Make New Friends The My Space Way

10/02/2006

Girl_scout_cookie Make new friends but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold

In another lifetime, I was a  Girl Scout leader in Boston (Talk about divas' in training .. the little girls in my Brownie troops were from the Back Bay and Beacon Hill.)  Make New Friends was a favorite song of my Brownies. Little did I know that years later making new friends would be a critical tactic of a marketing strategy.  Girlfriend, I'm not talking building relationships I'm talking collecting friends as though they were baseball cards except you don't get to trade.

Sidebar: I'm involved with a Smash-up video campaign, Get Out Of The Dog House, that uses MySpace to hold the content and YouTube to house the videos. Read more about the back-story and how you can win over $1000 worth of GourmetStation meals delivered right to your front door. 

Marketers are tentatively making their way into social media communities. First it was the blogosphere where brands are still not welcomed with hugs and kisses if they color outside the lines. With over 50 million Friends to pal around with, MySpace is a natural for marketers to explore. MySpacers seem to care less about "authenticity" and following MySpace "rules" than bloggers do about that stuff. At least the ones that I've found. If they don't like you or don't get you .. they simply don't Friend you.

Especially for marketers, Friends are very important. MySpace Friends are your entree to direct communication with your target audience. As a MySpace Friend there are four communication avenues available to you.

  1. Addition to the Friends Gallery
  2. Ability to post comments
  3. Ability to send bulletins
  4. Ability to send event notices

Friend Gallery - addition of your photo icon that links to your MySpace page. The coolest friends are shown on the top.  Many a Friend Feud has been known to occur from a Friend being moved from the top box.

Comments - Unlike traditional blogs where if comments are open you can post your remarks, only Friends are allowed to post comments that appear on the front page. And comments dear Diva are where it's at. You get to be front and center for all the world to see and click to.

MySpace is a culture within a culture within a culture. Not everyone wants to be your friend (so high schoolish!) and those that do may not approve your comment if you self-promote or add HTML bling. In that sense reading a few comments before you post (a la bloggy style) is a good idea. However, many MySpacers love splashy glitter, animation and are cool about promoting their Friends' latest gig allowing huge in-your-face graphics.

Check Out Blinkyou.com for thousands of custom glitters and layouts

Sidebar: MySpace does include a regular blog function but MySpacers don't seem to used it very often; also it's a click down. Only headlines are posted on the main page.

Bulletin - is a feature that is included in many social media communities. Bulletins are text only messages that show up only on your Friends' administrative page. They're great to use for reminders, new stuff, call to actions, to drive traffic to a MySpace, website or blog.

Event - similar to a bulletin but used to notify about performances and special live events 

Caution! If you're use to reading blogs, that take their cues from structured website navigation and design, your first visit or 2nd visit or 3rd visit into MySpace will be a culture shock. Be prepared for loud, big and messy.

The 5 Marketing Cs of MySpace

  • Cluttered
  • Chaotic
  • Crazed
  • Confusing
  • Creative

If you want to quickly expand beyond family and friends hop a ride on a MySpace Train - an automated system for gathering large number of friends. Dale Evans has a nice explanation of MySpace Friend Trains.

MySpace Marketing Promotions

A MySpace promotion for the film Clerks II involved putting the names of the film’s first 10,000 MySpace friends in the credits. They thought the contest would go for weeks. They had the names in two hours.

Authors using MySpace to extend their visibility and fan base.

Get Out Of The Dog House viral video campaign.

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Comments

Great information! Helps reduce the 6th C: conundrum
Marianne

Posted by: marianne richmond on Oct 2, 2006 11:29:34 AM

Great post about the power of MySpace! It could even help somebody like me with my insurance sales!

Posted by: Evan on Oct 5, 2006 6:58:49 PM

I just ran across this blog and LOVE it! Thank you for the great marketing information and especially the information about using myspace to market. I have written articles on this subject and am including it in my Mosquito Marketing Series of books. I would love to include your blog as a resource! Please drop me an email if you would like to be interviewed or contribute. Rock on!

Posted by: Michelle Dunn on Nov 13, 2006 7:26:37 AM

Another great way to connect with users anxious to have 'friends' is to seek out new users. Click on the 'browse' button on the toolbar. In this screen you can filter you results by many things such as sex, age, relationship status as well as 'NEW TO MYSPACE'. As mentioned in the original post MySpace is so highschoolish you know new users are anxious to up their friend numbers as quickly as possible. Your chances of being friended by someone who does not know you or might be slightly put off by you are greater in those first few weeks of membership. Check out this blog on the Benefits of MySpace Marketing http://www.e-commerceblog.com/2006/12/09/benefits-of-myspace-marketing/

Posted by: C Janel Doe on Dec 12, 2006 2:04:02 PM

I definitelly use myspace as a marketting tool-for a few sites

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Posted by: Peter Hill on May 7, 2008 1:39:18 AM

I've tried relentlessly to marketing my company with mySpace and have never had any luck. I really wonder if other business' take mySpace seriously enough to want to invest their money in your services? Thoughts anyone?

Posted by: Jacksonville Web Design on May 19, 2008 11:07:11 AM

@dan from Jacksonville Web Design - As with any strategy the initiative has to "Fit" the target audience. Not knowing your business, I'll ask you one critical question: Do your clients and prospects utilize MySpace as a business information resource? If not it might not be a good match.

Posted by: Toby on May 19, 2008 11:55:26 AM

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