Your Guide to Vertical Social Networks

7 min


Among the vast number of social networks, there is a special category known as vertical social networks. These platforms are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that they are geared towards catering to specific interests, hobbies or industries. Unlike the broader and more general focus of mainstream social networks, vertical networks are designed to bring together people with common hobbies or interests. To effectively navigate this evolving digital space, it’s important to choose the right vertical social network that matches your interests and goals.

In this article, we will explore the exciting world of vertical social networks, understand what they are and why they attract the attention of users and marketers alike, and share useful tips on choosing the right vertical social network to promote your brand.

What are vertical social networks?

Vertical social networks, often referred to as “verticals,” are digital platforms that cater to a specific interest, hobby, or industry. Unlike the broad and general nature of mainstream social media, these networks provide a space for individuals who share a common passion to come together and interact. Whether your interests lie in photography, fitness, cooking, gaming, or any other niche, there’s likely a vertical social network tailored just for you.

These platforms are built on the premise of depth over breadth. While mainstream social media aims to connect you with a wide range of acquaintances, vertical networks focus on facilitating connections with like-minded individuals who share your enthusiasm for a particular subject. This specialization creates a more immersive and tightly-knit experience.

Examples of vertical social networks

Pinterest: (creativity and creatives)

Pinterest is a visual discovery and bookmarking platform that has gained immense popularity among creatives, DIY enthusiasts and anyone looking for inspiration. Users can create boards to collect and organize images, links and ideas related to their interests, be it home decor, fashion, cooking or travel. It is a platform that encourages users to create their visual sources of inspiration and share them with others with similar tastes.

LinkedIn: (business and employment)

LinkedIn is the premier platform for professionals, job seekers and companies looking to network in the world of business and employment. It serves as a virtual resume that allows users to showcase their skills, experience and professional accomplishments. LinkedIn offers networking opportunities, job listings, industry information and thought leadership space, making it an indispensable tool for career development and business growth.

TikTok: (short videos and clips)

TikTok has taken over the social media world with its short-format videos. It is a platform where users can create and share entertaining videos to music or audio clips. TikTok’s user base covers a wide range of interests from dance and comedy to beauty and education. It has become a hub for creativity and self-expression, attracting a diverse audience of content creators and viewers.

Twitch: (gaming and cybersports)

Twitch is the ultimate destination for gamers and live streaming enthusiasts. It is a platform dedicated to gaming content where users can watch live broadcasts, chat with streamers, and connect with other gaming enthusiasts. Twitch has expanded beyond the gaming market to include broadcasts related to art, music, and other interests, making it a versatile platform for passionate communities to connect.

Strava (Fitness and Athletics)

Strava is a vertical social network tailor-made for fitness enthusiasts and athletes. It allows users to track and share their workouts, connect with fellow fitness aficionados, and compete in challenges. Strava’s community features encourage users to set and achieve fitness goals while sharing their progress with others who are equally passionate about staying active.

Behance (Creative Arts)

Behance is a platform dedicated to showcasing creative work across various disciplines, such as graphic design, photography, illustration, and more. It serves as a portfolio site for artists and designers, enabling them to display their projects and connect with potential clients and collaborators within the creative industry.

Goodreads (Books and Literature)

Goodreads is a vertical social network designed for book lovers. Users can create digital bookshelves to track their reading progress, write reviews, and discover new books based on recommendations from others in the community. It’s a haven for bibliophiles who want to connect over their shared love of literature.

Houzz (Home Improvement and Interior Design)

Houzz is a vertical social network catering to homeowners, interior designers, and anyone interested in home improvement. Users can explore home décor ideas, connect with professionals, and even shop for furniture and accessories. Houzz serves as a comprehensive resource for individuals looking to transform their living spaces.

Dribbble (Design and Creativity)

Dribbble is a vertical network that focuses on design, illustration, and creative work. It allows designers to showcase their portfolios, gather feedback on their projects, and connect with others in the design industry. It’s a platform where designers can share their work and seek inspiration from peers.

Letterboxd (movie industry)

Letterboxd is designed for movie lovers who want to share their thoughts on the movies they’ve watched. Users can rate, review and catalog the movies they’ve watched, as well as discover new movies through recommendations from other users. It is a social network designed for movie lovers to discuss their passion for movies.

Wattpad (Writing and Storytelling)

Wattpad is a vertical network for writers and readers. It allows writers to publish their stories, novels, and poems, while readers can explore a vast library of user-generated content. Wattpad fosters a community of storytellers and offers a platform for aspiring authors to share their work.

