Quick, how many social media networks are there? Three? Five? Eight? After researching this post, I now know of at least 116 to add to the big, famous networks.
Why niche sites matter
The trouble with only concentrating your social media marketing on networks like Facebook and Twitter is that you ignore passionate, engaged audiences waiting for you on specialist, niche social networking sites.
Suppose you want to get your message across to, let’s say, photography fanatics, environmentalists, food buffs or writers. Why not give yourself a head-start and go straight to a social network that focuses solely on those interests – rather than create a Facebook page or Twitter channel and try to make users go to that?
Marketing is hard enough as it is. It’s always easier to go where your audience is, than to try dragging them to where you are.
All the sites below are currently active, busy and have social interaction as their main – or at least substantial – focus.
There are many sites that have “community” sections strapped precariously to the side of what’s basically an ecommerce enterprise. They tend to be lackluster, quiet or a spammer’s heaven, so they’re not listed here.
Got a favorite I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.
This list came about because while researching for a new book on generating web traffic I found that existing site lists were hopelessly out-of-date.
The book is out soon and if you’re getting my updates you’ll be able to get a free pre-release copy.
Arts & Artists
Community for visual artists.
“The best place on the web to discuss anime, games, comics, sci-fi, fantasy”.
Books & Reading
Cataloging and social networking site for book lovers with a million and a half members.
Owned by Amazon.
Business & Entrepreneurship
Communities grouped by location – local, national and international.
Network for women entrepreneurs, both online and offline.
For “Europeans, Europhiles & expats”.
If LinkedIn and Klout had a baby.
Picky business networking site started by Adrian Scott, a founding investor of Napster. Invitation only but they do allow you to beg.
Curated content with a business focus.
Big in Europe, especially Germany.
Cars & Bikes
The social network for biker boys and girls.
Question and answer site for car and automotive aficionados.
Not sure what role the whips play but this is a car photo site.
Bikes, the manual kind.
For sewing enthusiasts.
The name? Who knows. But it’s a site about DIY.
Making and sharing electronics and other DIY projects.
Another knitting network. Famous among knitters, it currently has over two and a half million users.
Environmental, Social Good & Sustainability
Social network for sustainability
Food, Cooking and Wine
For collectors of fine wines.
Virtual World, used to be famous.
Health & Medical
Baby Center Community
Pregnancy and the things that arrive a few months later.
Support for getting through physical and mental health problems.
Food, fitness and health.
Concentrates on rare medical conditions.
Diabetes support site.
Music & Cinema
“Find your movie soulmate worldwide”.
Indie Hip-Hop artists and fans.
It’s the law, every pet site must end in ster.
Pro / Semi-professional photographers hangout.
Productivity & Self-improvement
Getting things done by going public with your goals.
Things to do before you die.
Social bargain hunting.
Hand-made products site with active community of buyers and sellers.
More bargain hunting.
For “endurance athletes”. I’m guessing that’s as horrific as it sounds.
For high school athletes.
One of the oldest indie travel social networks.
WAYN = Where Are You Now?
Ladies who travel.
Circle of Moms
Hugely popular network about motherhood.
Writers & Writing
“Where writers write together”
Bills itself as a place for writer’s but it has a more general scope than just authors and writing.
Trigger Street Labs