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.

MySpace You Tube "Smash-Up" Promotion

09/07/2006

Cruise__2 I've been MIA the last few days from Diva Marketing. Sorry but I've been in another country with Diva blogger  Marianne Richmond .. or so it seemed to me. No girlfriend, it wasn't a (well deserved) holiday on the beach with drinks that have cute little umbrellas. We were playing and working in MySpace and YouTube. Which believe me .. is a whole new world.

Every once in awhile you work with people who are willing to step off the mundane path and blaze a new trail. Donna Lyons-Miller, founder and CEO of GourmetStation, is one such amazing women.

Yesterday we took a deep breath and launched an innovative promotion -  Get Out Of The Dog House Video Campaign. It's lots of social media / Web 2.0 interwoven with traditional strategies and with a touch of heart - donations to the Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound) Rescue Foundation.  

At Donna's suggestion Marianne and I will be blogging the progress on Diva Marketing Blog and on Resonance Partnership. We hope to share some of the lessons we've learned and will learn along the way. We also invite and encourage your suggestions, feedback and of course participation. It's been a bit of a rocky road .. MySpace makes Typepad look like Web 10.0 in terms of page development so we will be tweaking as the campaign progresses.

So how's it coming along? In under 24-hours, with no promotion -  2 orders Zip videos.

Part 1 The BackStory - Get Out Of The Dog House Campaign

A few months ago  Donna & I caught up for brunch at Food 101, a great restaurant in Atlanta's Morningside neighborhood. Donna was looking for a Big Idea, on a limited budget of course (!), that would help lift awareness of the GourmetStation.

Light bulb moment! A viral video contest would be cool. Off I went to develop a fun little project that was to morph into motion art (kinetic) with mountains of moving pieces. Lucky me to have Marianne to partner with on this project.
Sidebar: What is one ROI from blogging? Relationships that lead to friendships and even business partnerships.

We're fondly calling this a Smash-Up Promotional Strategy because it is built on a smash-up of a number of social media tactics: MySpace, YouTube, viral, word of mouth; as well as, traditional marketing tactics: PR, couponing and partner relations. Why include traditional? Because not all your customers are online all the time.

Objectives

  • Motivate consumer interest in GourmetStation
  • To reinforce GourmetStation’s positioning as a “gifting solution" to current customers
  • Introduce GourmetStation’s positioning as a “gifting solution” to a new target audience

        Goals

  • Create a viral video contest that engages the target audience in a fun, interact manner
  • Capitalizes on key consumer trends: user generated content, video, reality entertainment, and online social networks
  • To increase brand awareness and interest about GourmetStation within the existing target demographics
  • To evaluate the potential of a younger target group to generate incremental sales.

From the heart - We are proud to partner with the Borzoi Rescue Foundation. Borzoi's are very special to Donna who is involved with the rescue of these sweet dogs. GourmetStation will donate $10 to the Foundation for every Get Out Of The Dog House coupon that is redeemed through 12-31-06.

    Promotional Elements

  • MySpace
  • YouTube (to house contest videos)
  • Relationship strategies
  • Websites and video directories
  • Traditional and online public relations
  • eMail campaign
  • GourmetStation website
  • GourmetStation extend product line
  • GourmetStation couponsof various levels

Viral Marketing - There are cute little buttons

And More Viral Tactics - Tell A Friend eMail, down loadable music, and the sweetest photo slideshows of Borzoi rescue dogs, dogs that need a home and a special Favorite Pooch slideshow. Send me a jpeg of your dog and I'll add it to the show getoutofthedoghousepics@gmail.com. Yes, of course little Maxie is included!

MySpace Friends - Another unique twist in this kinetic strategy - building relationships with comedians on and off MySpace. It's not unusual for companies to tap into the music community on MySpace. However, the comedy community has been overlooked .. until now. It seemed like a natural extension of our MySpace strategy. The Get Out Of The Dog House teaser videos were made by comedian Jed Fearson and TruGritz's  Jen Gordon. They're also going to introduce us to their MySpace "Friends." Very cool cha cha cha!

Looking forward to seeing Your video of How You Got Into The Dog House and How You Got Out Of The Dog House! Good luck .. hope you win the Grand Prize - 12-months of GourmetStation Dinner of The Month valued at over $1000.

Next Challenge: Find and install the code for a MySpace metrics tracker and fix broken links!