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?
According 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:
- MySpace’s Growth Curve: Over?
- Effectively Leveraging Social Networking
- Diagnosis: Facebook Syndrome
- Social Network Wars Are Over; Now The Fun Begins
- A Successful MySpace Social Media Campaign