How to Get Started in Social Niche Marketing
Laying down the ground rules
A wise saying I once heard goes "If your work is work, you're in the wrong line of work." Or, to put it in terms of a teacher who was a powerful mentor to me at a young age: "Do what you love, and the money will follow."
This especially applies to niche marketing. Working in niche markets applies the psychology of human nature on both the seller and buyer side. You're harnessing passion. Any old fool can go along with the mainstream and do what anybody else does, because that's, um, what everybody else is doing. But people occupying a niche experience something a little more special. To the buyer, the seller becomes more than a face-less entity behind a cash register; the seller becomes a part of "we". "We", the True Believers. We, the cult of fandom. We, the group that knows what's really going down!
For the seller, the daily grind of earning money suddenly vanishes and becomes instead a kind of quest. Frequently, the most successful sellers in a niche are part of the niche themselves. If you're participating in a market which also includes you, you get to feel very special. You're doing something you believe in. You get to be more confident, because you have the advantage of special knowledge in your market.
Marketing is psychology
Tour the local restaurants in your area that specialize in an ethnic category of cuisine, and you'll see an ingrained trend: each restaurant is decorated in a style to look like part of the country it represents! Think how strange it would be to show up for a Chinese buffet and find the building is adobe with a red, white, and green color scheme, has piñatas hanging from the ceiling, and the staff is wearing ponchos and sombreros. Turn it around and go to a Mexican restaurant; now, they don't have the building styled like a pagoda, Buddha statues and Foo dogs in the front, and the waitresses are geisha girls in white robes and wooden sandals.
Logically, this shouldn't matter! There's no real reason why the Chinese-decorated restaurant would be unable to produce the best tacos and burritos you've ever tasted. And why shouldn't I be able to decorate my restaurant in Mexican style and still be able to turn out perfect Chinese food? There shouldn't be any connection between my ability to make good chop suey and my idea to decorate the place like a Spanish ranchero. After all, customers come for the food, not the scenery. Ah, but we humans have all of our illogical human emotions tied up in our decision on what to buy and where. So if we want food of a particular ethnicity, we'll set our hopes on the establishment which wins the "cultural awareness" contest. We take that as a signal that that is the place which understands exactly what it is we want.
Human nature leads us to be the most likely to trust a person who shows an understanding of how we think. Every single one of us, given a choice of equally attractive options with all other factors being equal, will head for the person who demonstrates an understanding of us on the deepest level.
Thus, the other three rules follow from the first. Because marketing is psychology, niche marketing is based more on how you sell than what you sell. Because humans, everywhere, choose to do business with clients who "think like they do", the more authentic a member of that niche you are, the better you will do, and if you come off as a phony or a poser, you can kiss your business goodbye.
Now, let me back up here a bit. Just because you weren't born in a niche yourself doesn't mean that you will automatically be a failure in it. After all, you can sell toys to a five-year-old without being a child yourself. But the deck is stacked against you. At the best, you'll succeed in a niche with a lot of extra effort put into researching your market. You can also choose to adopt a niche. Throughout your life, you may be a part of several markets, and your views and tastes may change. But let's just make it clear that if you're marketing to a niche that repels you in every way, your success will not be impossible, but it will be very, very highly improbable.
Never forget that the person who is doing what they deeply believe in will have passion on their side. They will have more energy, work longer at it, attack problems with greater enthusiasm and more creative thinking, and will go to bed happy and rise the next morning looking forward to their work.
Finding a Niche that works for you
Everybody believes in something. Examine your background, your beliefs, your demographic. Note everything that you do. Include hobbies you like, TV shows you watch, music that you listen to. Everything that makes you - you! Don't worry so much about "But I'm weird! How am I going to make money catering to people in my tiny little group?" The Internet is here, and no matter how quirky you are, other people who think just like you do are only a few clicks away.
There are a number of ways to find a niche that works for you:
Be born in one
Obviously, if you're from India and have an interest in cuisine, you're all set up to start a curry business. You're an instant expert in whatever field you currently occupy. Being a member of a generation is another key. Clearly, if you remember the sixties, you have a good chance to be a hit with the Baby Boomers. Or maybe you're a member of Generation X - if so, you can talk to them with a voice that will ring true. Likewise for social and financial class.
All through our lives, we discover new things that interest us. Take any pastime that you pursue, concentrating on what is associated with that hobby or pursuit that you spend money on. But even better, imagine what you could buy, if only someone sold it. What better way to corner a market than to create one? So, if you already have a niche which nobody caters to the needs of, cater to it yourself! Others who were also looking for that business will find you.
