How to Select Social Networks by Vertical Industry Sector
Whether you’re marketing B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer), you can find dozens of industry- or interest-specific social networks. Search online for communities in your industry. As long as the social network is large enough to support your time investment and continues to attract new users, you should enjoy enough of payback to make your effort worthwhile.
Vertical industry sites, other than shopping, are particularly appealing for B2B marketers. If you use some adroit maneuvering, you can intersect with the sales cycle, reaching the appropriate decision-maker with the right message.
For the retail community, the growth of social shopping sites is a new avenue to reach consumers who want to spend after they see what everyone else is buying. Users flock to these sites for the latest product reviews, real-time deals, and news about the hottest items.
Track results so that you can decide which sites work best for you. If a site doesn’t produce leads or sales after a few months, find another.
If you want to promote your products or services to more than one online community, customize your profiles and messages accordingly. For instance, a sporting goods store might promote camping gear on a social network for backpackers and running gear on one for joggers.
The list of vertical market social networks seems endless and ever changing. This table provides a sample of some of these networks just to give you an idea of the range. This list does not include blogs, bookmarking sites, or news aggregators.
|ArtSlant||Contemporary art network with profiles for artists, art professionals, art organizations, and art lovers|
|DeviantArt||Post and share original artwork|
|CarGurus||Automobile community with reviews, photos, and opinions|
|Motortopia||Community for lovers of cars, motorbikes, planes, and boats|
|Goodreads||Book recommendations to share|
|LibraryThing||Book recommendations and online catalog|
|Design Float||web design-related content sharing, advertising, digital art, and branding|
|Care2||Eco-friendly lifestyle site|
|Make Me Sustainable||Environmental community|
|TreeHugger||Environmental topics at interactive community|
|CreateSpace||Creation, collaboration, and distribution for writers, musicians, and filmmakers|
|Fanpop||Network of fan clubs for television, movies, music, and more|
|Flixster||Movie lovers community|
|Mediabistro||Careers and community for media professionals|
|Myspace||Social networking site for music entertainment|
|PatientsLikeMe||Patients, healthcare professionals, and industry organizations making connections|
|Lawyrs.net||International social networking community for lawyers and law students|
|Care2||Online community for people passionate about making a difference|
|ChangingThePresent||Nonprofit giving community|
|Uniteddogs||Social networking for dogs and their owners|
|WellPaw||Social pet community|
|Curiobot||Collection of the most interesting items for sale on the Internet|
|Gilt||Flash sales on women’s apparel|
|Polyvore||Product mixing and matching from any online store|
|Rue La La||Flash sales|
|Stylehive||Stylish people connecting|
|ThisNext||Product discovery, recommendations, and sharing|
|Wanelo||Discover and bookmark products|
|Athlinks||Database with all types of sports race results and athlete community|
|BeRecruited||Connecting high school athletes and college coaches|
|ResearchGate||Social network for scientists to connect and make their work more visible|
As always, include a link to your primary website and use some of your preferred search terms in your postings and profiles. If these sites have blogs or accept photos, video, or music, you can syndicate that type of content to many sites simultaneously.