I have a bone to pick with my social media and marketing brethren. Stop making fun of people because they’re on MySpace. It’s unbecoming and shows that you’re so overwhelmed with your own smarts that you’re stupid. It’s the same smugness some Mac users generate despite the fact their beloved, intuitive machines account for a whopping three percent of the personal computer market. If they’re so great, why don’t more people get it?

MySpace Music PageAccording to Compete.com’s numbers from February, MySpace accounts for 66 million monthly visitors and almost one billion visits. Facebook isn’t too shabby, either, but at 28 million monthly visitors, it’s less than half the exposure opportunity MySpace is. According to USA Today, there are over 110 million registered users on MySpace, making it the equivalent to the 11th largest country in the world (bigger than Mexico, slightly smaller than Japan).

The problem is that those of us inside the bubble and hip to hardware, software and online trends grew tired of MySpace. When Facebook opened its doors to the general public, then started experimenting with social advertising models, we all got hot and bothered by the chic, clean, open API network. We left MySpace, or conveniently forgot to check in for messages there more than once a month, and declared it dead.

But it’s only dead to us. The rest of the world still digs the ‘Space. And those 66 million monthly visitors aren’t high school girls, either. According to Quantcast’s estimates, 62 percent of MySpace users are above the age of 24, they have a higher than Internet average concentration of both Hispanics and African Americans and 49 percent of users live in households making $60,000 and up.

Frankly, I made a mistake last year when I began to migrate most of my attention from MySpace and a healthy network of friends and contacts I’d made there to the chosen networks of the Internet marketing elite. The mistake wasn’t in building contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. It was abandoning MySpace because those inside the bubble think it to be pedestrian. It might be, but there’s a hell of a lot of pedestrians there, if you haven’t noticed.

Marketing through social media is most effective when brands and companies put themselves on a personal plane with consumers. But you still have to reach those consumers. Turning our backs on MySpace, even belittling those who play there, is like calling Budweiser stupid for advertising during the Super Bowl.

Ignore MySpace because of its gaudiness and free expression and, “that is soooo 2006,” if you like, but ignore it at your own peril. That’s where the majority of the world is and will be for the foreseeable future. MySpace is gobbling up content deals with mobile networks, continually expanding their offerings to engage their users and, like them or not, they’ve got Newcorp’s pocketbook. They do music and video better than other major social networks, connect people with bands, comedians and filmmakers in a way that should make brands jealous and have a thriving subculture of niche blogs within their system few of us pay attention to. Shame on us.

Ironically, the advertising agencies and interactive firms we take such pleasure in mocking because they don’t get social media are the very ones benefiting from our short-sightedness. They’re so dumb, they only know to go where the most people are. In the end, crappy MySpace campaigns or not, they don’t look so dumb after all.

Wise up, kids. Just because you don’t personally like to play there doesn’t mean it’s a barren wasteland of marketing abyss. The rest of the world isn’t like us. And that, my friends, is often the only thing that keeps us from being successful.

Other Posts You’ll Find Interesting:

  1. MySpace’s Growth Curve: Over?
  2. Effectively Leveraging Social Networking
  3. Diagnosis: Facebook Syndrome
  4. Social Network Wars Are Over; Now The Fun Begins
  5. A Successful MySpace Social Media Campaign

[tags]MySpace, Facebook, social networking, marketing, strategy[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Jonathan Trenn

    Thanks for spanking many of us (including sometimes me) in the ass on this one. Sometime those of us in interactive/social media marketing are so caught up in what’s next and what’s new that we lose sense of what’s real.

  • Campbell

    Yep I agree. Sometimes people like to be the first to discover the next hot thing. Hope they don’t treat their real friends like that!

  • http://www.socialmediaheadhunter.com Jim Durbin

    Good point Jason. I fell into the same trap until FIM purchased one of my clients and I got a good look into how MySpace operates.

    They’ve made the transition to business, while Facebook still languishes under the transition from playing to working.

    Just a few things they are doing – Movies, Music, Television, Politics, Video Games and advertising. Since they are an open network, you can derive SEO and traffic to the site with direct links. And most important, MySpace can be an integrated part of a larger marketing campaign, while Facebook remains a single-use system where you don’t own your own data.

    Both sites have advantages, but it is foolish to write off 66 million visitors who are more likely to respond to advertising than Mac-heavy, internet savvy Facebook users.

  • http://broadcasting-brain.com Mark Dykeman

    I really don’t like the look and feel of MySpace and I have had a certain perception of the types of people who would use MySpace.

    However, I’m willing to admit that I haven’t given MySpace a fair shake and I don’t know a lot about it. Therefore, point to you, Jason, for pointing out the important fact that it still has a sizeable userbase.

    HOWEVER… what are the demographics on MySpace? I perceive it to be a gathering place for the under 25 crowd, which might appeal to me more as a content creator than for personal networking.

  • http://www.stemato.com Stephen Tompkins

    Hi Jason –

    Nice post. One of my main reasons for leaving Myspace was using it became cumbersome. It crashed constantly and was becoming very frustrating to keep up with what was spam versus what was real from my notifications. Facebook gave me a more stable operating service with almost none of the spam even if it was at the cost of many of my friends. I do check into Myspace eventually now but its mostly spam.