Well, after all, look at all the niches that are around us. Each interest originated with one person who began to follow it. Somebody had to do it first. Think of the first person who put a "9/11 We Will Never Forget" sticker on their car. The first Seattle teenager to call their style "grunge". The first adult who posted pictures of their life-sized Lego models on the Internet. Every fad and "meme" started as an idea in just one person, who spread it around. In some cases, that person founds a lifestyle.
Stumble upon one
Niches are waiting all around us to be discovered. This may sound like a silly way to discover the new niche that will possible make you millions, but have you ever checkout out http://www.Stumbleupon.com
StumbleUpon is a very cool social website where you can either create your own account or login with your Facebook account to start stumbling around.
The cool thing about StumbleUpon is that it will actually keep track of the types of things that you were friends like and base the content you see on that. Knowing that you probably like your friends for reasons such as the things you have in common, StumbleUpon will show you very relevant content that is likely to be of a high interest to you .
What better way to start looking for new niches and coming up with great niche content ideas that a combination of things that you and your friends like. I highly recommend you spend some time on the site when looking for a new niche.
Social Niche Research
How To Research A Niche Market On Facebook
Researching your niche market on Facebook can be as easy as a few simple searches using the Facebook interface and even a few Google searches. There are quite a few different techniques that successful business owners use to research their specific market using social networks; today you’ll learn about how to do it using Facebook.
Using Facebook’s Interface
The Facebook search feature is more helpful that a lot of people truly realize.
Not only are you capable of searching for nearly anything, you can separate the results by different groupings. If you’re searching for a person, you can search by name; by page or group, you can use keywords. The best part is separating them using the left-sidebar links.
Once you find various pages and groups for the niche markets you’re interested in, the process is all downhill from here. Generally, people like pages that are relevant to their interests. While it isn’t always the case and there are always people who just like a page because someone recommended it, it is likely that the majority of them are interested in the topic.
Groups are designed so people can have discussions about certain topics. This is beneficial for keeping an eye on both the issues and the things that people dislike and like. This data can all be used for knowing what people desire (their demands in the niche market you chose) and also give you a way to participate in the discussions.
Keep in mind that this is one of the best ways to utilize Facebook for getting your name out in the market. People will remember the beneficial and friendly conversation you add. So it is important to be respectful. The more helpful and respectful you are, the more beneficial to your purpose it will be.
Another useful way to get fans or ‘likes’ for your new fan page is to link to your page in some of your comments. Please notice the word “some” in that sentence. If you link to your page in all of your comments, it is considered spam and you may be booted from the group and/or other page. However, if you’re giving insight on a topic to someone and you provide a helpful response, it won’t be a disaster to add “I have more information about [topic] on my [blog/website] at http://www.url.com if you want to take a look.”
Another way to utilize the groups and pages find is to get into discussions with people and, in a way, make friends with them. Once you are friendly with people, it most likely wouldn’t be an issue to send them a friend request. Then you’re acquiring friends that are related to your niche market. Assuming you are using the tips provided and making good conversation, those friends may suggest friends for you that are also in the same target market.
Using Google to Assist You
Did you know that you can search for specific criteria using Google?
You can make your search results customized to what you are really looking for. By using the advanced search feature of Google, you can search for just things on the Facebook website. This allows you to get more accurate results for specific keywords, and also is an easier way to keep track of which pages or groups you’ve already visited.
When you click a link on Facebook to visit a page, there is no clear indication that you’ve been to that place before unless you specifically remember it. Chances are, you will be visiting a number of different groups and pages before the end of the day and things start running together. However, if you use Google’s search capabilities, you are able to know which ones you have visited based on the color of the link in the search results. The blue links are unvisited and the purple links are the ones you’ve visited. This is a handy ‘trick of the trade’ to use.
Social Networking in Business
The use of social networks in business is increasing dramatically and has proven to be successful tools. If you learn to use them to your advantage, you can also be one of the people who benefit from them. While there are many other ways to use social networks, even ones other than Facebook, this will definitely be a good starting point for you and should give you the edge you need to expand further.
Using Facebook to Create a Fan Page and Get People to Like It
If you’re just starting in your niche market and are looking for a way to get your name out there, creating a fan page and gaining likes may be a very handy tool for you to consider. You are about to learn how to create a page via Facebook and also some ways to get people to like it.
