Have you accidentally become addicted to myspace?
If myspace is the first and last thing you check in a normal day, then you have probably considered deleting your account to return to reality. Depending on your reasons for wanting to stop using myspace, there might be more to be gained than a confirmation email stating that your account is gone forever.
A myspace account is a valuable web resource for online marketers
From a marketer’s perspective, by identifying a single person that falls within your target demographic you can market to their network of online friends with the assumption that they are like-minded people.
Take a sample profile as an example:
- 23 year old female
- Philadelphia resident
- Interested in independent music
- Aspiring vocal artist
- Strong interest in health & diet
Who do you think this person is friends with online? Her friends click on links in her bulletins and messages all the time, just like any other profile. They probably click on links on her page too. Now, as a marketer, if you are targeting other young people interested in independent music, or people interested in health foods in the Philadelphia area, enlisting this young woman as an ad conduit could be instrumental to a campaign. To be more clear, what I am describing here, is how myspace is a vehicle for marketing with a more transparent audience. All you need is a good definition of what your target demographic is, and the users will tell you who and where they are. There are clues, or more obvious facts about the people volunteered in their profiles. I hope the new market frontier I’m describing is giving you some ideas.
Is this really a new frontier?
Wawa already has a myspace profile. There’s even a profile for Wawa iced tea. Yes, lots of people add these nonsensical profiles as their friends, and if Wawa employees are the profile owners and maintainers, kudos to them. I would be more impressed if Wawa had purchased a few choice myspace profiles belonging to real users, and began putting iced tea coupons into bulletins.
Assigning Account Value
Here are some initial myspace account value metrics:
1. Age of account
Myspace profiles that are older appear higher on people’s friend lists. This means that when a user is browsing the friend list of a myspace user, older accounts are shown higher up than newer ones. This is like having a higher ranking on google. Users browsing other users’ friend lists are not as likely to find you on page 6 as they are on page 1. Thus an older profile shows closer to 1 in a list of friends, and provides greater visibility.
2. Quantity & Quality of friends
Address the interactivity of the friends someone has. Are they really friends with everyone or is this person just collecting profiles? A good profile will have frequent comments posted to it, or better yet frequent comments to blogs. This would indicate that not only are people interacting with this page by posting on it, but they’re reading the content that is posted by this user as well.
3. Type of friends / Friend demographics
Think about who people are friends with in general. The rule of locality of reference applies to people’s social interactions–person X will interact with person Y more often if they are closer geographically. Also think about who their friends are as consumers. Are they affluent post-grad professionals with spending money and defined interests or are they destitute college kids? You also want to consider this as a measure of value for your product. If you’re selling a weight loss product, you do not want to target a pocket of triathletes; they have no use for a such an item.
4. Page rank & Myspace URL quality.
Myspace gives a user the ability to have a short URL, e.g. www.myspace.com/johndoe19. If this has not been chosen already, the profile is definitely worth more to the buyer, as they still have an opportunity for placing keywords in the URL for search optimization.
Additionally, older profiles sometimes carry some page importance in search engines which makes them valuable to search engine optimizers for linking.
5. Activity levels in blogs, bulletins, etc.
A profile can also be more active, which is likely to make it more influential. Someone who is a very active user will have a more camouflaged guise after the account is sold, whereas if someone who posts bulletins very infrequently starts posting on a daily basis, it could raise some red flags indicating to their friend network that something is up with their profile.
1. People are members of small social groups with similar interests giving direct access into specific markets. E.g. buy some indie rock kid’s profile and blog a list of new album suggestions.
2. Using myspace gives the ability to post bulletins to all friends, and to message people directly. This is a push medium, and you can target your demographic more specifically with less work!
3. Buy a 100,000 friend profile that gets a lot of views and slap some banners or well placed links on it.
Later this week I will continue these ideas and expand more specifically on how myspace deals in this marketplace might work.