10 Obscure Social Networking Sites for Brands

Maria Domenica Baquilod

Author & Editor

Social Media Team Lead

Published on: Sep 1, 2023 Updated on: May 17, 2024

Every day, new social media apps and platforms seem to be popping up left and right.

While it can be exciting to try out new tools and features, it can also be a challenge to figure out which ones are worth investing your time and money into. With so many social media networking sites available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to focus your efforts.

One thing to keep in mind is that social media is everywhere, but not all platforms work for every business. Each platform has its own strengths, weaknesses, and audience demographics. Thus, it's important to choose the ones that align with your business goals and target audience.

In this article we'll guide you through the top 10 social media networking sites that brands must know. We’ll take a closer look at each platform, its features, and its audience so you can make an informed decision about which platforms to prioritize in your social media strategy – straight from experienced digital marketing agency experts.

What is networking in social media?

Networking on social media requires a consistent and strategic approach. It involves identifying relevant groups and individuals to connect with, engaging in meaningful conversations, and building a strong personal brand. It can take time and effort, but it can lead to significant benefits and opportunities. That said, let us discuss the ins and outs of networking in social media.

Networking in social media refers to the process of building and nurturing relationships with other individuals or groups on social media platforms. It involves connecting with others who share similar interests or goals and engaging with them through various forms of interaction, such as liking, commenting, sharing, and direct messaging.

How networking in social media works

Networking in social media typically involves creating a profile on a social networking site and connecting with other users on that platform. This can be achieved by creating a strong profile which can strengthen your social media presence. Networking can also be achieved by identifying relevant groups and individuals, engaging with others through comments and direct messages, and building genuine relationships over time.

Networking typically involves the following steps:

  • Setting goals. Determine what you want to achieve through social media networking, such as expanding your professional network, finding job opportunities, or connecting with like-minded individuals.
  • Choosing platforms. Select social media platforms that align with your goals and target audience. If you want to engage in a more artsy kind of audience, then Ello is typically the preferred networking social media site. Conversely, if you want to share content, or livestream then Bebo is for you.
  • Building a profile. Create a strong profile that highlights your skills, experience, and interests. Use keywords and hashtags to make your profile easily discoverable.
  • Engaging with others. Start engaging with other users by commenting on their posts, sharing relevant content, and reaching out via direct message.
  • Staying active. Consistency is key when it comes to networking on social media. Make sure to stay active, engaged, and constantly listening to your audience on the platforms you've chosen and continue to seek out new opportunities to connect with others.

Difference between social media vs. social networking

Social media and social networking are often used interchangeably, but there are some stark differences between the two. For one, social media is a broader term that encompasses a variety of platforms and tools that enable users to create and share content. Social networking, on the other hand, is a specific type of social media that focuses on building and nurturing relationships with others online.

Here are some in-depth differences between social media and social networking:

  • Focus. Social media platforms have a broader scope and allow users to share a wide range of content, such as text, photos, videos, and links. Social networking, on the other hand, is more focused on building relationships and connecting with others who share similar interests or goals.
  • Functionality. Social media platforms typically offer a wide range of functionality, such as newsfeeds, messaging, and content creation tools. Social networking platforms are more focused on building and managing professional relationships, while other platforms like Facebook and Instagram are more social and informal.
  • Purpose. The purpose of social media is to enable users to share and consume content, while the purpose of social networking is to connect with others and build relationships.

How can you check your social media performance?

Checking your social media performance is important since it allows you to track your progress, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your social media strategy. That said, here are the ways you can check your social media performance:

  • Platform analytics. Most social media platforms offer social media analytic tools that allow you to track your performance. For example, Instagram Insights, Facebook Insights, and Twitter Analytics provide data on engagement, reach, and followers. These analytics tools can give you a good overview of your performance on each platform.
  • Third-party analytics tools. In addition to platforming analytics, there are also third-party analytics tools that can provide more detailed insights into your social media performance. Examples of such tools include Hootsuite Insights, Sprout Social, and Google Analytics. These tools can provide data on your audience demographics, engagement rate, and click-through rate.
  • Social media monitoring tool. Social media monitoring tools like Brandwatch, Mention, and Hootsuite Insights can help you monitor your brand mentions, conversations, and analyze sentiment. These tools can provide insights into how people perceive your brand on social media.
  • Surveys and feedback. Conducting surveys and collecting feedback from your followers can provide valuable insights into how they perceive your brand on social media. You can use this information to improve your social media strategy and content.

