There are a lot of people that use social media.
Since 2005, when Facebook first came to the college I was attending at the time, social media use has jumped by ten times. About 65% of US adults now use social media.
And that’s just adults. And it’s just adults in the US.
We live in a great era. The world is a big place physically, but we have access to each other like never before in history. We can work and do business with just about anyone anywhere in the world. And that’s pretty cool.
But it also means that the social networks are busy. And that means that they’re noisy. If you’re looking to build a social media following you’re going to have a difficult time standing out.
That’s where the concept of a social media niche comes in.
Let’s look at a few ways to find your social media niche.
What’s Working For Others?
This is kind of an odd question to ask to kick things off. Why would we look at what other people are doing when we’re trying to be different?
Stay with me for a second…
Innovation in this world is always about building on what others have done. It’s very rare…very, very rare for something to be completely different than that’s been done.
Usually the big innovations in the world start on the shoulders of what’s been done and take it to new levels beyond that.
Let’s take the first iPhone for example. Back in 2007, cellphones had been around for awhile. Maybe 5-10 years for the masses and another decade if you’re Zack Morris.
So the iPhone wasn’t completely new. It wasn’t even the first smartphone or the first personal digital device. It wasn’t the first phone with a camera. It wasn’t the first one to do many things.
But the iPhone had a unique design for a phone. It combined the best features that phones and personal digital devices had had up to that point. It was an innovation.
So in the context of social media it’s still good to look at what’s really working for social media influencers. What kinds of posts are they posting that their audiences are engaging with.
Industry News Updates?
Blog Post Snippets?
What are they doing that is connecting with the people that you want to connect with?
The advantage you have is that you can look at all the influencers in your area and pick up on the best of everything and work to build your own niche based on what you’re seeing. You should see some similarities. When you pick up on something like you notice that five influencers use jokes. That means that you’re probably going to have to use jokes.
Pick up on the best things and then look for ways to take it further. How can you tell better jokes? How can you take video to a new level in the industry?
What’s Your Personality?
Now the flip side of things is your own personality. You can’t really change who you are because you want to be exactly like an influencer in your industry.
I think you can change some, but you still want to embrace your own style and bring that to the fold. When you’re true to yourself it will be easier to sustain the effort you’re going to undertake with social media.
The reason for that is that even if you change what you’re doing with social media it will still take some time to build an audience. And the only way you’ll stick with it when no one is commenting is if you’re having some fun and you’re being yourself.
So let’s say the influencers in your industry all share jokes on social media and your target audience loves it. That means you probably have to share jokes. But what if your personality is not that of a jokester?
You’ll probably have to meet halfway. You’ll have to learn how to tell jokes. You’ll have to learn a little about what makes people laugh. But maybe your personality is more on the sarcasm side. Or maybe you can turn your straight lace personality into more of a dead pan humor that your audience will find funny.
Are You Posting Enough?
On note here that kind of builds on the previous two points is to question if you’re posting enough. It’s very important that you’re posting enough on social media if you want to build a following.
Look at the influencers in your industry especially the ones that didn’t already have a big audience off of social media. They probably have more social media posts than you do. The reason is that, in general, it takes a number of posts to build a following.
It’s like anything in life…
If you want to be a good basketball player you have to take a lot of shots. You’ll miss a lot, but you’ll also learn what works and you’re groove your own style and niche.
It’s the same with anything in life and it’s the same with social media. It takes a certain quantity commitment – even if you have a plan – to figure things out and find your groove.
So as you get ready to find your niche still prepare to put in the effort to post as much as you need to. That probably means several times per day.
This discussion kind of reminds me of the music world. I’m a country music fan and when new artists come on the scene they’re never really totally out of left field. Their styles are usually similar, but a bit different from what the big artists are doing at the moment.
A recent example might be Sam Hunt. He’s recognized as being different in country music. His style is unique, but even he wasn’t the first to have that style of hip hop and country music or pop and country. He kind of took that style and influence and made it his own. It’s worked really well for him.
You can do the same thing if you’re looking to make headway on social media. See what’s working. Figure out how you can build on that while staying true to your own style and you’ll be in a good position for building your own following and for getting the engagement you want.