Finding Members in Social Networks Beyond Facebook

Aug 14, 2017

If you ask most membership site leaders what social networking sites they are on, you’re going to hear the typical Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn shpiel. You may even be a member of specific groups within those big platforms to connect with potential members.

But did you know that there’s a whole world of social networking sites out there beyond the big names? Many of them have a powerhouse reach within their specialty area.

I started gathering a quick list, just to show you the variety!

  • 43 Things – matches you with people working on similar goals
  • Active Rain – for real estate agents, brokers, home stages, inspectors, lenders
  • Alignable –networking between local businesses
  • Bakespace – social networking for bakers
  • CafeMom – social community where more than 1 million moms meet
  • Catster and Dogster – where pet owners meet
  • Deviant Art – largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts
  • Doximity – social networking for physicians
  • Dribble – community where designers share their work with each other
  • Gentlemint – described as the Pinterest for Men
  • Letterboxd – network for film buffs
  • LineForHeaven – a religious social network
  • Madwhips – for car enthusiasts
  • My Last Wish – a social networking app that connects people who share a dream
  • Nextdoor – a group to bring neighbors together online
  • OilPro – a network for professionals in oil and gas
  • Patients Like Me – connects people who want to learn about healthcare conditions
  • Ravelry – for knitters and crocheters
  • Stachepassions – for mustache lovers
  • ThirdAge – for seniors interested in health and lifestyle
  • Untapped – for craft beer enthusiasts;
    Snooth – for wine drinkers; and
    Barista Exchange – for the coffee industry
  • Vampire Freaks and Lost Zombie – social sites that focus on, well, the obvious vampires and zombies
  • Wayn – social network for travelers
  • Wiser – for people who believe in a more sustainable world

How do you find the niche sites?  The search engines are going to be your friend here. Social networking communities create lots of content that is typically indexed by the engines, so you should be able to find some options when you search.

Try searching for things like:
“private social network for…insert your audience…”
“online forum for …insert your audience…”
“…insert your topic… online community”
“discussion board for …insert your audience…”

When you find a good option, join and observe. Make note of the culture first and then start to engage as appropriate.

This opportunity to research what your prospective members really want and to connect with people outside of the big social media sites should not be underestimated. Whenever you can find them pooled together in a place, that's far better than looking for a needle in the Facebook haystack.

Are you using this strategy?

I’d be curious to hear if you’re currently using this strategy to find members. Or if you try it based on this post, did you find some options that you didn’t know existed?

Hey, have you joined The CircleWhen you're part of our community of membership-builders, you face no challenge alone. In fact, you'll be surrounded by a welcoming group of people who actually *get* membership. We have membership-specific trainings, inspiring challenges, an active forum, and supports that make it easier for you to focus on what's really important.  Stop by and check us out. We'd love to welcome you.

About The Author:

I'm Joy Duling. Since 2005, I've been quietly helping smart, creative, passionate changemakers launch membership programs. To me, membership is more than a business model. It's a powerful platform for uniting your unique tribe of followers around the change you were meant to bring to the world.  If you agree, let's connect.  #leadyourcause

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joyofmembership
Twitter: @joyofmembership
Skype:  live:jduling
Email:   joy@joyofmembership.com

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