Social media marketing is no longer a one-off phenomenon or a "cult" marketing strategy. While the pioneer social media marketers and social networking gurus may spend time laying claim to their "territory," the fact that established brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and American Apparel are active on social media platforms would suggest otherwise. In a slightly ironic development, a platform that was once considered "for the people" has become dominated by major brands and group-powered corporations.
Of course, this does not mean that social networks are bankrupt of value for smaller marketers or independent businesses. They are valuable, but often in ways that are not directly intended. For every template-style marketing success story there are hundreds of social media users that are simply too marketed to, too saturated, and too uninterested to participate in a social media marketing effort.
However, this leaves internet marketers with a new, much more powerful social media marketing resource: the micro social network. With the proliferation of services such as Ning, and the growing value of niche-based social networks, marketers just may be able to become even more specific in their targeting and advertising efforts.
These four reasons should not put internet marketers off using major social networks entirely, but these should push them towards considering smaller platforms. Online marketing consultants can also guide you well on social networking issues.
Micro social networks are highly targeted.
Upon its introduction into the mainstream internet, Facebook was hailed as an advertising innovator, giving marketers unrivaled access into people's interests, demographics, and desires. However, it is no longer the most specific marketing tool on the block. Niche-based social networks let internet marketers hone in on a very specific niche, creating greater returns and generating more sales.
Micro social networks are inexpensive.
Facebook is TV. Its influence is wide, its audience is huge, and it costs a lot to become a celebrity. Micro social networks are social events -- becoming the star of the party requires nothing more than an interesting story. It is often better to become the star of a small party than a small speck in a larger gathering, and micro social networks can make this possible.
Niches like being marketed to.
People do not hate advertising. Most people like advertising, at least when it is advertising for a product, service, or lifestyle that appeals to them. When internet marketers target niches with high quality products, the anti-advertising backlash melts away. Niches like marketing, but only when it offers value.
Micro social networks allow a greater level of interaction and connection.
Faceless advertising is ineffective. People are not drawn to items and companies because of their ten-story billboards or their catchy TV jingles, but because of their level of connection and personal service. Micro social networks give advertisers an opportunity that many hyper-crowded social networks can't provide -- the ability to interact directly with their clients, customers, and fans.
Micro social networks are likely the future of social networking, and a leading initial presence could end up being a highly profitable investment.