Creating a Facebook Page
There are many people who are unaware of how you can create your own page on Facebook. In fact, there are actually pages designed specifically just to teach you how. No need to search for it any longer, the solution is simple.
From this page, you have many options for creating your own page. You simply pick a category, a name to match, agree to the terms and conditions, and click “Get Started.” It’s really that simple.
When you come to the actual page, you get to customize the Page to your liking. You can add images, a description, and even custom tabs for your page. These can all be great features to offer the people who come in contact with your page.
There are a lot of different options you can edit on the Info tab of your new Facebook Page. Here is a breakdown of the various items:
• Basic Info:
• Detailed Info:
o Company Overview
• Contact Info:
As for the possible extra tabs you can create, there is the option to add the standard tabs, such as: Notes, Photos, Video, Links, Events, etc. You can customize your new fan page to look exactly like you want it to look, with the features you want it to have. Not to mention, you can allow others to post on the wall of your Facebook page or you can prevent them.
Getting “People to Like It”
Now that you have your new Facebook page setup and ready to go, the next step is getting the word out about your page. What use is a page with no likes or fans as Facebook used to call it? We’ll now show you how you can get people to like your page.
There is a neat little feature that Facebook pages offer that lets you suggest your page to your friends. This allows all of your friends to be aware of the page you just created and gives them the option to like or ignore the request. This is a good starting point for getting even a few people to like your page.
It’d be advisable to give your friends a few days to like the page. Once there are a few people that have liked your page, you can post a status update from the page itself which will be shown on your friend’s newsfeed in Facebook.
A friendly request for them to suggest the page to their friends has never hurt anyone. Whether they fulfill the request is solely their decision, but every little bit helps.
Another good way to get people to like your fan page is to tag your new fan page is your personal status updates. This gives people more of a chance to see the page and know of its existence. If people comment on it and it ends up being a popular post, it is likely to show up in friends of friend’s “Most Popular” feed. Then you’re spreading the word past your original friend list.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can even create a promotional ad for your page on Facebook Ads. This is a paid service that you can use to promote your ad to millions of Facebook users based on different criteria that you set. You can set it to be only people from a specific country, a specific city, gender, and even by keywords that people are interested in. These limitations make the targeting of this advertising very precise.
Other Paid Promotion Methods
There are many paid services on the internet that allow you to get fans or people to “like” your page. Some can be costly but they are guaranteed or you don’t pay. The problem with these services is that the people who like your page may have no interest in its purpose. This is not a good way to get targeted people visiting your page, but only for those who want to increase the fan count.
Using Twitter to Find Niche Markets
If you are looking to start a business but don’t know what a good niche market would be, Twitter might be the answer you’re looking for. By using Twitter, you can find hot topics, popular trends, and even gaps in the current market that provide great insight about what might be the next great niche.
When people talk on social networks, they don’t hold back. This gives you the advantage because you can use Twitter as a marketing tool, as well as a social network. The thing that makes Twitter one of the best marketing tools is that it’s not formal and generic.
When people “tweet,” it is a natural conversation. However, with other marketing tools, such as surveys, you’re likely to get canned responses. When people speak naturally, this allows you to see what exactly people care about, what their questions and concerns are, and this all adds in to finding niche market information.
Let’s Get Started!
Step 1 Niche Research on Twitter:
When using Twitter to find niche markets, it is important to know what conversations people are having and what they’re talking about. HashTags.org allows you to find out which keywords are common in Twitter conversations. A hashtag is a way for people to have a big conversation with enthusiasts of the same topic. (E.G. #music)
It is best to find trends and conversations that interest you or ones that seem new and exciting. Your imagination is the key here! You have to keep in mind that Twitter changes so rapidly that a trend that is popular one day, may be left in the dust the next. Take your time and really do your research.
Step 2 After you’ve Found You’re Niche:
After you’ve found the niche market you’re most interested in, you need to get some followers that are relevant to your topic. This part is very important for the next step. If you aren’t sure how to find and acquire targeted, relevant followers, read our article on “Getting Niche Followers on Twitter.”
Step 3 Just Watch:
Once you have your niche market figured out, and also a good starting base for relevant followers, the next step in the journey to researching your niche market is simply to watch.
Whenever you have the time, log into your Twitter account and start doing your research. Listen to what people are talking about, follow their conversations and see where they take you. Use this information to find difficulties, problems, and gaps. Is there something that these people want but can’t find? Are people asking questions about something? These are all questions that could lead into a great niche market.
