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Old 05-17-2007, 09:10 AM   #1
lifelongstudent
Ummat Muhammad
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 55
Marketing on MySpace

Assalamu alaikum,

Found this article, thought it was interesting.

Should AlMaghrib have a myspace page?

Does it already have one?




From: http://www.ocmetro.com/NEW_SITE/curr...ure_story2.php
Marketing on MySpace
More than a social networking site, MySpace.com has evolved into today’s newest marketing strategy: ‘social media’ marketing.

By Sandy Bennett

ALSO |
WEB STRATEGY 101 (pasted below the article)|

Does your company have a MySpace page? If not, you may be missing out on the power and reach of this social networking site that has become a must in the marketing plans of more and more companies. Consider these MySpace web addresses:
myspace.com/cocacolabottling, myspace.com/nikewomen, even myspace.com/hillaryclinton2008. UC Irvine has a site on myspace (myspace.com.uc_irvine), as does the Orange County Performing Arts Center (myspace.com/ocpac).

“It’s a great way to brand a company, especially if you’re going for the youth audience,” says Neil Patel, co-founder of Cerritos-based ACS, a web marketing and Internet advertising firm. “You can go after millions and millions of potential customers within a very short time, and it gives you access to demographics and bio-data and all this other information that you otherwise may not be able to get.”

OrangeSites, an Internet marketing service provider, equates the visibility of MySpace.com and other social networking sites to a large outdoor advertisement posted along the side of a busy freeway. There are always lots and lots of eyes on it.

“It’s basically a billboard that allows users to hit it every single day,” says Aaron Hemmelgarn, a spokesman for Huntington Beach-based OrangeSites.

With a built-in user base of more than 200 million users, many organizations today are combining the goals of marketing with social media sites. Digg, Facebook, Friendster and Xanga are a few. MySpace, which has 174 million members, is the largest.

The site, often thought of as a destination visited primarily by teens and young adults, has also grown in use among older Internet audiences. According to a report by comScore Media Metrix, a leader in digital media measurement, individuals between the ages of 35-54 now account for nearly 41% of the MySpace visitor base.

Members can interact with its network of “friends” through personal profiles, blogs, videos, contests, bulletins and more.

“What makes it unique in comparison to a roadside banner is that you actually have the ability to communicate with the client, ask them for feedback, put in polls, get them to join your network, send them free coupons and do all kinds of things,” says Hemmelgarn.

And, it’s free.

More and more organizations are taking advantage of these interactive features to boost awareness and their bottom line by creating their own MySpace page.

Joining the numerous musicians who were among the first to create profiles as a way to market are politicians, nonprofit agencies, IT companies, retailers and a myriad of other industries.

Profiles are much simpler to design than a web page. Several sites such as mytheme.com offer free pre-made templates. Or you can create your own design with HTML code. They do, though, require a different approach. Instead of the traditional direct or hard sell techniques, humor, entertainment and controversy are some of the methods used to appeal to a targeted community.

Since your organization’s reputation is at stake, Hemmelgarn recommends that your page be monitored. It is also important, he says, to check potential “friends,” as well as their friends, before allowing someone into your network. And finally, the content needs to be regularly refreshed so visitors will keep coming back.

“It’s not enough just to put the page up. You have to be changing content and you have to create a conversation or something to bring people there,” says Steve Young of Irvine, one of the first politicians in California to have a MySpace page. “Otherwise you’re just another Internet page. People that use MySpace aren’t looking for another Internet page; they’re looking for connection.”

Here is a look at how some OC individuals and companies are using MySpace as a marketing tool to connect with their audience.

ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS
Who: Lynzee Moore
Location: Lake Forest
Description: Hair stylist
MySpace page:
myspace.com/hairbylynzee

Lynzee Moore is a stylist with savvy. As she started to build her salon clientele, she considered various marketing options. A website was her first thought, but she reconsidered, thinking that people would either need to know the address specifically or be actively searching for a business with her parameters.

