What site has atrocious design, usability issues, a frustratingly restrictive web page creation platform, and countless junk/spam/abandoned profiles, yet the highest number of pageviews out of any other site? Why, MySpace of course!
MySpace.com is a slice of humanity – a very big slice. With tens of millions of users (and most of them NOT teenagers), MySpace apparently drives more traffic to online retailers than MSN Search, according to some recent Hitwise data.
MySpace is a site that should concern retailers and business bloggers alike. It’s where our audiences hang out.
The MySpace ecosystem is host not just to teenagers, but also concerned parents trying to keep tabs on their kids, college students, obsessed sports fans, realtors, and every one else in between. And companies too, from bars to bands, brands to quirky dotcoms.
Before you go off half-cocked with your MySpace marketing initiatives, you need to understand it. Just like with the blogosphere, the MySpace community can turn on you the moment you make your first misstep. So rule #1 is ‘keep it real’.
Another one of the critical factors is having ‘Friends’ in your network. For instance, Apple’s iPod Nano registered 1,500 friends on October 15; by October 27 that had risen to 37,070 friends. Nice marketing job Apple!
“Weird Al” Yankovic breathed new life into his musical parody career, thanks in no small part to MySpace and YouTube. On MySpace, Weird Al has accumulated 420,000 MySpace friends since he joined the site in July last year (I chronicled this a bit more here).
I interviewed Michael Boldin at Pugster.com, who has been using MySpace to generate traffic, sales, and a very respectable 8,000 friends. He shared several great tips for cultivating friends on MySpace, among them:
- When starting out, you need to get friends, even “bad” ones that tally up to a respectable number on your friend list. Start with bands; they are really easy, as they always grant Friend requests.
- Have patience. Invest time. Give people something interesting that isn’t related to your business. Develop trust.
- Keep it personal â€“ just like emailing a friend.
- Fancy and high end vs. simplicity, school’s out on layouts, but don’t frustrate your visitors by moving stuff around.
- Seasoned MySpace users won’t wait for content to load, so no slow loaders.