Ali Cozzolino-Smith

Feb 8, 2021

5 min read

Niche Platforms: The Newest Tool for Targeting Ideal Consumers?

Statista estimates that there are around 3.5 billion people logged in to social media accounts worldwide. Almost half the world’s population communicates simultaneously through apps on their phone or logging into their computers. When you think of social media, the “big five” likely come to mind; that includes Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. However, niche platforms geared towards specific groups of people covering many topics and interests are stealing the show and helping 3.5 billion people find their niche community online.

What is a Niche Platform?

Niche social media sites target small but highly engaged, passionate, and loyal audiences. These platforms focus on a specific topic, and the people a part of these platforms are incredibly excited to be there and communicate with like-minded individuals.

Some examples of these niche platforms include Goodreads — a website for dedicated and avid book readers. A place where you can share and discuss your favorite books and unfortunate reading flops. With 90 million followers, book lovers are bound to find a new book club, challenge themselves to a yearly reading goal, and read reviews before adding a book to their TBR (To-Be-Read) shelf.

Have you ever looked up a recipe for that Superbowl game you were hosting? Or needed an idea for something to bring to a Friendsgiving party that would impress all of your colleagues? All Recipes is a platform for foodies to share recipes and test out recipes that other users have posted and shared with the community. It is a place where food-lovers and self-proclaimed chefs come together to share their love for good food.

The Benefits of Small-Scale Social Media

Businesses are always looking to make connections with their target audience. Companies want to understand their consumer’s purchasing behavior and their persona. When a company has more than just an idea of the type of customer purchasing their product, they can focus their advertising efforts on a specific consumer base.

Niche platforms have the potential to be tools for businesses. A business could utilize niche social media to target its intended audience. For example, it would make sense for Chewy, the pet supply online store and delivery company, to market their products and services to users on Dogster and Catster. Dogster (and Catster) is an online forum community for both dog and cat lovers. According to Web Marketing Pros, between Dogster and Catster, there are roughly three million pet accounts. That is three million accounts that would narrowly target the audience that a company like Chewy would benefit from advertising towards. Advertising and promoting on niche platforms can reach consumers interested in your product or service. Plus, the added benefit of possibly decreasing wasted ad expenditures by engaging with your niche audience.

Niche Platform Influencers

Goodreads and Wattpad are both niche communities that are host to targeted advertisements and have some strong influencers. Wattpad is a community of readers and writers. Writers can self-publish their own stories (chapter-by-chapter) for the community to read, comment, and leave reviews. Several of the writers have published their stories with publishing companies, and you can now purchase their books in stores, like Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. These writers have generated a strong following and fan base on the app and other widely used social media platforms. For example, Anna Todd wrote the highly successful After series and self-published it on Wattpad in 2013. After has hit over a billion reads on the app. After was published by Simon & Schuster and turned into two major motion pictures. Anna Todd is a new type of influencer. She is influencing Generation Z to read classic literature. Anna Todd references many classic novels throughout the After series, such as Charles Dickens’ and Jane Austen's works.

Overall, niche platforms are an excellent way for businesses to target specific consumers all in one place. The form of social media is virtually untapped and has a lot of potentials. These smaller but very passionate communities give influencers the chance to target followers and fans close to their personal brand on a small-scale social media site such as Reddit, Goodreads, Dribble, Discord, and more. There seems to be a niche platform for just about any hobby, interest, or lifestyle.


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