Why vertical social media is important

  • Targeted Engagement: One of the most compelling reasons to explore vertical social networks is their ability to offer highly targeted engagement. Whether you’re passionate about cooking, photography, fitness, or any other niche, these platforms provide a dedicated space to connect with like-minded individuals. This targeted approach ensures that your content reaches an audience genuinely interested in your niche, fostering more meaningful interactions;
  • Community Building: Vertical networks excel in building robust and passionate communities. They provide a space where enthusiasts can share their experiences, knowledge, and creativity without the noise and distractions often found on mainstream platforms. This sense of belonging and community can lead to more engaged and loyal followers;
  • Content Relevance: When you share content within a vertical social network, you can be confident that your audience is genuinely interested in what you have to say. This relevance enhances the impact of your posts and increases the chances of your content being shared within the community. As a result, your reach may extend further than you expect;
  • Niche Expertise: Vertical networks are treasure troves of niche expertise. They attract individuals who are passionate about a particular subject, leading to a wealth of specialized knowledge within the community. By participating actively, you can tap into this expertise, learn from others, and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your niche;
  • Enhanced Networking: Vertical networks are ideal platforms for networking within your niche. You can connect with influencers, peers, and potential collaborators who share your interests. This networking can open doors to exciting opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations that may not have been easily accessible on broader social media platforms;
  • Less Competition: Compared to mainstream social media, vertical networks often have less competition. This can be advantageous, especially if you’re looking to stand out and establish a strong online presence. With fewer distractions, your content has a better chance of catching the eye of your target audience;
  • Content Inspiration: Vertical networks are hubs of creativity and inspiration. They provide a fertile ground for generating fresh ideas, exploring trends within your niche, and discovering unique content formats that resonate with your audience. Engaging with others in your niche can spark creativity and fuel your content strategy;
  • Data-Driven Insights: Many vertical social networks offer specialized analytics tools that provide insights tailored to your niche. These insights can help you fine-tune your content strategy, understand your audience better, and optimize your engagement efforts.

Tips for success in vertical social networks

  • Choose Your Niche Wisely: The first step to success in vertical social networks is choosing the right niche. Select a subject you’re genuinely passionate about, as authenticity shines through on these platforms. Your enthusiasm will resonate with like-minded individuals, creating a strong initial connection;
  • Participate Actively: Vertical networks thrive on active participation. Engage with the community by sharing your experiences, insights, and creativity. Don’t be a passive observer; be a contributing member of the community;
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on the quality of your content rather than quantity. Vertical networks appreciate valuable contributions that enhance the community’s knowledge or spark meaningful discussions. Craft well-thought-out posts that provide genuine value to your fellow enthusiasts;
  • Build Relationships: Networking is a key aspect of success in vertical networks. Connect with influencers, thought leaders, and peers within your niche. Building relationships can open doors to collaborations, partnerships, and valuable mentorship opportunities;
  • Be Consistent: Consistency is crucial in maintaining your presence and reputation on these platforms. Regularly share your insights, experiences, or creations. Consistency helps you stay top-of-mind within your niche community;
  • Leverage Community Feedback: Vertical networks encourage community feedback. Embrace constructive criticism and use it to refine your content and engagement strategies. Being open to feedback fosters growth and improvement;
  • Respect Community Guidelines: Each vertical network may have its own set of guidelines and etiquette. Respect these rules, as they contribute to a harmonious and positive community atmosphere. Engaging respectfully with others enhances your reputation;
  • Stay Informed: Keep up to date with the latest trends, discussions, and developments within your niche. Being well-informed allows you to contribute meaningfully to ongoing conversations and positions you as an authoritative voice;
  • Balance Self-Promotion: While it’s essential to promote your content and expertise, avoid excessive self-promotion. Focus on providing value to the community first, and the recognition and engagement will naturally follow;
  • Measure and Adjust: Many vertical networks offer analytics tools. Utilize them to measure the impact of your content and engagement efforts. Analyze which types of content resonate the most and adjust your strategy accordingly;
  • Be Patient: Building a strong presence in vertical social networks takes time. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. As you consistently engage with the community and contribute value, you’ll gradually see the fruits of your labor.

Conclusion

Vertical social networks are changing the social media landscape, opening up unique opportunities for users and marketers alike. By targeting specific interests, fostering deeper engagement, and building communities, these platforms are changing the way people communicate and share information online. As the social media ecosystem continues to evolve, utilizing vertical platforms can be a strategic move for companies and individuals looking to thrive in this dynamic digital age.

FAQ

How do I find the right vertical social network for my brand?

To find the best vertical social network for you, it’s important to research your target audience and identify their interests. This way you’ll understand which platform is best for your brand and where you can reach the largest target audience.

Can I use vertical social networks for B2B marketing?

Yes, platforms such as LinkedIn are extremely valuable in the B2B marketing realm, offering industry-specific networking and content opportunities for specific target audiences.

How do I gain traction in vertical social media?

Vertical social networks have a specific, highly selective audience, so to succeed in vertical networks, it’s important to consistently provide valuable and useful content, authentically connect with your target audience, and network in your niche.

What kind of content works well on vertical platforms?

Generally, content that is highly specialized and relevant to the platform’s niche works best.

What exactly is vertical social media, and how does it differ from traditional social media platforms?

Vertical social media refers to specialized platforms that cater to specific niches, interests, or demographics. Unlike traditional horizontal platforms like Facebook, vertical social media networks focus on a narrower audience, fostering deeper engagement within specific communities.

How can businesses benefit from vertical social media marketing?

Vertical social media offers businesses a chance to connect with highly targeted audiences interested in their niche. This leads to more relevant engagement, improved brand loyalty, and increased opportunities for niche marketing.

What’s the importance of understanding your target audience when using vertical social media?

Understanding your target audience is crucial because it enables you to tailor your content and approach to their specific interests and needs. This alignment fosters better engagement and connection.

What’s the role of authenticity in succeeding on vertical social media?

Authenticity is key on vertical platforms. By letting your unique personality and voice shine through your content and interactions, you can build trust and credibility within your niche community.

Can you provide examples of popular vertical social media networks?

Certainly! Examples include Pinterest for visual inspiration, Goodreads for book lovers, LinkedIn for professionals, TikTok for short-form video content, and Strava for athletes.

Are paid advertising campaigns effective on vertical social media?

The effectiveness of paid advertising varies depending on the platform and your target audience. It’s advisable to test and measure campaign performance to determine its effectiveness within your niche.


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