Nowadays, it’s common practice for businesses to couple their use of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) with a presence on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. However, many overlook the opportunities created by more niche social networks, such as Tumblr, WordPress and even DeviantART. All these (and sites like them) are well-known within the unique subculture that has grown up on the internet in the past decade, but are largely ignored by companies as a venue for promotion and building of brand awareness.
This is understandable to a certain extent:
Officially, such sites are specifically designed simply to host particular types of content (blogs in the case of the first two examples, artwork in the case of the latter). In practice, however, their user-bases treat them as a means of communication and of making friends and connections. Each site has its own thriving, individual culture and a willingness amongst its cohort to interact with fellow users, regardless of who they are or who they represent.
But what does all this mean for, say, your business?
It means that there’s a way of communicating and connecting with potential customers and clients that very few competitors are tapping into yet. While using SEO and AdWords may help your business reach a large number of people who are searching for those key phrases via search engines, even a simple presence on niche-type social websites could help you reach thousands of potential future customers before they even have need of your services, simply because of the way people are prepared to interact with other users (including you) on these sites. It’s an investment in the future that few are making, but one that’s certainly worth considering as a means of promotion. This is especially the case when you consider the low overheads of such a branding exercise: most niche-type websites offer free page- or blog-hosting.
For advanced use
It’s worth realising that these sites also have their own internal search engines where users can look for ‘tags’ associated with certain posts. Simply by creating posts or other media on a variety of topics that would appeal to your business’s target demographic and tagging them accordingly, you can effectively practice SEO within the confines of the site and reach the people who will want to take advantage of the services you offer before they even need to.
These areas of the internet are rarely considered as arenas for promotion, but in reality, with just a little imagination, they could prove to immensely fertile ground.