Social, Savvy and Specific

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We’ve been keeping on our eye on the specialized social media market this year, and with good reason: Niche social media sites — and the social media marketing that comes along with them — are exploding. From television watching to fashion to vampires, we’ve seen thousands of social media users who have something specific they want to talk about make the leap from Facebook and Twitter and give the specialized guys a try. So when GOOD reported on Healthcare Savvy, a site devoted to folks talking about healthcare triumphs and disasters, we had to see what the fuss was about for ourselves.

The concept is too brilliant to resist: The social networking site allows registered users to review and discuss healthcare. It’s kind of like your basic shopping or restaurant social media platform, but devoted to shopping for healthcare. Clearly neither the private sector nor the government is making these decisions easier for people, so the people are speaking back… and what they’re saying is funny, wise, proactive and interesting.

Everyone has been faced with shopping for healthcare, and this commonality is what binds the users of Healthcare Savvy together. The site just launched this month, so it isn’t loaded with content but it also isn’t bogged down with advertisements and sponsored blogs. There’s a kind of subtle rebel spirit on the site but the content generally (and wisely) avoids the great healthcare debates. We enjoyed clicking around Healthcare Savvy and couldn’t help thinking what other niche social networks could be next.

The boutique effect on social media and online branding is one we’ve just started to see. Technology and desktop publicity is as such that anybody anywhere can now sew together a network of folks who have something distinctly in common with one another. Niche networks allow marketers and bloggers to talk to target their audience just that much more directly rather than getting lost in a sea of social media drones.

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