Technology start-up companies are seemingly everywhere you look. Everyone has an idea they believe will turn into the next Facebook or Twitter. However, a closer look at some of the hottest start-ups reveals a continuing trend away from all-encompasing, everyone-is-welcome sites like Facebook, and towards a segmented future catering to the needs of niche audiences and interests.
One of these fast-growing start-ups is Path, which describes itself as a way to "Stay connected with close friends and family." Path is the anti-Facebook, enabling people to form social networks solely from those whom they're closest to. Say goodbye to friend requests from people you've never heard of, and say hello to the future of social media.
Pinterest is the third-largest social media site in terms of popularity, and they got there through social as well as niche segmentation. Their slogan is "Pin the things you love." Users go to the site and "pin" photos from around the web. Especially popular with women, the site's developing niche is shopping as users often times post images of their objects of desire for others to peruse. Pinned items are linked out to the originating website, allowing people to quickly take a peek at things that catch their eye.
What does this segmentation of the social media landscape mean to your business? It sounds obvious, but it illustrates the need to speak to your current and prospective customers where they live online. Everyone's got Facebook and Twitter covered, but true target-market engagement occurs on sites like Pinterest, where a more personal message can be communicated. Diversify your social media assets, and watch your market share steadily grow.