My usual answer to these objections is "So what?" Far from needing to be Facebook-with-a-billion users, it's the niche players who are living in the future of social media and communications.
Seth Godin touched on this in a recent interview that adds perspective for those of you working to communicate a niche business, committee, pursuit, product or tool, and it isn't about becoming "a household word:"
...what this age we're living in is doing, is it's dividing the mass market, which is basically dead now, into hundreds or thousands of micro-markets — little markets of interest. So you can't make a substantial impact on everyone anymore. It's almost impossible....But what you can do is go to the edges, and go to the few people who care deeply and make a big impact there.I love that: Go to the edges. We're always talking about angles, but that's what an edge forces you into, so embrace it. Social media platforms can be anything you want them to be, broad or narrow. Their easy availability has meant that many niche businesses and organizations are engaging their existing followers and broadening their base...but only where it makes sense. What's your edge? What's your angle: Consider:
- how Google+ communities are opening up new opportunities for authors and publishers, where you might organize a community around a single book, or provide bonus content to your readers, for example.
- how Army of Women recruited more than 370,000 women for breast cancer prevention research, matching them with physician researchers in search of healthy subjects willing to join clinical trials. The site has worked out research protocol approvals, confidentiality and many other issues to work this niche.
- how Syria Deeply, a "single-story site," covers one topic in depth and succeeds in part because it's a story that others have not covered like a blanket.
- how Pose became "the Instagram of fashion" by applying the concepts of a very broad-interest site for sharing photos, and realizing that people like sharing photos of fashion and what they're wearing.
- how the podcast has completely changed stand-up comedy and the profession of being a comedian, moving it from nightclubs and finding audiences online. You can listen to the, ahem, podcast here for more insights: