How to build useful niche social media communities

For the last four years I have been building social media platforms almost exclusively. I have reviewed and worked on some high profile social networking projects. What interests me is what works and what is a total waste of time. Prior to social media I have been working on mobile game, medical software, augmented reality systems etc. LinkedIn profile

Although Social media is different, its’ all about Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS), innovation, common-sense and not reinventing the wheel. Over the last few years the projects which have hit the  limelight are the ones which do one task well and then make it available to various audience in an easy to consume format. Examples:

  • WordPress Blogging (powers roughly 202 million blogs)
  • YouTube Embeddable videos on the web (average 12bn videos watched a month)
  • Foursquare Clocking in and out (More than 1 million check ins per month)

Decision making

The above platforms are social media superstars from yesterday, today and tomorrow. A lot of hard work has gone in launching these platforms and making them as popular as they are, although they just do one things really well. This is what any social media site should do, one thing but extremely well.

So if you are building a social network and want to blow everyone’s socks off, I would say don’t just get a whole range of blogging, forum, mobile apps together, instead take a stand. Ask yourself: Who are we? What do our members want? What is the one (or maybe two) feature which is a must. Then just build that, for the rest link it to their existing social media properties.

For instance as a knitting networking group, we will allow users to upload knitting patterns and organise coffee morning events. For everything  else we will use member’s existing social media platforms, like Facebook.

One Response to How to build useful niche social media communities

  1. Raj Anand February 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Update: There is a knitting community, pretty much as mentioned in the blog:

Leave a Reply