Social networking isn’t just Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Sites like those may be the leaders in the industry at the moment but there are always new and smaller ones nipping at their heels. And sometimes these smaller ones are home to strong niches that may be looking for just what you’re selling! Here are 20 you may want to consider branching your business out to.
Bebo stands for “Blog Early, Blog Often.” That should give you an idea of what the site is about. Users are encouraged to talk about what’s going on in their lives and other big news. There aren’t a lot of unique users anymore, but the dedicated fanbase stuck around after the purchase by AOL.
Eons was founded by Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor in 2006. It’s a social media site dedicated to the baby boomer generation. It’s full of games, groups, and info on health and other older-user issues. If your audience is of the older persuasion, this is a great place to find them.
Though Hi5 is a general social media site like Myspace or Facebook, it nonetheless has something those others don’t. Mainly, a very dedicated foreign user base! It never caught on in the USA, but web surfers in India, Latin America, Thailand and many other countries frequent the site. If you need to expand your business to other shores, this is a good way to start.
Users on LifeKnot all have some common bond through activities and interests. The site focuses on connecting people through what they like to do or learn about, whether that’s camping, photography, or even sushi.
Want to organize a meetup, party or gathering? MeetIn is a good way to get it all together. They pride themselves on being 100% free and open to everyone. Great if you want to get a real life event organized around your company.
Owned and operated by Google, Orkut is actually named after its creator, Orkut Buyukkokten. Though not as popular in the US as Facebook and their ilk, the site still has over 100 million users, most in India and Brazil.
Are your customers really big on video games? Then you need to be on Raptr, the social media site dedicated to that industry. It features game management, achievements tracking, and you can even import and link your Steam, Xbox Live and Playstation Network accounts.
Speaking of media, GetGlue is a big up and comer in the social media world. They focus on everything fun: movies, books, video games, even food and technology. Users click what they like and if they’re currently using it. In an interesting juxtaposition of social media and life, the stickers you earn on the site will actually get mailed to your house!
Ravelry: it’s the Facebook for knitters and crocheters! Now not only can you weave your intricate designs together, you can do the same with your friends and like-minded associates. It was launched back in 2007 and already boasts almost 750,000 members. That’s a lot of yarn to spin!
All blogging, all day! Not quite as rapid fire as Bebo, but Xanga is a big blogging community built around building each other up. It was started around 1998 and boasts over 40 million members.
Care about the environment? Even if you don’t, your business might. Try hitting WiserEarth for a group of concerned citizens of the planet tracking the progress of non-profits around the world. Businesses, groups, governments, and regular folks all frequent the site.
There are over 1.1 billion Catholics in the world. Currently, 50,000 of them are on Xt3, the premiere Catholic social media site. It’s very content driven and features videos, audio interviews, and messages from the Vatican.
What do you read? Find out what your customers are reading by joining WeRead. Discuss authors, take some quizzes, and add all the books you own to your profile.
If your company’s main audience is mothers, CafeMom is the place to be. It’s an ad supported social media site that offers mostly user generated content. It gets roughly 3 million hits a month, so get on there quick!
DailyBooth’s slogan is “Your Life in Pictures.” As opposed to updating your world through text like Twitter, DailyBooth focuses on pictures. The audience is primarily teens so keep that in mind if you decide to try them out.
The social media site for the explorers out there! Exploroo logs all your travels through blogs, photos and reviews. For all your traveling customers, this site is where it’s at.
Easily the website with the best name on this list, Disaboom is a social media site for everyone with a disability. Get on and discuss wellness, rights, and various products and services. There’s even a section just for veterans.
Probably the most straightforward name on the list, Gays.com is for the LGBT community to talk and hang out without fear of persecution. It’s been called the Gay Facebook and has over 100,000 members around the world.
19. My Opera
Proving that you can build a social media site around anything, My Opera is for everyone who uses the Opera web browser. There are sections for users and developers, plus you can view your synchronized bookmarks. Before you think it’s some niche site, you should know it currently boasts almost 7 million users!
20. Vampire Freaks
Does your business operate in the spooky or horror or gothic world? Then you should try Vampire Freaks, the social media site for everything dark and mysterious. Pics, journals, event scheduling, everything is there for the gothic-leaning to communicate.