Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, VK, Classmates etc. have gained a great popularity among internet users for the last years. People spend a lot of time while communicating, sharing photos, videos and other materials. Social networks make us closer to each other, allow to surmount time and territorial barriers and get in touch with friends. It is to be mentioned that mobile social networks are also getting more popular, because of worldwide expansion of mobile devices.

But these networks do not specialize in any interests, hobbies or trends. They are open to everybody. And often people are more focused on the size of their friend list and do absolutely nothing to develop relationships with those connections.

So if you need to build connections in a social network that mean more than a mere presence in your contact list, specialized or custom social networks are your choice. They unite users who share common interests and desire to interact with each other.

You can find professional social networks created especially for communication of business partners. They help to find a job and hire employees, get in contact with a certain company, place business news or press release and make use of many other features. For example, the most popular business network LinkedIn helps users organize their acquaintances and separate their social lives from their work. The site lets members post their resumes, connect with past or present colleagues and communicate with potential clients and employers.
Or it can be custom networks focused on certain hobbies and interest, everything from music to hiking, from movies to sports. You will be able to connect to thousands of people who share your ideas, views or interests.

Safety in these custom networks is usually higher, as far as users may need to become approval before joining the site. They will be asked questions about their intentions as to being a part of community and may have to fill out a questionnaire. This helps the site administrators to realize, whether a person really has an interest in the network community or not. Such approach keeps spammers and other unwanted persons away from a certain custom network.

People usually are getting tired of overpopulated large social communities. And if you want to get in touch with others who share your ideas and interests, take a look at smaller custom social media sites. You will be able to set up better online relationships with people who really take an interest in you instead of being just “a person from the friend list”.

Marketing in custom social networks

Custom social networks that have become increasingly user-centric in addition to being topic-centric offer users many benefits that they may not find on Facebook. Marketers can leverage this shift in social network affinity by creating content that is highly relevant and targeted to these smaller segments of users.
Their users, in spite of the fact that these communities are much smaller than popular social networks, are interest-driven and will more likely to respond while seeing a relevant ad. Some companies use applications and tools that allow to promote their products and brands. They also can develop their own flash-applications for social networks and allure the targeting audience. Such advertisements are very effective, but require essential spending. In case of a business start-up it is not always possible to afford such costs.

Users commonly express much more loyalty to specialized platforms and go to them with a certain goal in mind (getting some interior design advice, seeing videos with whales, finding a new travel route, etc.), therefore your market segmentation is already done for you. Creating a targeted marketing campaign with the purpose of finding new ideas is much easier when your target audience is gathered in one place. Besides, custom networks ensure much greater interaction with consumers. It allows you to comprehend what kind of targeted marketing works best and also to find out and appeal to the needs and interests of your target customers.

For digital marketers, specialized networks offer a stark contrast to what the large networks do. Their goals of catering to small, specific audiences allows your marketing efforts to be so much more than an average sidebar ad. Better, more targeted engagement will allow your company to form meaningful relationships, ultimately increasing lifetime customer value.

Thus, custom social networks provide business companies with a great opportunity to promote their products or services more effectively, although the audience is less than at common social communities. And they can always find their customers and market to their niches directly.