    I became worried earlier this year when Facebook spam started to mount but they made it easy for me to shut off the annoying notifications from some connections. If Myspace could come up with these kind of innovative solutions to some of the scaling issues they have I would come back. Heck, my older brother back in Savannah is on Myspace and I would love to look in and see what is going on with him more frequently. I just need it to be less painful.

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com Mack Collier

    My leaving MySpace has nothing to do with what the ‘shiny object hunters’ think. I left because the service became riddled with spam and porn. Way too many flashing lights and banners for my taste.

    BTW Facebook is getting a bit worse about this as well, but MySpace was a much bigger offender, and that’s why they lost my account.

  • http://pointlessbanter.net kevin

    I have been saying this for two years thank you for bringing this up.

    MySpace is also much easier to target market on. You can leverage numbers on there, it is much harder to do that on facebook. But because tech-geeks love facebook all the social media people bite and follow the drum.

    For every client and company I have worked with I have converted sales from MySpace, I have built brand awareness on there, and continued to do well on there on a personal level. Let everyone else doubt and hate because they don’t like the layouts or how crappy people design their pages. (What is funny to me is that people complain about the how horrible the design of people’s pages are but to me it shows a commitment to the site and an investment of time. Making those people ones I want to go after as a marketer.)

    Anyways… Let the “experts” talk it down. I will continue to make money off of using the site.

  • http://www.perhapses.com Britt

    Demographics does play a key role in deciding whether or not to add MySpace to your strategy. Like others, I stayed away from it because I was a web professional and already had a blog and online social network. Personally, I rarely run across people who are members of or are still active on MySpace, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t consider MySpace as an option for someone else. One can still be critical of MySpace but also be able to know when it is the right option.

    I also wonder if the aging demographic is in part due to people who have stayed with it after its initial boom while fewer younger people have signed up? I seem to recall some stats about Facebook showing larger gains with young people, but I’m not positive. Will have to look it up.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Holy moly! My comment-to-email thing wasn’t working today. Thank you all, so much for commenting. This is quicker and less in-depth than I like to respond, but here goes:

    Jonathan – You’re welcome … though the thought of me spanking anyone is kinda strange.

    Campbell – Agreed.

    Jim – Thanks for sharing the insight. Nothing against Facebook as a strategy … it can certainly work on reaching different folks, but MySpace has its merits.

    Mark – I don’t care for the user experience on MySpace much, either. But again, I’m supposed to help clients reach people. MySpace is a relevant place for that. As for demographics, I have nothing official from MySpace, but Quantcast.com gives you a nice profile estimate that is generally reliable, though not exact.

    Stephen – Agreed. I’m not going to be a MySpace junkie all of a sudden, but it’s responsible to play where the people are if you’re trying to reach them.

    Mack – And as an individual user, that makes a lot of sense. As a marketer helping people plug into communities and reach consumer, though, don’t you want to still know what’s going on there? Just a thought.

    Kevin – I expected you’d be one to pop in with some pro comments. Your brand of humor works in the MySpace blogs, too, I’d suspect. And good for you for recognizing the value of that audience.

    Britt – Certainly MySpace is only the responsible strategy if you know your target audience is there. I wouldn’t mean to imply everyone should play there all the time. You’re right – it has to fit your objectives. And trending numbers are out there, I’m sure. Quantcast is my stop for quick, easy, almost but not exact data. I can only use ComScore for official client business. (Sigh.)

  • http://bitchybetty.org/ Aronado

    hola! Jason

    Well put. This is a horrible analogy but, it makes me think of MySpace as kinda the WalMart of the social networking space in terms of market share. Certainly, if I have a product, I want to get it out in front of the most amount of consumers possible (within the targeted demographic, of course)

    Right, and let us not be too fixated on playing with ourselves on Twitter just for the sake of “hearing” & being “heard”. Not saying not to use it but ask, am I being effective with my time ;) (tangent, sorry!)

  • http://DavidPreciado.com David Preciado


    Let’s not forget about Friendster.com… Yep!

    Friendster has is strong in Asia and among Asian communities. If that’s your market.. then Friendster.com maybe your social network.

    The point is….

    “We” get too caught up with ourselves and not focused on the market and how things are truly changing. We focus too much on the personalities of social media, not enough on the dynamics of social media and how that is playing out with the rest of the world not just our own.

  • http://mariadkins.com Mari Adkins

    I’ve considered leaving MySpace since January. It’s just not really doing a whole lot for me. I’ve paid attention to what use I do get out of it, and I’ve found I generally use it to post bulletins about my oldest son’s health. With very few exceptions, those same people receive that news via my mailing list, blog, Facebook, or a couple of message boards.

    MySpace has just become redundant to me. :/

    But should I hang on to it? And if so – for how long?

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  • http://jfknet.com/services/social-media-engagement SMO

    Myspace is on borrowed time. They should have put some resources into this project, now it's too late.

  • http://jfknet.com/services/social-media-engagement SMO

    Myspace is on borrowed time. They should have put some resources into this project, now it's too late.

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