Sigh. According to Gigaom, MySpace has introduced an e-mail feature to their users, who will receive an “@myspace.com” email address. While I applaud MySpace for attempting to introduce new features for their users, I highly doubt that this will make an impact on the level of catching up they have to do in order to even begin competing again against Twitter and Facebook (and even LinkedIn) in terms of members.
When Facebook was introduced, it became painfully clear that it was going to be a tall competitor against MySpace. While MySpace allows users to customize their layout and background, it is the monotony of this that draws people to Facebook. Most students and adults are not attracted to animated, sparkling .gifs and offensive backgrounds all over their screen. To put it bluntly, Facebook is popular because it is simple. It does not try to offer everything to everyone all at once. It knows its niche and has stayed there.
As Facebook grew in popularity amongst college students (and eventually high schoolers), MySpace became desperate. They began to market themselves as a music site and even created their very own record label. While this may be a good strategy for someone who wants to change their demographic, MySpace was simply marketing to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately, this turned off the general public, who realized that the predetermined fields and networks that comprised Facebook were just what they were looking for.
Instead of re-centering their marketing strategy in the first place, MySpace has now become an afterthought for most of the general public (especially since Facebook is now open to anyone 13 and up who has an e-mail address).
And this is why MySpace (and MySpace email) also needs to become an afterthought for you and your company’s internet marketing strategy. In order for your business to become successful, you need to concentrate on what your target market is concentrating on.
However, it’s important to remember that simply targeting a communication medium, such as social media, isn’t going to make you successful. It is the integration of social media into everything else that you do. For example, have noticeable icons on your organization’s homepage that offer a direct link to your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Use Twitter and Facebook to promote sales, offer coupons and giveaways, and receive feedback from your customer base. Make the experience that users have by friending or following you be a fun one.
In order to stay ahead of social media trends, it’s important to understand what your target market is and what they are doing online before simply trying to catch up before it is too late (*cough* MySpace *cough*).
Kelsey Childress is a Search Marketing Specialist and owns her own freelance business, Awen Creative. She is the creator of The Social Robot.
Image Courtesy of MySpace Tour Site