By using these methods to check your social media performance, you can gain valuable insights into your audience and make data-driven decisions to improve your social media presence.

10 social media networking sites brands must know

Social media networking sites are constantly evolving, and new platforms are being launched all the time. By staying informed about the latest trends and emerging platforms, you can ensure that you are not missing out on new opportunities to connect with your target audience. As well as utilizing them in your respective social media marketing endeavors.

Here are 10 social media networking sites that can help you not only expand your reach, build your brand, but also discover new opportunities to grow your business.

1. Mastodon

Mastodon is an open-source, decentralized social networking site that was launched in 2016. It is a micro-blogging platform that allows users to post short messages, images, and links to their followers. It offers a variety of features – including content creation & curation, group chats, and community building tools. It likewise features a strong privacy control, allowing users to choose who can see their posts and control the visibility of their personal information.

Mastodon is different from traditional social media platforms as it is decentralized, meaning that it is not controlled by any single entity or company. Instead, Mastodon operates on a network of independently operated servers, called instances, that can communicate with each other.

2. Hive

Hive is a decentralized blockchain-based social media platform that was launched in 2020. It is an open-source platform that allows users to create and share content, interact with other users, and earn rewards for their contributions.

Hive is often used as an alternative to centralized social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, because it allows users to own and control their data, providing greater privacy and security. It also uses a reward system that incentivizes users to create and curate high-quality content, promoting a more engaged and diverse community.

Through Hive, users can earn rewards for creating and curating content on Hive, and these rewards are distributed through a system of voting and stakeholder influence. Overall, Hive provides a unique and decentralized approach to social media that prioritizes user privacy, control, and financial incentives.

3. Bebo

In 2021, Bebo was relaunched as a social media app that combines elements of social gaming, live streaming, and user-generated content. The new Bebo app features a range of interactive features, including chat rooms, virtual gifts, and social games. Users can also create and share their own content, including photos, videos, and live streams.

One of the app's unique features is its virtual currency system, called "Bebo Gold," which allows users to purchase virtual goods and services within the app.

4. Ello

Ello, the creator’s network is a social media platform that was launched in 2014. It was designed to provide a more aesthetically-driven and artist-friendly environment, with a focus on creative expression and community engagement.

Ello's minimalist design and emphasis on high-quality visual content have made it popular among artists, designers, photographers, and other creatives. In addition to its core social networking features, Ello also offers a suite of marketing and advertising tools for businesses and brands. These tools include a self-service advertising platform, analytics and performance tracking, and the ability to create custom themes and profiles.

5. Minds

Minds is a social networking site that focuses on free speech and user privacy. One of its key features is its emphasis on privacy and security. The platform offers end-to-end encryption for private messages and does not collect or sell user data to third-party advertisers. It also allows users to control their own data and provides tools for data portability and deletion.

Another important feature of Minds is its support for cryptocurrency payments and earnings. Users can earn tokens called "Minds tokens" for their contributions to the platform, such as creating and curating content. These tokens can be used to access premium content and services on the platform or traded for other cryptocurrencies.

6. Urbit

Urbit is a decentralized computing platform and network that allows users to create their own digital identities, communicate, and host applications and services. Urbit offers a social networking interface called "Landscape" that allows users to interact with other users and share content. Landscape includes features such as messaging, group chats, forums, and file sharing, and is designed to be more secure and private than traditional social media platforms.

One of the key features of Urbit is its emphasis on digital sovereignty and control. It represents a unique and innovative approach to social networking and computing, with a focus on privacy, security, and user control.

7. WT:Social

WT:Social (short for WikiTribune Social) is a social networking site that was launched in 2019 by Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia. The platform is designed to provide users with a news-focused social network that is free of ads and is supported by a subscription-based model.

WT:Social aims to provide a more trustworthy and reliable source of news and information by using a crowdsourcing model, similar to Wikipedia. Users can create and edit articles, and the content is fact-checked by a team of volunteers before being published. In addition to its focus on news and information, WT:Social also offers traditional social networking features, such as profiles, groups, and messaging.

