Here at Knowem we constantly research new social media sites for our customers. We add new ones every month, and sometimes we see sites that look exceptionally exciting and promising. Of course, some times it seems social networks can go down as quickly as they spring up – that’s why we’re always researching them. Today we present to you five niche social media sites that have done it right. We will take a cursory look at these sites, explaining their market niche and mention the types of features that keep customers happy and coming back for more. After you have a chance to read about them, we encourage you to visit these sites yourself and explore further.
If you enjoy music and and meeting new people, then Tastebuds.fm (http://tastebuds.fm) is for you. Their self described statement is “Tastebuds is the best place to meet fun new people through music”. They have definitely focused on their community and offer many features to reach out and bring people together.
When signed up and logged in, the main page is a stream of recent activity showing things like recent people to sign up, and a fun survey box with silly questions like “Do you believe the moon landings were faked?”. On your personal profile you can list musical and personal tastes, concerts and shows you have attended or plan on attending. You can also create posts, customize your profile cover, and upload pictures. Interestingly, they have incorporated a dating aspect to their site. Bringing people together the way they do makes sense, but it’s not focused on dating. There is a messaging center to reach out to specific members. A notification center makes it easy to keep track of the activities happening around the site. Facebook login integration makes it easy to get started.
Food lovers, look no further. Foodspotting.com (http://www.foodspotting.com) is everything food and is sure to get you salivating right away. Their homepage directs your attention to the three things food lovers need – finding dishes that interest you, sharing your dining experiences, and reviews by their community members.. The social aspect is limited to comments and reviews for particular menu items which is nice – all of the focus is on getting the dining experience you‘re looking for to satisfy your appetite.
The main focus of Foodspotting is to help you find restaurants with the menu you desire. The pictures that appear on the site are authentic user-generated content although some photos of dishes look so good you’d think a professional is behind the lens. Good food on a nice plate is sure to photograph well and Foodspotting proves this yet again. Finding food often brings you on an adventure with friends, so it’s noteworthy to mention they have mobile apps for the whole spectrum – iPhone, Android, Windows and even Blackberry.
Branded.me (http://branded.me) is all about telling the world about yourself and your talents. What are you all about? Answering this question for employers and fellow professionals can be tricky business when using your everyday social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. Branded.me intendeds to empower you with a service that focuses heavily on your personal profile — that is the key feature. You want to bring people to your branded profile so they can learn about you, personally and professionally.
On Branded.me you get a feature-rich dashboard that allows you to get full control over your profile. Your profile reads like an advertisement for you and you can control every aspect of how it looks. To streamline leveraging your profile, they have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn integration to import and find new contacts. While the service is free, they do offer a pro plan at a very reasonable $7 a month which gives you very nice benefits. Pro offers custom domains, email addresses, removal of the Branded identifiable design items, profile analytics, and unlimited support. If your image and your reputation as a professional can benefit from establishing an online profile for the others to see and understand all on one place, Branded.me might be for you.
A bonus feature of Branded is a free option to get an easy to share link with others in the form of your_name.branded.me. but you must hurry. Once your real name is taken, you’ll have to use an alternative name for the custom URL.
Finding work by exposing your reputation and skills online can be challenging. For those in the creative arts and media, sites like LinkedIn can leave you feeling overwhelmed. A better solution is to reach out to niche markets that by design focus on a particular subset of industry opportunities. This is where Stage32.com (https://www.stage32.com) excels. The site describes itself as “The world’s largest social network and educational hub for film, television & theater creatives.” and that is exactly right. Through Stage32.com you can network with fellow professionals, explore job opportunities, find educational and informative material and even get direct access to agents and producers. If you’re in the arts and entertainment field you should definitely be a member of the Stage32 community.
Once a member you create a profile that you want people to see to learn all about you and your talents. The whole idea is bringing together talented, passionate people into a tight sense of community to achieve success and common goals. There is a main page to bring you tons of content all in one place, so many features you just have to see it yourself to believe it. There is a marketplace for helpful products and services. Writers can pitch material. There is also a lounge section where you can write and read posts that get comments. To keep you up to date when on the go, they have apps for both Android and iPhone/iPad.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why don’t I get paid for all this free content I keep giving Twitter, Medium and Facebook?” BubbleWS (http://www.bubblews.com) might be the site for you. They have a “Bank” which tracks how much money you’ve earned by sharing content on their network. Once you reach $50, you can presumably redeem the credits for cash withdrawal. According to their Learning Center, “You receive money in your Bank for each view, like, and comment on your posts. Due to variations in advertising rates from country to country, the rate is not the same for each view, like, or comment. It is adjusted based on your connection’s country of origin.”
It operates kind of like Twitter crossed with Pinterest – they have a feed, but it’s organized in grid-like fashion with images being pulled in from the profiles of the users posting updates. They have unique URLs for content posted and quite a few (over half a million) pages have been indexed by Google, so a cash payout is not the only benefit you can get by posting content on BubbleWS.