Niche Marketing vs Social Media – Oil and Water

Niche marketing is a solid SEO strategy – build a website around a particular product and populate your domain with fresh content focused around this narrow theme. By building up a wall of relevant content, you’ll help convince the search engines what topics you’re an expert in – and it can bring back return visitors who are interested in the very specific topic.

In most social media sites, however, surfers could care less if you’ve written your 200th post about growing strawberries.

New is Old – the Social Media vs Niche Conflict

When I talk about mainstream social media sites, I’m mostly thinking about Twitter, Digg, Propeller, Reddit – places where a quickly dropped link and a tiny bit of conversation & promotion can generate a significant amount of traffic in a short time.  This is like crack for website promoters – its a powerful rush, its addictive, but over time it loses its potency and you find yourself trying to get more and more until you realize you’ve screwed yourself up.

The problem is basic, social media users aren’t laser-focused on your niche.  In the aggregate, they want to see the best and most interesting posts from across all topics.

By the first time you get a link to go popular on such a social media site, you’ve probably attracted just about all the subscribers you’re going to get.  Well, I’m exaggerating a bit – but a lot of promoters and SEOs will confirm the diminishing returns I’m talking about.  Once you’ve got those first few front page posts, all the social media community members who share your enthusiasm about your niche will bookmark or subscribe to your publication – your 10th hot post isn’t going to convince a programmer that he’s suddenly interested in the subtleties of strawberry agriculture.

Cultivate Social Niches

The best of both worlds:  find the social niche that shares your love of strawberries.  Reddit has subreddits, propeller now has community-driven groups, and twitter is all about building a social clique of shared interests.  If a post isn’t absolutely top-shelf, its probably not going to attract as much attention in the general areas as time goes on.

You don’t even have to go out and create a new community – not every website demands its own forum or bookmarking site – you’ll just need to find the ones that exist and become a valued member (yeah, that means contributing something other than blatant self-promotion.)

Another day, another SEO banned

You may be asking:  Why is this important?  Why isn’t this considered common knowledge?

Well, every few days I see an SEO crying about being banned from their “favorite” social community.  The ones that fall aren’t missed by their social acquaintances, because they’ve taken the community for granted and put their own gain above what the group wants to see.

Don’t be that guy – promote your own stuff maybe 10% of the time and then when someone gives you a hard time about that point to the other 90% of your community contribution.  Anyway, at least keep in mind that the majority of people aren’t obsessed with a niche like you are.  If you love the social promotion, try to branch out into other topics with new domains or just try to stay patient.  Save your ammo for the best of what you’ve got, and use some other forms of link promotion to fill in the gaps.


  1. Its not – and I think ultimately the best results come if the majority of your promotion is through those specific channels. Unfortunately, people still seem to think they can get huge views for their niche content in generic channels – and every week or so I’m seeing another huge thread about a “spammer” who got “busted” and is now crying about all those lost links.

    Its definitely worth it to take those extra few minutes to find the tags, groups, and subcommunities full of like-minded readers 🙂

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