The big three social networks are a great boon to businesses, of that there is little doubt. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have billions of users between them and offer great ways for businesses to advertise, handle customer service issues, and generally interact with their customers. As well as offering many other great marketing opportunities.

There are also plenty of smaller networks such as Pinterest, or Snapchat that can provide fantastic opportunities for business, and businesses that understand which niche they lie in would do well to research these smaller platforms. For example, 62% of the users on Pinterest are women, so if your business predominantly or exclusively targets females, then it may be an untapped goldmine.

However, aside from all of these general social networks, there are a load of platforms that make their niche appeal even narrower. There is a social network for almost every field of interest there is out there, and you may be missing a trick by not tapping into the one that your business operates in.

Join us then as we show you 3 of our favourite niche social networks, and why we think they should be on your marketing radar.

#1 Untappd

With a focus on beer, Untapped offers a way for fans to share their favourite tipples, and the best places to enjoy them. Users can discover new bars and pubs, and share their thoughts on the libations on offer. There is even a gamification element, where users collect badges and achievements for trying different drinks and locations.

Available on most mobile devices, Untappd also offers a robust suite of marketing tools, allowing canny bar and pub owners to promote their products, manage their drink portfolio, as well as analyse drinking trends to ensure they only stock the most popular beers.

In a previous life I was told by a pub landlord that I worked for that alcohol will always be in demand as people reach for it whether celebrating or commiserating. Whilst the rate at which bars seem to have been closing down in recent years may throw some doubt on the veracity of that statement as a reason for becoming a publican, there is no denying that the British public still loves a drink.

Untappd can therefore offer a unique way to tap (sorry) into that market.

#2 allrecipes

Most of us will have visited at some point as it’s usually lurking near the top of your search results when you look online for recipe ideas. Users can upload recipes, as well as rate and comment on other users’ offerings. Each user can also earn badges that show how many of their recipes have proven popular with others.

Many food companies have their own account on allrecipes, and it is a great way to promote your products. By offering up suggestions on how to use your ingredients, you can show how versatile your food is.

You can also draw people to your ingredients even if they weren’t initially searching for them. Say you produce a range of herbs and spices, anyone searching for a recipe that uses them may come across your page, even if they were just searching for generic recipes.

Thanks in no small part to the popularity of television cookery shows and their associated celebrities, the new generations are doing more and more home cooking. On top of this they are using their mobile devices on a regular basis to search for inspiration and ideas. As one of the most popular sauces (sorry) on the internet for recipes, food business would do well to consider allrecipes in their marketing strategy.

#3 DeviantArt

DeviantArt is a social network for the art community, and offers a virtual gallery for artists to present their work. Artists can also set up a storefront, where they can sell prints of their work to their fans.

Boasting 65 million monthly users, and covering all manner of genres including video games, photography, comics, design, technology, as well as more traditional artistic disciplines, DeviantArt offers an extensive suite of advertising tools, and boasts a portfolio of some impressive brands including Nintendo, Disney, and Studio Ghibli.

So, whether you are an artist yourself looking for somewhere to peddle your creations, or you supply products artists may be interested in, DeviantArt’s impressive user base can provide you with a focused and relevant audience that may yield more results than networks that operate with broader strokes (sorry).

There you have three of our favourite niche networks. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below and remember that even though these networks may have a smaller audience that the big guns, the audience is likely to all be people who are interested in the specific field that your business operates in.

Be a social media sniper, rather than a shotgun.

Have fun.