It’s a given that networking is critical to just about any kind of business success—and has been for as long as business has been around (and that’s quite a long time).
These days, though, networking consists of much more than traditional mixer events, tradeshows, or grabbing a coffee or a drink with colleagues. Much of it is conducted virtually through large social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and numerous others. Tap a few keys on your keyboard and at the touch of a button you’ve connected with hundreds, if not thousands, of other individuals . . . but there are some downsides to such a one-size-fits-all mentality.
When social platforms get huge, connecting with individuals and organizations who share your interests and professional goals can be quite a chore. How can you possibly hope to cut through the clutter of millions of users with thousands of disparate interests so you can connect to a desired subgroup of users?
Niche Social Networking to the Rescue
If you believe, like I do, that relationships—in the flesh or virtual—are what most often make or break a business proposition, then it’s imperative to find a way to better focus your networking activities. One such way is called “niche social networking.”
As its label implies, niche social networking targets specific communities or subsets of users who share the same interests or hobbies or profession. If you can name it, there’s potentially a niche social network out there for it. Communities grow up around politics, religion, sports, lifestyles, entertainment likes and dislikes, and much more.
Niche Social Networking in Action
One such niche social networking platform near and dear to this King Monkey’s heart is an innovative, southern California-grown and based organization. Malakye (www.malakye.com) is dedicated to building a professional community around active lifestyle-driven industries. In a way, they are like a LinkedIn that specializes in the active lifestyle and sports sphere.
I’m active on this platform for two main reasons:
- I share many interests with this community, namely all things related to active lifestyles and action sports. Those who know me, know this is right up my alley.
- I know Malayke’s owner, Chad Mihalick, a Graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, who founded the company back in 2002, and Kelly Quiller, Business Development Manager for Malayke’s Outdoor & Bike section, who has more than 14 years of experience in the outdoor, cycling, and active lifestyle industries. They’re the real deal, and both are dedicated to making this platform work well for all involved.
Malakye is a platform through which people and companies in the active lifestyle and action sports industries can connect for employment and business opportunities as well as to share relevant experiences and stories.
The Malakye website offers numerous ways for people to engage:
- A quick look at job openings shows a wide range of positions available, including graphic designers, branding experts, production specialists, and many others—and they’re all positions with companies in fields relevant to Malakye’s particular niche.
- Similarly, the People and Companies sections serve up details and profiles of individuals and organizations active in the lifestyle/sports space: their employment histories, interests, and contact information. It’s a great way to find and connect with others who share your interests.
- Likewise, the News and Events sections provide members places where they can post relevant news and information about upcoming events.
Located in Manhattan Beach, I encourage you to check out Malakye’s website to see first-hand a working example of niche social networking and also to reach out to Chad and Kelly to explore how participating in the Malakye community would help you and your business. They can be reached at (310) 379-5077 or by email at [email protected].
Get a Taste for the Active Lifestyle/Active Sports Space!
More Benefits of Niche Social Networking
While niche social networks are a boon to enterprising business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives seeking networking opportunities, they’re also a goldmine for:
- Advertisers, who can easily target products and services to specific audiences served by a particular platform.
- Individuals looking for employment and other professional opportunities.
- Companies in a particular seeking exposure to a particular audience
- Individuals and organizations willing to share (or seeking) ideas and resources that address challenges and issues related to the particular niche.
Do you engage in niche social networking? How could you see it helping you and/or your business?
Share your thoughts here with your fellow monkeyz readers.
Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a full-service digital media and marketing group specializing in more creativity, ideas, and fun for action sports marketing, sportswear marketing, sports product marketing, active lifestyle consumer products, health product marketing, and brands in San Diego and Southern California.