As marketers get a stronger hold of social media, they often realize that going for the major players like Facebook or Twitter sometimes isn’t the best solution. Niche social media platforms are blooming – they attract online communities truly engaged in one subject. Even if the numbers are smaller than those of social media giants, they can be just as rewarding – if you pick the right one.
Here are 5 social media platforms expected to become big in 2015.
This question-answer website is slowly becoming one of the most significant sources of insider information about topics ranging from Java programming to piloting a Boeing. More sophisticated and socially oriented than Yahoo answers, Quora is on its way to become a great medium for small businesses to build their brand image by answering questions as industry experts. This way, startup owners can not only add a personalized touch to the brand’s image, but also become thought leaders in their sectors, helping their startups to achieve recognition.
A brand new social media platform that represents something more than a niche – a relatively large community of fitness fans. With a free subscription, users get workout plans that help them reach specific goals, earning badges and points for progress. They can view their progress on special interactive charts and get in touch with the online fitness community.
The platform also offers a Knowledge Center with daily tips and articles about fitness-related subjects. Since sports and fitness is a growing global trend, with more and more people getting interested in various forms of workout, Fitocracy will become a significant social media channel, perfect for fitness-oriented brands seeking new audiences.
This is a new platform, which is based on influencer dynamics. It’s been reported as “addictive” by VentureBeat and TechCrunch pointed out that its growth rate is exceedingly fast-paced. You can ask for an opinion or address questions posted by others, add comments, click thumbs up or, something that a lot of Facebook fans have always longed for, thumbs down. There’s also a neutral button available for all those fence sitters out there.
Ever since food images flooded Facebook and Instagram, it was only a matter of time before a special social network dedicated completely to food finally emerged. Foodie basically looks like Pinterest, only instead of pinning information about any subject at all; all cards are focused on food. You can browse through three categories: recipes, restaurants and collections.
The Collections section is a brilliant idea – it features sets of recipes for a particular ingredient (like chicken), a meal (dinner or breakfast) or a food category, like bread or smoothie. With food becoming one of the primary topics of social media conversations, we’ll probably see brands establishing their online presence here as well.
It has already made headlines, but this social media platform will grow even more important in 2015. Famous for adopting and running with the culture of fast media production and consumption (videos and photos are deleted after a short period of time), Snapchat is a medium that promotes people to connect visually.
The importance of social media is on the rise. In 2015, social media networks will generate more income, become more relevant in branding strategies and offer more relationship-building opportunities than ever, fostering the creation of more specialized online communities across the web.
Author: Kelly Smith works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and is passionate about the Australian startup scene.
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