Step 4 Taking It To The Next Level:
Once you have gathered some information about the niche markets you are considering choosing using these helpful Twitter capabilities, it is time to take your research to the next level and try to find confirmation. There are many other helpful resources at your disposal that you can use to capitalize your niche market.
For instance, take one of the niche markets and the information you gathered. Assuming you found a difficulty or something that people wanted, this doesn’t automatically mean this is the ideal market for you. Google offers a free keyword research tool for finding out if the niche market you chose has good keywords. This is beneficial in order to ensure you have a good way to monetize your idea.
It’s also important to stay informed. Continue to watch the Twitter conversations about your niche market so you can get to know your customers.
Using Twitter is almost like eavesdropping on hundreds of conversations that are constantly right in front of you.
Once you’ve established your niche market and you’ve attained a steady follower base, the question remains: “what do I do now?”
You already know how to listen to your customers’ demands and desires but it’s important to know how to converse with them. This factor plays just as important of a role as listening does. It is important to understand what you should talk about, how you should engage them in conversation, and also the etiquette of using Twitter.
Knowing what is considered polite, how to start a conversation, and the common annoyances that Twitter users have is genuinely critical. Learning to use Twitter effectively may be the most challenging part about finding niche markets and starting a successful business.
You can find information about social etiquette all over the internet; look it up, study it, and you will be well on your way to polite social conversations about your niche market. You can then learn how to integrate all of this into your business plan.
Twitter is huge! It’s time to make the same of your newfound business.
Getting Niche Followers on Twitter
At this point, it is safe to assume you already have your niche market decided. Now that you have that figured it, it is time to get followers that are relevant to your objective market, right? It sounds like it may be a task for marketing gurus, but you may be surprised at just how easy it can be.
There are endless ways to find followers on Twitter. Some are more effective than others, but it varies based on what you want to accomplish. This is the easiest and most efficient way to get followers relevant to your market.
More times than not, if you follow someone, it is likely that they will follow you back. This deals a lot with social etiquette and simply being friendly. However, they will also be just as quick to leave you in the dust if you make a mockery of yourself.
If you don’t already have a Twitter account, go sign-up for one. Concentrate on finding people in the same market as you and follow them. Even if they don’t follow you back, this is still beneficial to you for research purposes.
Go to search.twitter.com and search for a keyword that is relevant to your niche market. This will show you who is having a conversation about that topic and will also let you see their profile. If they seem like a worthy candidate, follow them. You can even check out who is following them and follow their followers. Chances are, they have a lot of followers who share similar interests.
Another easy way to find relevant followers on Twitter is to go to “Find People” and search for your niche market’s main keyword. People with that keyword in their name will most likely show up. If they’ve taken the time to put that word in their username, it can be assumed they are an enthusiast.
Google can also come in handy when trying to find followers if you use it to your advantage. Search for a related keyword on Google. Find related businesses that sell products or services to your niche market and try to find out if they have a Twitter account. If they do, follow them. Their followers are generally going to be related to the same industry, which gives you a wide variety of targeted followers to acquire.
The same rule applies when using Google to find blogs related to your keyword. Using Google’s Blogsearch, you can do the same thing and follow blogs that are relevant and have a Twitter account. Those are two quick steps that Google offers that can drastically increase your targeted follower list.
What’s The Importance of Niche-Specific Followers?
No matter what niche market you choose, there are a lot of reasons why having targeted Twitter followers is important. Connecting with these people on Twitter gets your name out. That is the first step in succeeding in your niche market.
If you can connect with people that are related to the same industry, they will remember the person who offered them an insightful conversation.
Once you establish the connection with people in your niche market, you’re on your way! Helping other people with their issues related to the niche market, or even just having a conversation about it will help you out more than you may think. Word of Mouth is still the best form of advertising that any business could ever have. Many people don’t consider the fact that the internet is merely another form of Word of Mouth.
When a user “tweets” something that promotes a business, this is actually considered Word of Mouth advertising because they are sharing their thoughts on a business for their followers (or friends) to see.
Keep in mind that there are both good and bad forms of Word of Mouth advertising so it’s important to always use social etiquette when conversing with people on Twitter.
Another reason that connecting with people is important is because there is always the chance that someone else will see it and follow you. More targeted followers are at your disposal at all times of the day on Twitter. By being tagged in a tweet, you are opened to every person who follows the person who tagged you. If they’re an enthusiast of the same market, they aren’t following you, and they have similar interests – this may lead to them following you.
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