The New Scaling Strategy: Go Small Instead of Large

May 17, 2017

11:20 am

Today, in counterintuitive advice: It turns out that the best way to grow a large social audience in 2017 is to aim for a niche audience. How do you get large by aiming small? This article looks as how the process works, and why it’s such a big deal for everyone to understand it.

Go Niche or Go Home

Writing on his blog 500ish Words, M.G. Siegler breaks down the way a social media network or other audience-based app can expect to attract that essential audience. Basically, Snapchat was the last big social platform, and by now, the market is saturated. No social platform can scale to a massive audience, no matter how good it is, because it won’t deliver a significantly better value than the existing networks.

But because those platforms are so large, they are a great environment for smaller, targeted platforms to take hold. Here’s the essence of Siegler’s argument:

“A decade ago, relatively few people had a smartphone, so if you were building a service to run on it, you were best positioned if you built an app with as broad of an appeal as possible. Now, because everyone has a smartphone, the opposite can be true.

“If I was to give advice to anyone looking to build a social network right now, it would be pretty simple: go granular. Niche, even. The road to massive scale is closed, but another one has opened. A large percentage of a small base is still small. But a small percentage of a massive base is large.”

Once you have your niche base, you can monetize it directly or you can continue growing by using your existing audience as a foundation for branching out.

In 2017, the Niche Is King

You may have heard me praise the concept of niches before: The niche is killing fads, giving you better data, and nabbing better engagement. It’s also the best way to get traction with a new blog, though you’ll have to be passionate about it. And now you know it’s the future of social media platforms.

Cat videos had their run: Looks like niche engagement with passionate communities is the future of social media.

Read more about niche marketing at Tech.Co

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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