MySpace isn't a social media networking site we mention often. Though it was a hot new social media platform just a few years back and brought us a way to connect online pre-Facebook, it seemed to be most well-received by the younger generations, and also didn't have a platform that was as professional as that of LinkedIn, which made it less appealing to local businesses (though it did surpass Google as the most visited website in the United States in 2006).
But I thought it was worth it to write a quick post on the topic of MySpace, seeming how its come up a couple times recently where the question was asked: Is MySpace at all useful for a local business, or is it a platform that should be avoided altogether?
My first reaction was that its pretty much a waste of time for local businesses given there are other very beneficial social networking platforms for local businesses, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (And on a side note, if you don't have your local businesses set up on these sites, you need to get on it yesterday!)
Not to mention, a recent report that reflected Facebook's tremendous growth since 2008 also showed that MySpace continually declined in 2008 to the point that its hardly used at all in early 2011. Lets face it, MySpace was a great idea. If only whoever started it would have followed through with it and continually improved it, it might reflect a different story today (which is also a good lesson to learn as a local business owner"the need to keep up with the changing market place).
But, there are a few reasons as to why a local business might set up, or continue to use, a MySpace account to support their local business:
- There local business is one thats largely supported on, or benefits from, MySpace. For example, MySpace is claimed to be the largest database of free music streaming and downloads, so if youre in a local business that supports music in some way, MySpace might work for you. Or, if you're a local artist, manager, etc. then you might want to have a MySpace account to support and advertise your business.
- You have a large following on MySpace. Though this will be the exception vs. the rule, if you have a strong following on MySpace, then you don't want to lose them; though you do want to try to connect them with your other social media platforms, such as Facebook.
- Your target market hangs out there. This compliments #1 and #2 above. As with any local business, you want to go where your target market is online, and if its LinkedIn, then you should be on LinkedIn; if its on mortgage industry blogs, then you should be on mortgage industry blogs; and if its on MySpace, then you should be on MySpace.
Again, if any of these items define you, then you're the exception vs. the rule, but it could mean that MySpace is at least one of the social media platforms that should support your overall marketing strategy (in addition to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.). In the end, its about what's been tested and works for YOUR local business.
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For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.