60+ Niche Social Networks Marketers Should Know About (2013), explains why smaller niche networks may be a good place to consider focusing your marketing efforts.
“As the internet becomes more generic, (*ahem* Facebook), people are going to start searching for networks where they can connect with a specific audience who is very much like them. Luckily there is a niche for everyone. Whether you are way into knitting, crocodiles or space, there’s a network out there filled with people just like you… For a marketer, this provides an interesting opportunity to connect with a highly targeted audience. While Facebook does have billions of users, if you have a very unique product, it may not be the best network for you. You might be better off connecting to a highly targeted audience of 300, rather than a fragmented audience of, say, 1 million.”
Below are a few of the ones listed… but trust me, niche networks can get extremely specific and much, much, stranger than these, although unusual, tame networks.
UFO Social – This site is for those interested in paranormal research. You can report paranormal sightings from your phone and share your sightings with those interested in this same type of activity.
Stachepassions – An online site connecting mustache lovers everywhere. It’s also a dating site. Got a stache thing? This site is for you.
David Hasselhoff – Oh yes, a social network for fans of the Hoff! Enough said.
Gentlemint – The Pinterest for Men, Gentlemint is a place to find and share “manly” things. Instead of pictures of babies, food, and crafts, you’re more likely to get pictures of guns and cars.
For those of you that know me personally, you know that I have a slight shopping addiction. It’s what I like to do when I am stressed, happy, mad or sad. Naturally when I ran across the network Kaboodle I jumped right in. According to the above mentioned article, Kaboodle is “geared specifically toward people who love to shop, Kaboodle offers tools that allow its users to better organize their shopping and find the best prices for the items they desire. Their main page even features “Hot Picks” and recommended products based on your shopping trends.” There tagline is Discover, Share, Inspire, Shop.
Kaboodle claims to be “the Internet’s largest and fastest-growing social media site for passionate shoppers.” It is a free social platform that provides the user with shopping tools that allow you to add products from other sites online to your Kaboodle lists and the ability to search Kaboodle for fashion, home, and beauty related posts.
Here’s what you can do on Kaboodle:
» Add products from anywhere online to your lists
» Create and organize shopping lists
» Express your unique style
» Discover amazing products you probably wouldn’t find on your own
» Connect with like-minded shoppers and their finds
» Connect with friends and follow their shopping discoveries.
» Get input from the community by creating a poll.
» Email your shopping lists to your friends and family.
» Show your love for blogazines and style boards by giving hearts!
» Get up-to-the-minute updates on all your friends’ activities.
Kaboodle was created in 2006. Kaboodle turns five, but what is it (2011) explains that, “publisher Hearst dipped its toes into the online shopping waters with its launch of Kaboodle, which it describes as a “social shopping platform for connecting people and products.” Kaboodle’s target audience is consumers, primarily women. Kaboodle actually targets everyone who is interested or involved with fashion or shopping. To setup an account all you need is your name, email and date of birth, or you can sign in through Facebook. In 2011, the site boasted 8 million monthly unique visitors and listed more than 9 million products in its catalog. Trend-o-Meter, which uses proprietary algorithms that identify and track trends by style-based attributes such as color, pattern, material, and design to provide real-time highlights of fashion trends, is also a main feature of the site. “When a large and stylish community is helping to identify what’s ’in,’ it directly influences not only what people purchase, but also what they are recommending to their social networks,” Zehren said.
This is called social shopping. “By giving our users trusted social recommendations for products and people that are uniquely relevant to them, we’re bringing that girlfriend-to-girlfriend social shopping experience to the web.”
The 2013 article by Social Examiner, 7 Niche Social Networks for Strategic Networking, states, “If you’re in the fashion industry, Kaboodle is full of opportunity. It’s similar to Pinterest, in that it presents posts in image form. Kaboodle allows you to create style boards with different items of clothing and accessories, making it ideal for fashion retailers.” So a retailer could organize products by creating lists, carry out polls to see what connections consumers love the most and create a blog magazine for their business. “Kaboodle is a powerful and aesthetically pleasing site that gives you plenty of opportunity to connect with your audience so you can learn more about their preferences.”
Eh… I should’ve picked another site.
Kaboodle, although still technically a live site, seemed to have “died” back in 2010/2011 . The last press release: 11/16/10 Kaboodle and Popular Retailers Help Make Holiday Wishes Come True with More than $25,000 in Prizes. The last newsletter: August 16, 2011. Kaboodle still has a somewhat active Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ presence, though and you can still sign up for new accounts.
Kaboodle is simply not that exciting, and there are newer and better designed sites offering similar services, like Polyvore. (And Polyvore has an App!)
I can see how network’s like these could be useful for retailers and helpful for shoppers. It brings the expansiveness of the internet to one centralized location.
Since Kaboodle isn’t really successful, let’s talk more about Polyvore. Social media plays a big role in the success of Polyvore’s Integrated Marketing Communications. The network has links to its social profiles, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, on the landing page, as well as share buttons above the photographs, linking users to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumbler. This allows users to not only find the network’s social media pages that they may have been unaware of, but to share what they’ve found on the site with all of their friends, which could encourage their friends to join the network.
It doesn’t seem like either Kaboodle or Polyvore uses proximity marketing. Networks like these allow businesses to link to their e-commerce sites. The company builds a collection or a style and that post links back to the website. Perhaps through those connections proximity marketing could be utilized. If the app tracked the GPS location of their users, when the consumers was near a business using Polyvore, Polyvore could send a notification of a set that business had created along with a coupon.
Shopping social networks are appealing to women. These sites give styling ideas, and bring all your favorite looks and preferences together in one easy-to-use site. The only thing missing… proximity marketing. If they can master that, imagine the possibilities!!!