“I had a personal MySpace page, and I thought one just for hair would be almost like a website. The difference was: It’s free, I could build and maintain it myself and the people I’m trying to target were already there.”
Lynzee further associated her page with her business by using the color scheme of the salon where she works, Marc and Company, in Lake Forest. This is echoed again in her business cards. Photos of the salon are also posted on her page as well as images of clients’ hairstyles that reflect her work.

She then took her marketing strategy one step further by programming an ad touting her services to any new member within a certain radius. “I don’t do this with current users; new members are more likely to read and respond to advertising.”

“It’s a great tool,” says Moore. “Currently about 20% of my clients have come from MySpace.” It’s also excellent for continuous communication and building rapport with current customers.

“My clients are more like friends now,” says Moore. “They can talk to me anytime to ask if they should make a certain change and I advise them.” At the salon, you have those two hours and that’s it, but this online relationship builds familiarity and trust.

“Also, if I’m having a special or something, I can notify all my ‘friends,’” says Moore.


YOUNGER DEMOGRAPHIC
Who: Orange County Performing Arts Center
Location: Costa Mesa
Description: Performing arts venue
MySpace page:
myspace.com/ocpac
The performing arts experience is more than simply going and watching a shows, says Todd Bentjen, vice president of marketing and communications for the Orange County Performing Arts Center.


“It’s about learning about it in advance. It’s about the social aspect – meeting new people, talking about it after the fact,” he says. “MySpace is a really good way to start to introduce some of those elements.”

The Center’s MySpace page gives theatergoers a different way to participate in and connect with the arts. Whereas the venue’s webpage includes in-depth information about all of its performances, myspace.com/ocpac is geared toward select shows. Recently, the page spotlighted its feature performance, “Rent.” In addition to a list of upcoming shows, the page offered an audio of the original motion picture soundtrack, a Q&A with some of the performers, interesting facts and an “I’ll Cover You” karaoke contest.

“We are all about building awareness and exposure for the arts and for The Center,” says Bentjen. “We’re always interested in reaching as broad a cross section of the community as possible and MySpace is a very good way to reach into a younger demographic.”

FOCUS GROUPS
Who: The Machine Productions
Location: Irvine
Description: Multimedia entertainment company
MySpace page:
myspace.com/machineproductions

The Machine Productions, an Irvine-based multimedia entertainment company, is using MySpace to help develop musical artists without as much risk and expense as other avenues.

“What this really is, ultimately, is an online focus group,” says company CEO Michael Reynolds. “From our perspective, it’s taking our product and getting out in front of the public without any real cost.”

The social networking site is replacing costly alternatives such as radio to serve as a test market for new artists and songs. In addition to having a page of its own, The Machine Productions has a MySpace page for each of its artists where visitors can listen to songs and get to know the musicians. Besides expanding an artist’s exposure, the number of hits and geographic location can be tracked, helping companies like The Machine Productions to determine whether they want to take someone on as a client.

The social networking site has also helped to leverage the bargaining field. Reynolds uses Gnarls Barkley, whose song “Crazy” was the No. 1 single last year, as an example. The song, originally released just on the Internet, grew so fast in terms of the amount of people requesting it and trying to find it that it was clear it was a hit, giving the independent record label an edge when it went to secure distribution.


EVENT POSTINGS
Who: Dameron Communications
Location: Based in San Bernardino; also serves OC
Description: Public relations and advertising company
MySpace page:
myspace.com/carldameron

Carl Dameron decided check out MySpace after hearing a news report about one girl having more than one million “friends” linked to her MySpace profile. Then he began using social networking sites as a way to publicize upcoming events.

Dameron is the agency director of Dameron Communications, a public relations and advertising company in San Bernardino. The firm, which has clients in the political, nonprofit and education fields, uses MySpace’s events feature to publicize activities hosted by their clients. Among those are seminars and open houses organized by Argosy University/Orange County in Santa Ana.

Visitors can search events by keywords, category and radius, and by day, up to 21 days out.

“Sometimes, we might get 20 responses, sometimes 100. Sometimes you get little or no response,” he says. “But the way we look at it is that it’s a great, exceedingly low-cost alternative.”