8. Poparazzi

Popparazzi is a social media app that is focused on sharing photos, with a unique twist: users are not allowed to post selfies or photos of themselves. Instead, the app encourages users to take photos of their friends and other people they encounter in their daily lives. The idea behind Poparazzi is to create a more positive and authentic social media experience, by shifting the focus away from self-promotion and towards genuine connections with other people.

Poparazzi is a new and innovative social media app that aims to provide a more positive and authentic experience for users, by encouraging them to connect with others in their daily lives and share photos of the people and things they encounter.

9. Gatheround

Gatheround is a virtual event platform that allows users to host and participate in interactive and engaging online events. The platform is designed to provide a more social and interactive experience than traditional video conferencing tools, with features like breakout rooms, interactive games, and collaborative activities.

Gatheround is particularly well-suited for team building events, remote team meetings, and online conferences. It allows users to create custom virtual spaces that can be customized with branding and other design elements, and which can be used to host a variety of different types of events.

10. Sphaera

Sphaera is a social platform that was created with the goal of promoting sustainable living and community-driven change. The platform is designed to provide a space for individuals and organizations to collaborate, share ideas, and work together on initiatives related to sustainability and social impact.

Sphaera allows users to create and join communities, which can be focused on specific topics or initiatives related to sustainability and social impact. Users can share resources, collaborate on projects, and communicate with one another through the platform's messaging and collaboration tools.

How can I choose the right social network for my business?

Choosing the right social media network for your business is crucial for reaching your target audience, maximizing your resources, building brand awareness, and driving traffic and sales. By taking the time to evaluate your options and select the platforms that align with your goals and marketing strategy, you can ensure that you are using social media effectively to grow your business.

In this section, we’ll explore seven tips on choosing the right social network for your business testing to ensure that you can reach your target audience as well as increase brand awareness.

  1. Know your target audience. Identify who your target audience is and what social media platforms they are using. Different social networks have different demographics, so understanding your audience will help you choose the platforms where they are most active.
  2. Consider your goals. Determine what you want to achieve with social networking. If you're looking to build brand awareness, platforms such as.
  3. Evaluate the features. Evaluate the features of each social media platform and determine which ones align with your business goals and marketing strategy. For example, if you want to share your art, Ello might be a good social networking platform for you. On the other hand, If you want more information and “news-focused” social networking site, then you might consider WT:Social. All in all, it depends on the features that you want in your social networking platform.
  4. Check out the competition. See where your competitors are active on social media and evaluate their strategy. This can help you identify which platforms are most effective in your industry and give you ideas for your own social media strategy.
  5. Consider your resources. Evaluate your available resources such as time, budget, and staff. Different social networks require different levels of investment, so choose platforms that align with your resources.
  6. Test and refine. Try out different platforms and evaluate their effectiveness. Monitor engagement, follower growth, and other social media metrics to determine which platforms are delivering the best results for your business.
  7. Stay flexible. Social media is constantly changing, so be willing to adapt your strategy as needed. Be open to trying out new platforms or adjusting your approach on existing platforms to ensure you are reaching your target audience and achieving your goals.

Key takeaways

Social networking is important because it allows people to connect, communicate, and share information with each other on a global scale. For businesses, social networking offers an opportunity to reach a wider audience, build brand awareness, and engage with customers in a more personal way.

That said, here are some key takeaways that you can carry with you should you decide to engage in social networking for your business:

  • Build a relationship with your audience. Social networking allows you to connect and build relationships with your audience or potential customers or business partners. By actively engaging with others on social media, you can build a strong network of contacts that can benefit you both personally and professionally.
  • Increase your visibility. Social networking platforms provide an opportunity to increase your visibility and expand your reach. By sharing engaging content, you can attract more followers and reach a wider audience, which can lead to increased brand awareness and more opportunities for growth.
  • Always engage with your audience. Social networking platforms offer a unique opportunity to engage with your audience on a more personal level. By responding to comments, asking for feedback, and sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, you can build a sense of community and foster a loyal following that can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

If you have any questions or inquiries on digital marketing, reach out to us on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn, and our team would be happy to assist you.

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