I recently had a discussion with someone on what I believe is, and more importantly is not, an entrepreneur. These days, its seems every semi computer savvy person that reads a code/app writing book “for dummies” sees themself as a potential entrepreneur. I have had conversations with several people with plans to develop the next fad in this space and sell it quick for an easy buck and feel this is entrepreneurial. I ask, where’s the value; where’s the passion?
As a person who is trying very hard to develop an online footprint after several years of fighting the change of social media, I have often asked a very simple question. Why do we need another social network? As I was thinking about that question I stumbled upon an article called “We don’t need more social networks. We need more purposed social networks.” Admittedly, it’s a few years old at this point, but I still see it as relevant. It basically points out that in the saturated market of social media, no one could be expected to handle ten different networks at a time. For most people, three is a limit and with Facebook and Twitter taking the first two slots of so many and covering the personal post and photo sharing space, it pays tap into a niche area to gain that coveted third spot.
In my opinion, the landscape has changed slightly and the mass-market networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have all developed their own specialty since the time this article was written and allowed for some extra space in the average users social media repertoire. Let’s assume the average users have Facebook to connect with old friends, Instagram to share photos on the spot, LinkedIn for their professional network, and Twitter to stay current on their favorite topics. If this holds true, a new network would have to fill a very specific gap for the target user. This is what opens the door for some entrepreneurial action.
These new ventures should not strive to dethrone the powerhouses or reach hundreds of millions of users. They should focus on a community that really needs new platform as part of their lives. The article references a small startup network for “boomer” women to ask each other pertinent questions and share their similar experiences.
A network like this has an advantage over someone like Facebook when it comes to attracting advertisers. They can demonstrate a real value to them by having a direct line to the demographic a fellow niche company is trying to reach. It is in this way a new social network can add value and really appeal to potential users.