MySpace Marketing: Must-Have Friends
By now you may have noticed that some MySpace users have huge social networks, sometimes with more than a million friends. These members are usually some of MySpace’s early adopters who have experienced this popularity over time and through a solid marketing plan. These popular MySpace pages can be beneficial to your promotion if used properly.
I’ve found that in any type of online marketing, it can be incredibly powerful to research what others are doing, tweak to your needs, and then improve upon. MySpace marketing is no different, so this chapter takes a look at how some of the most popular profiles market themselves. You can learn from their experience, and in many cases, save a great deal of time. Advertising in new media like MySpace can be trial and error. By looking at others, you can quickly learn a few things right, and even a few things wrong.
By default, MySpace president Tom Anderson is everyone’s friend. Naturally, he has the largest network. At the time this chapter was written, his network included more than 180 million friends. Tom is typically the first person a new user sees, so this has given him somewhat of a celebrity status. The photo of Tom in front of a whiteboard has become an iconic image for the Internet generation (see Figure 5.1). It has been used on T-shirts and in several Internet parodies.
Figure 5.1 The public profile of Tom Anderson, MySpace president and cofounder.
Tom’s placement on MySpace is also interesting from a marketing standpoint. It was a noble experiment in public relations and user experience to make a company’s founder so visible and accessible to its users. Initially this made MySpace feel less like a website and more like a cool independent project. This excited millions, and they quickly signed up not only to watch its progress but to become part of it. Tom’s profile is a hub for the latest MySpace news using bulletins and blogs to get the word out. What better way to reach your community than to use the tools that drive the community?
Delving a little deeper into the Tom page, you can see how it’s also used to market MySpace-related products. Figure 5.2 shows a promotion for Sherwood, a new artist from the MySpace record label (yes, MySpace has a record label). I’ll show you how you can deploy some of the same techniques in Chapter 9, “Generating Buzz with MySpace Blogs.” This is a very powerful medium on MySpace because many users turn to this section to get the latest updates. The Tom profile is also used to post system news such as technical issues and new features.
Figure 5.2 A sample of a blog promotion from the Tom MySpace page.
As far as where your marketing and Tom’s page fit in, there really isn’t much to do here. You can keep Tom as part of your social network, but don’t do any direct marketing through his page. His profile probably is maintained by staff (he actually uses a separate private profile for friends) and not Tom directly, so marketing done through his page might be considered spam and be deleted. Worse yet, they may remove your profile. As with all aspects of MySpace marketing, moderation is the key. Your promotion should be just enough to get the attention of your demographic without annoying the masses.