Are Niche Social Media Sites the Beginning of a New Trend?Communities formed around very specific topics or interests are where you're most likely to uncover new trends that could impact, even reshape, your industry. Don't pass up the opportunity to plug into what your audience really cares about on the newest niche social media platforms.
Major League Baseball (LB) announced a new social media app on April 18, 2017. The app is called Infield Chatter. As is the custom with new social media apps, this one is only available for your Android and iPhone devices. You can download it from the corresponding app store.
As of this moment, there are five major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. All of these platforms have one thing in common: you can discuss almost any topic on them. Therefore, people get together and form their own cliques or niches. They connect with people who share their same interests. You’ll find sports fans on every platform, but it was hard to find a sports-only social media platform.
The MLB changed all of that.
The purpose of Infield Chatter is to have a place where MLB players can talk to and connect with their fans. Although it’s true that they can do this on other social platforms, this one is strictly for baseball fans. That means this place can be a safe haven, especially for people who only get on social media to talk baseball.
One of the things that the app is unique for is no trolling. The app creators have a team in place of real people who actually browse the site and respond to reports. It’s not automated like it is on Facebook, or ignored like it is on Twitter. The MLB cares about the welfare of its players and the fans, in the sense that it won’t tolerate such behavior. If you’re caught engaging in this type of behavior, your account will be suspended.
That means you can’t run around saying derogatory things about any team, player, stadium, coach, staff member, or anything or anyone related to the MLB. Be respectful to other people on the app, or leave.
Twitter could take a few pointers from this app.
Another social app was announced by Tumblr called Cabana. The purpose of this app is to allow groups of friends to watch videos together. There are already about a dozen apps out there for this same purpose, but apparently, Tumblr felt like it was smart to jump into the game.
The co-founder of Shoes of Prey recently announced a social network app that allows strangers to have conversations with each other. It’s called Mottle. The funny thing about Mottle is you actually use Facebook to sign into it. The social network is geared around in-depth human connection, which is something you apparently don’t get on Facebook. That’s probably why you need it to sign in.
Three niche social media apps were announced within two days, and there are probably more to come. Social media isn’t going away, but having a network that appeals only to a certain group of people isn’t a bad idea.
The Benefit of Jumping on This New Trend
Like every other trend on this planet, when someone sees a good idea they want to copy it. What MLB did was genius, because their fans are very dedicated to the sport and their favorite team. They’ve gathered their target audience into one place. If they treat them right, people will continue to be enthusiastic about baseball, go to games, and buy their merchandise.
The point is to find a group of people who are very dedicated to something and bring them together. So a social network for gardening or anime may be a very big hit. A social network about polyps probably won’t fly with the general public.
If you’ve got big money like MLB or Tumblr, you can easily drop millions into developing a social app. If you don’t have the money, you can either start small (like a forum) or create a place to hang out with people who share an interest connected to your industry.
For example, an auto glass repair business may create a Facebook group about cars. People interested in trading stocks may join a general finance forum.
Once you’ve got your audience, you can start to get to know them—how they think, how they act, what they want out of life. The closer you get to your prospects, the more of a relationship you’re going to build with them. They’re going to trust you, which goes a very long way toward the health of your business.
Brian is an international speaker and coach. Say hi to Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org