MySpace advertisers know they are tapping into a potentially rich demographic, however, what many don’t realize is that their advertiser presence may or may not be welcome.
Already, users are pushing back against MySpace. Peter Blackshaw–chief marketing officer for Nielsen BuzzMetrics, which monitors online “buzz” about a variety of topics–warns that the growing corporate presence on social networks is a topic of significant discussion among users.
“Advertising can be a huge turn-off if over-deployed,” he cautioned. “As advertisers try to figure out the CGM [consumer-generated media] space, they’re kind of blurring the line between authentic content creation and advertising. That could definitely backfire.”
The people that live and breathe MySpace are particularly savvy and will see through a fake profile and any attempts to hide behind such. The pages on MySpace that do well are those by bands, comedians, actors, etc. that are actually done by the celebrity. When a site is either 1-kept up to date by someone other than the celeb or 2-not even kept up at all, your client is actually worse off after the page was created than before.
Also, if you are going to do a complete ‘corporate identity’ page, make sure it has user value. The CSS on MySpace is particularly challenging, so making your page a profile generator or something similar, can work to your (and your readers’) advantage. Give them wallpapers, icons, themes (humorous or cute, not just with your name on them), etc. and give them a reason to come back often (ie update it weekly, at the least).
Some great MySpace pages:
Adidas – Great forums, beautiful page
Seventeen – Whoever manages this page takes great pains to make sure the teens who read the page are actively involved in creating user generated content. There are user created videos, stories, a current ‘guest editor’ contest and a slideshow of pics that really draw your interest. Great implementation.
Jim Gaffigan – Captures his unique humour and keeps all up-to-date about his tour and his podcasts. This is a good example of a site that informs users, though a more hands-on approach by Gaffigan would be welcome.
Zach Braff – The most authentic celeb MySpace page I’ve seen, and I’ve seen many. Braff has a cool view of the world and his place in it. It will be interesting to see if, when his movie is done, he chooses to keep up the page. It’d be disappointng if he didn’t as his fans have really connected with him. He is a rare celeb who has chosen to open up to them via his MySpace blog.
MySpace and other social networking site ARE rich in your demographic, but they are much smarter than we were at their age. I am 31 and many of you are older. We can certainly sit here and say that we were just not savvy as today’s youth certainly are. However, they are so used to fakery and such that real transparency really bowls them over. It’s sad, I know, but it’s true.
This age group (12-40) is remarkably savvy and they’re yearning for truth. Don’t hide your ownership, don’t stick a publicist with the job of writing copy for the blog. Being relevant in this age means being real. No need to ‘keep it real’ ala Chapelle, but open up with your fans/customers and show them that a real person is behind the product that they love.