Certain social media sights make it easy to connect with friends, extended family, acquaintances, and even old classmates from your youth. For this reason, sites like Facebook are extremely popular. But what about when it comes to actually making connections with like-minded people. It can be difficult to seek individuals who have the same interests and hobbies that you do. Actually, social media is a great way to quickly connect with lots of people who share the same interests as you. You just have to know which sites to visit and how to go about searching for groups that are built around specific niches. Some sites are so specialized that they actually only draw people that are
interested in one specific niche. These sites can be great if you can find one that fits your interest. However, you can also find niche-specific groups on some general social media sites that are focused on connecting people with like-minded individuals more than they are focused on providing a place for people to trade gossip and status updates.
Here are some good options for general social media sites that make it easy to really connect with people who are interested in the same niches as you.
Ning is a social media site that is focused almost solely on helping people create “communities” of like-minded individuals. This is a very unique site where people can create a group and bring members or can explore already established groups and find one (or more) that seem interesting to them. The great thing about Ning is that you can use it in conjunction with other social media tools like Twitter and YouTube. This makes it possible to draw people who might not know about Ning into your community rather than simply relying on people who already use this site. Ning is used by some large organizations and also people who are trying to build social movements.
Flickr is known as a great photo sharing site, but it is also a great place for connecting with people with similar interests, even if you only casually take snapshots. Flickr has “groups” for basically everything. Like cats? You’ll be able to find plenty of groups populated by feline lovers. Cars? Travel to Europe? Likewise. While some groups are mainly focused on photography and critiquing other members’ work, many are more focused on sharing information and pics that are related to whatever niche the group is built around.
Another visual-based site that works well for people seeking out groups is Vimeo. While you can get all sorts of characters trolling around the groups of more popular sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Vimeo’s participants are more focused on creating great content and supporting and critiquing others who do the same. The result: some really great groups that are focused on specific niches. Like Flickr, some of the groups here are focused on the craft of visual storytelling, but other groups are populated with people who simply love a specific hobby and want to interact with others who are into the same niche.
You can’t go without mentioning the king of social media. Not because it has great groups, but because everyone is on Facebook, so you can find numerous groups and pages on any subject that you could ever imagine. Yes, you might have to weed through the trolls to find a group with members who are really serious, but this can be worthwhile because you will have multiple groups to choose from, so you can select whichever one suits you best.
OK, so MySpace is a struggling social media site that was pretty much put out of business by Facebook. This site is no match for the ‘Book when it comes to social media for social media’s sake but it has been able to reinvent itself as a kind of niche site that helps people connect with others with similar interests. The new incarnation of MySpace is not fully functional yet, but it looks like those seeking a more niche-focused version of Facebook might be happy with the new offerings from this veteran of the social media game.