Since being in the Interactive Media program, social media and the role it plays for businesses has started to interest me more and more. I think I grouped social media together as Facebook and Twitter and didn’t give it much thought otherwise. However, more recently niche social networking has really peeked my interest. In a recent article on Mashable three niche social media sites were examined and how different brands have used them to their benefit.
The first one discussed is Instagram (which coincidentally I am doing a research project for an other class). This is a photo-sharing app that makes taking a photo, adding a little creativity and sharing on a wide variety of social media sites very easy. A business that has recently begun to take notice is ModCloth (an online clothing retailer). They have begun to integrate using Instagram into their social media strategy and capture an audience that may not have been otherwise.
A second, and personal favorite new site is Pinterest. This site is a visual bookmarking site that lets users “pin” images to boards and share with friends through other forms of social media. Not only is ModCloth also using this site but large businesses like Nordstrom are as well. In fact, Pinterest is becoming these store’s top unpaid referral site for traffic and revenue. By using photography and blog content these businesses are able to reach an even more expansive audience.
A third site that this article mentions is Foodspotting. I had never heard of this one before, but it attempts to connect local businesses with residents through food. People take pictures of their food, review it, and post to the site. This way people are sharing their experiences and getting “the word out” on local dishes people may not have known about otherwise.
It’s important to understand how to use niche businesses to promote your own. However, the article suggested making sure you understand the culture to the specific site and to not blatantly advertise, but instead assimilate and support the overall goals.