Should We All Be Using the New MySpace?
3 months ago
The site is music-focused, but it could help brand you, too
It's clear that MySpace is targeting the culture of creatives, so should anyone who's looking to build a brand, network, or audience join anyway?
After all, 46 percent of adult Internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. And a recent survey showed that nearly two thirds of its respondents made purchases based on content they found on social media; 59 percent preferred to do business with companies that integrated social media into their websites. Additionally, more than 50 percent of respondents said they were more likely to refer friends to a product from a company with social media presence.
Still, when it comes to whether or not we should all be rushing to reactivate our MySpace accounts, Lorrie Thomas Ross, a web marketing expert says, "It depends."
"Organizations need to think critically about who their target market is, understand where they are, and why they would be there," says Ross. "The new MySpace could prove to be a viable social media marketing outlet for organizations, but social media marketing success does not come from the 'what's'—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Myspace—[it comes from] the 'how' and 'why' they are used to communicate, collaborate and connect with consumers."
Social media and networking consultant Linda Arroz's answer is more definitive, saying "no" to the new MySpace, unless...
"Brands that want to do business with, or identify with, youth, music and nightlife, should definitely have a presence on the new MySpace," Arroz says. "As should anyone looking for photographers, DJs, record business types, new music and cool clothing. And if you are interested in art and things that might not be mainstream, MySpace was always the platform for such."
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Brand and image consultant Amanda Guralski agrees: "MySpace is essentially delivering the same message -- [of being] a hot spot for connecting those who share the same likes in entertainment -- just on a different platform."
Indeed, it's the small businesses, and likely self-promoters, that need to assess and perfect their social media skills the most.
According to a survey of more than 600 small businesses across the nation, 90 percent dedicated time to networking online, and 78 percent had gained at least a quarter of their new customers through online or social media channels, but their successes didn't come easy; 58 percent said they struggled to find value in using Facebook to promote their business.
Arroz may have an idea as to why.
"Facebook is so bland," she says. "It's basically a safe enough place to share family photos and posts about daily life, [but] they're getting a bad reputation for their constant changes and small-print privacy and copyright issues."
Still, not everybody's ready to make the switch.
"I would not sign up for the new MySpace," says Houston-based blogger Vernetta R. Feeney, "unless your business directly involves working with creatives."
But Feeney may have hit the nail on the head; working with creatives may be just what MySpace wants. And though Michael Knowles, a marketing consultant, suggests MySpace needs to "find and dominate a niche" in order to succeed in today's media landscape, it may have already done so. Its mission is the same as it always was, but perhaps better.
The new MySpace is determined to fill the social media void for artists and creatives, a MySpace spokesperson says, and while it may not be for everybody, the company is confident it will gain a wider audience over time given the popularity of the arts.
MySpace may be on to something.