facebook friends are listening to. Some of the best music I know was poached from my feed.
While the debate is still open on whether Internet users have reached the point of social media saturation, most Inbound Marketers simply don't have the time to maintain an active presence on yet another site. We think the best, new social media networks are low-effort and offer real value to their members. Whether you are quickly editing and uploading mobile photos across social media networks, sharing music with your Facebook friends or watching trending topics for content ideas, the best new social media networks make your life a little simpler.