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Your Guide to Tapping Into Niche Communities and Boosting Micro-Engagement

By design, social media platforms facilitate and encourage connection. As a brand or business, your goal isn’t simply to reach thousands of users. Instead, you should be looking to grow an engaged audience who cares about what you specialize in. 

Your target audience likely shares the same interests, values and aspirations. So how do you find these relevant users on social media? The key is to find and tap into niche communities, allowing you to forge meaningful connections with audiences that are most relevant to your brand. 

Luckily, the platforms you know and love are continually investing in new community-focused features. Take X, for example: they’ve just rolled out a stack of new community tools (such as the ability to create private members-only communities to inspire intimate, relevant conversations).

Ready to drive niche community engagement on social media? This guide will guide you through the basics of niche communities, where to find them and how to harness their engagement-driving potential like a pro.

 

 

What are niche communities? 

As the name suggests, niche communities are groups of people united around a common thread (such as a hobby, special interest or shared experience). While niche communities can exist in any online space, they are commonly found on social media platforms. 

Niche communities offer a sense of connection and belonging for members. Typically, these communities are gated (meaning users need to apply to gain access to a private, members-only area). This is what helps communities foster meaningful interactions and a sense of comradery.

On larger social media platforms (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok), niche communities are united around specific interests, from a love for true crime novels to being fans of a specific football club in the English Premier League. 

But there are also a range of niche social media platforms that are fostering a sense of community around specific topics, such as:

• Reddit: a community forum that allows users to join conversations related to their interests and passions, from breaking news to TV fan theories and everything in between. Did you know there are 130,000 active communities (known as subreddits) on the platform?

• Twitch: a social live-streaming platform allowing creators to host broadcasts and connect with fans. While the site originally started with live-streamed gaming, it has since evolved to cover content across the vertices of sport, music and entertainment.

• Lemon8: Owned by ByteDance (the creators of TikTok), this lifestyle app feels like a blend of Instagram and Pinterest. Interestingly, content tends to be grouped under specific categories such as travel guides, outfit inspiration and recipes – making it a hot spot to connect with a niche community.

niche communitiesThe benefits of harnessing niche communities 

Forging connections with like-minded users is the reason why 66% of people join an online community. But as a brand or business, harnessing niche communities offers a range of powerful benefits, including:

• Foster stronger relationships: Niche communities tend to be smaller in size but highly engaged, with a deep level of investment in content related to this niche. By strategically building, joining and participating in the right niche communities, you have the opportunity to build brand awareness and trust with users who are already interested in your products or services.

• Build thought leadership: Niche communities are looking for information and content dedicated to their passion or topic of interest. By consistently showing up in a niche group, you can position your brand as a leader and expert in your field to inspire trust through knowledge sharing.

• Higher chance of conversion: Best of all, niche communities are filled with your ideal customers. While it’s important not to go for the hard sell,  sharing content with these communities can help you build brand awareness with potential customers. When they’re ready to make a sale, you’ll be the first brand that springs to mind.

How to tap into niche communities on social media

Ready to take action and build niche community engagement? Here are three key ways to harness niche communities on social media. 

Tip 1. Join groups relevant to your audience or niche

From Facebook Groups to LinkedIn Groups, there’s a reason the biggest social media platforms have designed gated, members-only spaces. 

Groups are designed to inspire organic conversations between like-minded users. Unlike traditional social media marketing (which is focused on one-to-many broadcast messages), Groups level the playing field and ensure every user has a voice. 

As a brand, joining a handful of groups relevant to your niche can be a powerful way to build authority, foster meaningful relationships and expand your reach (without spending a cent on ads). 

Alternatively, you could look to build your own Facebook Group from scratch as a way to engage with your most loyal customers (just make sure you have the resources to proactively manage and moderate this community!). 

Get inspired by the team from Go-To Skincare, who have fostered a community of over 26k loyal customers in their Go-To Gang Facebook Group. From gaining feedback on new product ideas to sharing product hacks, this highly engaged group shows the power of using niche communities to turn customers into loyal brand advocates.  

Tip 2. Harness the power of niche hashtags

Don’t have the resources to dedicate to building your own private group? Never fear: hashtags are here!

What makes hashtags such a powerful way to tap into niche communities is their ability to categorize content on social media. By understanding what hashtags your audience is using, you can pepper these searchable phrases into your posts and boost the organic visibility of your in-feed content (such as Reels, carousels and static images). 

Hashtags and searchable keyphrases are one of the best ways to reach a niche audience on platforms like TikTok. From #BookTok to #FoodTok, TikTok’s trend-driven algorithm is designed to help users find content they’re interested in. 

Hot tip: harness TikTok’s free Keyword Research tool to pinpoint trending topics, conversions and hashtags that might be relevant to your brand. This is your secret weapon for tapping into the power of niche communities on TikTok!

@theordinary skincare doesnt have to be confusing 😌 #hyaluronicacid #niacinamide #theordinary #skintok #skintips ♬ original sound – ray marco

Get inspired by the team from The Ordinary, who have used the hashtag #SkinTok to get their educational videos about skincare ingredients in front of a niche community. And it’s clearly working with over 814k likes and 4.3k comments on one video alone. 

Looking for high-performing hashtags on Instagram? Try Plann’s Hashtag Manager Tool, which allows you to discover thousands of the best hashtags handpicked by expert marketers. 

Tip 3. Start a Close Friends list to build your own niche community 

Over on Instagram, the Close Friends list tool is another strategic way to foster a niche community on social media. As the name suggests, this curated list allows you to share content with a specific group of users (a.k.a. friends) on Instagram.

Currently, this feature is available for Instagram Stories – with Instagram currently testing the use of the Close Friends feature for feed content, too. 

start close friends listThe beauty of this feature is that you can curate a niche community and tailor which followers see your content. This has the potential to allow you to build a list of VIP customers and share exclusive content, such as discount codes, new product releases and helpful how-to guides. 

Plus, users who make it onto your Close Friends list will feel an extra sense of loyalty to your brand for being handpicked to join this gated community. It’s a win-win for your engagement and potential conversion rate!

Master your social media marketing with Plann

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Go on, and redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!

 

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