I’m still convinced that niche networks are valuable for smaller, more concentrated and highly targeted numbers. Get beyond the giddiness of having hundreds or thousands of “likers” on your Facebook Page, and you can create real value for your company, customers, vendors or targeted consumers by using niche networks. Industry-specific social networks are good for professional networking and information exchange, while open, relevantly-themed social networks are helpful for marketing, branding, and customer interactions. ... But running your own niche network is a beast to build and manage without resources. That’s why Facebook Pages are the low-hanging fruit of niche, branded communities.
I agree. Smaller focused communities are quite often more valuable than high numbers of fans or followers. The platform? In some cases it can be Facebook, in others cases Communities on LinkedIn or XING. Or you can run your own community based on Social Software (Example: The EULUC platform, where the German Lotus users have organized themselve), on premise or in the cloud.