EMPLOYEE RECRUITMENT
Who: Ensynch
Location: Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., with an office in Irvine
Description: Provider of IT infrastructure services, IT staffing and data center managed services.
MySpace page:
myspace.com/ensynch_it
Ensynch created a MySpace page as a way to centralize and emulate what it believes is its greatest asset: its company culture.

Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., the IT provider has offices in Irvine, Irvine, Santa Monica and El Segundo. It works with 220 employees, about half of whom are contractors based at customer sites.

The firm’s MySpace page serves as a way to keep its current employees connected as well as a tool to recruit new ones.

“There is a huge demand and there’s a huge war on talent,” says Tyeson Cluff, director of marketing. “Great technology talent is at a premium right now.”

Cluff believes one of the critical differentiators when people seek out employment is their perception of a company’s culture. Rotating snapshots on its MySpace page shows prospective employees the company’s formal and informal sides, from softball tournaments to casino night to dressy awards presentations.



RAISING SUPPORT
Who: Steve Young
Location: Irvine
Description: Ran for the 48th Congressional District of California in 2006
MySpace page:
myspace.com/steveyoungforcongress (currently not being maintained)

Steve Young may not have won the 48th Congressional District election last year, but he did bring in 75,000 votes, which is more than a Democrat usually receives in the district in an off-year election. Young attributes his success to his strong grass roots campaign that included the Internet. Among those efforts was a MySpace page.

“I want to be ahead of the curve in technology... If I don’t know what is current how can I say that I am offering the best solution,” he says. “So it’s kind of a subliminal message that if you’re ahead of the curve on technology, you’re also ahead of curve on other things that matter.”
OCM

Sandy Bennett is managing editor of OC METRO Magazine’s sister publication, OC Family Magazine. Susan Belknapp contributed to this report. What do you think? Send your comments to: k
porrazzo@churmmedia.com.

WEB STRATEGY 101
While more and more companies are combining the goals of marketing with social networking sites, the majority of organizations are not sure how to participate and have yet to realize the value of this tool, says Neil Patel, CTO and co-founder of ACS, a Cerritos-based provider of web marketing and Internet advertising.

The 22-year-old, who has spoken at several conferences, including Pubcon, Search Engine Strategies and the American Marketing Association, offers the following three steps for companies to incorporate in their marketing initiatives.

1 Listen to what is being said on the Internet. Online discussions on blogs and message boards can spread rapidly and influence target audiences much faster than traditional media outlets. By utilizing search engines, companies can monitor and understand what is being said about them and by whom.

2 Get involved in the discussion. Companies need to respond to blogs, message boards, etc. to let the audience know that their voice is heard. By simply joining the discussion, companies can influence audience perception and dampen any negative feelings that might be there. Additionally, offering a sign of gratitude for constructive feedback will place a company ahead of its competitors.

3 Take control and create discussions that will engage the audience. B
y finding creative ways to get people involved online, companies can lead the conversation, build brand awareness and increase revenue. Furthermore, fostering relationships will pave the way to customer loyalty and long-term partnerships. OCM


WEB STRATEGY 101
While more and more companies are combining the goals of marketing with social networking sites, the majority of organizations are not sure how to participate and have yet to realize the value of this tool, says Neil Patel, CTO and co-founder of ACS, a Cerritos-based provider of web marketing and Internet advertising.

The 22-year-old, who has spoken at several conferences, including Pubcon, Search Engine Strategies and the American Marketing Association, offers the following three steps for companies to incorporate in their marketing initiatives.

1 Listen to what is being said on the Internet. Online discussions on blogs and message boards can spread rapidly and influence target audiences much faster than traditional media outlets. By utilizing search engines, companies can monitor and understand what is being said about them and by whom.

2 Get involved in the discussion. Companies need to respond to blogs, message boards, etc. to let the audience know that their voice is heard. By simply joining the discussion, companies can influence audience perception and dampen any negative feelings that might be there. Additionally, offering a sign of gratitude for constructive feedback will place a company ahead of its competitors.

3 Take control and create discussions that will engage the audience. B
y finding creative ways to get people involved online, companies can lead the conversation, build brand awareness and increase revenue. Furthermore, fostering relationships will pave the way to customer loyalty and long-term partnerships. OCM


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