First rule of Niche Club…
First rule of Niche Club…
…we don’t talk about Niche Club.
Facebook. YouTube. WhatsApp. Instagram. TikTok. Snapchat.
What do all of these social networks have in common?
Yes. We all know them. We’ve all probably got them.
These channels have become so mainstream, and grown so big, they don’t appeal to a small segment of the population anymore. Because of this, creating close-knit, relevant communities and finding the right people to talk to, can often be a challenge.
But what about the new kids on the block? The nicher platforms that are finding their feet or are so stealthy, they have a secret club kinda appeal that we’re pretty into.
Like someone who stands out in the crowd for not looking like every other Tom, Dick or Harry, niche networks turn heads. They’re that little bit more attractive because they give more of a sense of “belonging” that I think you can agree, we’ve all lost a little bit with the larger social networks.
Another reason people are turning to nicher networks is because they’re not constantly bombarded with advertisements they didn’t even ask for. What you might not know though, is that there is nearly a social media platform for every single hobby out there.
From a marketing perspective, this is great because brands are able to reach highly targeted audiences and engage in more meaningful conversations, with exactly the people they’re wanting to reach. What’s more, this tight-knit selection of people, will actually want to hear what the brands have to say too.
If brands can find the right niche network for them, they can start to show a genuine interest in their target audience, which leads to their audience being far more likely to interact with the brand, in turn leading to much higher conversation rates. And not just any conversations. THE conversations.
No-brainer, right? We think so too.
LinkedIn put together a selection of top picks, so we looked into it to give you some niche insight…
Clubhouse – ‘As It Happens’
- Launched in April 2020
- Audio-only, ad-free platform
- Invite-only approach
- 2 million active weekly users, spending upwards of eight hours on the app a day
- Currently only available on iOS
- A highly targeted group of influential individuals all in one place
- People can join different conversations on different topics – like dipping in and out of panel discussions
- Marketers can think of new ways to have presence on the app – like working with the influencers
- Influencers are put on a virtual stage and can control who speaks, when and on what topic – these conversations are then promoted on the app’s main feed with the potential to go viral
- Dedicated audiences – knowing everyone in the room is invested in the topic, creating a bunch of pretty hot leads
- Real-time audio which cannot be recorded, creating content which plays on FOMO – if you’re not in the room, you will miss what’s happening
- A great way to build business relationships to grow networks, give your brand a voice, boost awareness and tell a story
- Test ideas by seeking feedback from other users
- Follow relevant rooms, people and clubs – brands can be strategic with it and ensure they’re in front of the right people, at the right time, in exactly the right place
- Gives the intimacy of listening to a podcast or radio show
Dispo – ‘A Nostalgic Novelty’
- Invite-only photo sharing app, taking users back to basics and is as close to candid as it gets
- Instagram’s latest rival
- Allows users to take pictures like a disposable camera, even acting as a disposable camera in the sense that users can take pictures and then have to wait until 9am the next day for them to be “developed”
- No edit options, no additional filters, no captions
- iOS only at the moment
- Gen-z allure
- “Rolls” feature gives it a unique social element where multiple users can contribute pictures to the same album
Signal – ‘Sharing the moments with people who matter to you’
- Upwards of 50 million downloads
- Signal is privacy focused and has no desire to analyse, share or profit from users’ private information
- Available to iOS and Android users
- Similar to WhatsApp
- Disappearing messages feature for additional privacy
- Protects your chats – anything sent or received is encrypted
- No ads, no tracking features
- An alternative to Signal
- Prioritises speed and security
- The end-to-end encryption is optional – you have to start a dedicated secret chat for optimum security
- Bit more like email and SMS combined since you can create a username and broadcast a message to groups / channels of up to 200,000 people
- Can transfer large file sizes
- Synchronisation of messages across devices
Threema – ‘The messenger for companies’
- Threema Work feature is the secure and privacy-compliant messaging solution for organisations of all types and sizes
- Used for both internal and external comms
- Can chat anonymously
- Paid for platform
- Secure and privacy-compliant
- Financed by app sales
- Available on iOS and Android
Twitch – ‘Built for Gamers’
- Live streaming service with its main lead driver coming from gaming
- Subsidiary of Amazon.com
- 3.8 million unique broadcasters as of February 2020
- 15 millions daily active users
- Millions of people come together every day to chat, interact and make their own entertainment together
- Watch what you love from cooking, music, Q&A sessions and everything in between Creative content thrives here – build a community around creative content
- Developers dream land
- Brands and communities can intersect with advertising opportunities
- Influencer marketing based platform
- Free and paid versions are available
- Paid tiers remove ads and give users access to more social, streaming and storage features
- Let others watch game-streams in real-time with a split-screen display format
- Available on iOS and Android
Discord – ‘Where hanging out is easy’
- Another free, private, invite-only place to chat
- Aimed at 13+ year olds
- 250 million users
- 14 million people logging on every day
- Similar to Skype or Slack
- Built for group-chatting
- Topic-based channels where you can collaborate, share and talk about your day
- Friends in your server can see when you’re around and instantly pop in to talk without having to call
- You can do everything from video chats, to watching friends stream their games, have drawing sessions, play other games together or just chill
- Good for school clubs, gaming groups, worldwide art communities or friends who just want to hang out
- Conversations are driven by shared interests
- Supports video calls, voice chat and text messaging
- Useful for PC Gamers
- There are also public, forum-style communities that you can join as well
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