Going Beyond Facebook: 18 Niche Social Media Sites You Should Explore

Marie Ennis-O'Connor
May 9 · 8 min read

It’s time to broaden your social media horizons.

While Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat might be the most popular social networks in the West, there is a world beyond the Big Five waiting for you to explore.

Why It’s Time To Go Niche

More and more people are becoming fatigued from the over-saturation of content on the main social media networks. They’re moving increasingly towards platforms that help eliminate the noise and posts that aren’t relevant to them.

Niche networks provide you with the opportunity to connect with a highly target and engaged community. Once you’ve connected with your audience, you can start to get to know them — how they think and act — and build closer relationships with them.

Niche social networks are smaller and serve only those who want to be there which means rather than being a small fish in a big social pond, going niche allows you to focus your communication more precisely. You won’t have to worry about beating any Facebook-like algorithms so you can increase the ability to get your content seen by a relevant audience.

There are plenty of niche social networks online catering to passionate users, united by specific topics or locations. Whether you’re a film buff, a DIY enthusiast, a crafter or a baker, there’s a niche network out there for you. Here are some popular places to start your exploration.

This recipe sharing and cooking community was founded in 1997 after co-founder Hunt had trouble finding his favorite cookie recipe on the Internet.

The recipes on the website are posted by members of the Allrecipes.com community. They are categorized by season, type (such as appetizer or dessert), and ingredients. Search functionality supports requiring and excluding specific ingredients. Other categories include methods (such as grilling or baking), occasions, and cooking style. There is support for finding meal ideas for specific holidays.

An online platform to showcase and discover creative work. People join Behance and build profiles consisting of Projects.

Members of Behance can Follow your profile and you can, in turn, follow other members. When you Follow someone, their updates (Projects they’ve uploaded, Appreciated, or Added to a Collection) appear in your For You page.

BlogHer is a community and media company founded as a conference in 2005. In 2006, BlogHer started a group blog featuring over 60 women blogging on a variety of subjects. Its forums expanded to include a large worldwide community of bloggers who are women.

The company, Blogher LLC, includes conferences and a blog advertising network.

BurdaStyle is a community website for people who sew or would like to learn how.

Want to start a petition? Show your support for a cause you care about? Then Care2 is the place to go.

Founded by Randy Paynter in 1998, the goal of the site is to connect activists from around the world with other individuals, organizations and responsible businesses making an impact.

Love dogs? Then head on over to Dogster, a bimonthly magazine and website for dog lovers.

Seasoned pet parents turn to the magazine and website for expert information and entertainment. Each issue of the magazine includes legal and medical developments, health tips, behavior and training, nutrition, travel and activities, the latest dog products, breed profiles, adoption, giving back to the dog community, working and rescue dogs. Dogster is Its sister publication is Catster, a bimonthly magazine and website for cat lovers.

Dribbble is an online community for showcasing user-made artwork. Founded in 2009, it’s one of the largest platforms for designers to share their work online.

Dribble functions as a self-promotion and networking platform for graphic design, web design, illustration, photography, and other creative areas.

Gentlemint is a free social networking site that requires registration to use. Members are able to upload links to content — known as “tacks” — through collections. These can also incorporate media such as photos, videos, and other content.

Although registration is not limited exclusively to men, its focus is on sharing links, photos and videos based on “manly” content. Gentlemint has often been called “Pinterest for Men.”

Goodreads is a book review and recommendations site that allows individuals to freely search its database of books, annotations, and reviews.

On the Goodreads website, users can add books to their personal bookshelves, rate and review books, see what their friends and authors are reading, participate in discussion boards and groups on a variety of topics, and get suggestions for future reading choices based on their reviews of previously read books. Once users have added friends to their profile, they will see their friends’ shelves and reviews and can comment on friends’ pages.

Houzz is a website and online community about architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design and home improvement.

Houzz has a directory of home improvement professionals who use the site to connect with homeowners. The platform can be used for consumers to search through different types of professionals for hire, view their previous projects, and begin a discussion with them with questions and inquiries, to ultimately hire them

Inspire is a social network for health that connects patients and caregivers in a safe permission-based manner.

Members connect across time and space: around the globe 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. They are resources for each other sharing health information and support without regard to location, background or status. Together they reduce the feelings of isolation experienced by those with chronic conditions, cancer, rare diseases.

Instructables is a website specializing in user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects. The site is dedicated to step-by-step collaboration among members to build a variety of projects.

Users post instructions to their projects, usually accompanied by visual aids, and then interact through comment sections below each Instructable step as well in topic forums.

Letterboxd is an online social network launched in 2011as a social app focused on sharing opinions about, and love of, film, and is maintained by a small team in New Zealand.

Members can use it as a diary to record their opinions about films, keep track of films they have seen in the past, write reviews or make lists of films and showcase their favorite films, as well as meet and interact with other cinephiles. Films can be rated, reviewed, included in a list and tagged with relevant keywords.

Meetup is an online service used to organize online groups that host in-person events for people with similar interests.

Meetup was founded in 2002 by Scott Heiferman and five co-founders.The idea for Meetup came from Heiferman meeting his neighbors in New York City for the first time after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

‘My Last Wish’ is a unique social network for those who have a terminal illness. It was created to help people others who share similar dreams they wish to fulfil before they die.

Users of the app, known as ‘fellow wishers’ are asked to post their final wish onto the ‘Wish Wall’ and can choose to attach their email address or phone number so other users who want to do the same thing, can get in touch.

Nextdoor is a private social networking service for neighborhoods.

Users of Nextdoor submit their real names and addresses to the website. Posts made to the website are available only to other Nextdoor members living in the same neighborhood

Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, and edited by users in the form of opinions.

Quora’s user base has been growing quickly since it started in 2010 with over 190 million monthly unique visitors. Quora World Meetup started in 2017 as a tradition for Quora readers and writers to come to know each other, network, and have fun.

Ann online network for knitters and crocheters. Members share projects, ideas, and their collection of yarn, fiber, and tools.

The site has forums, groups, and friend-related features that give people ways to interact with other knitters and crocheters. Photos can be added to project and stash pages, and also to forum posts, by connecting to the user’s own Flickr or Photobucket or Picasa or Instagram account or by uploading a photo directly from the user’s computer or iPhone

While not exactly a niche network (it boasts 542 million monthly visitors) Reddit can nevertheless be overlooked.

Reddit is home to thousands of communities. Whether you’re into breaking news, sports, TV fan theories, or a never-ending stream of the internet’s cutest animals, there’s a community on Reddit for you

Why not start your own instead.

Mighty Networks lets you set up your own closed social network quickly and easily. A network of up to 1,000 people is free.

Have you had success with any of these niche networks? What are some of your favourite niche platforms?

Marie Ennis-O'Connor

Written by

Social Media Consultant. Keynote Speaker. Digital Storyteller. https://hcsmmonitor.com