Using MySpace for marketing

Friday, July 21st, 2006

A company selling nutritional and natural food products emailed me recently wanting to know how to market its products using MySpace. It’s a topic that a number of companies and individuals are probably thinking about, so I thought it would be useful to put some key points down in a blog.

First, you need to have a marketing strategy in place, so that means covering off the old 4Ps  – product, price, place and promotion. You need a product that meets the needs of your customers, at a price the intended customers a willing to pay, available at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities. And of course you need some way of informing your intended customers about what you have to offer.

Second, MySpace is not a marketing silver bullet. It won’t solve all your marketing woes, though you may choose to use it as part of your integrated marketing toolkit, ie alongside your other marketing activity.

Third, you need to ask yourself what do you want from MySpace? If you simply want to develop an online advertising campaign than you are probably better off contacting MySpace’s advertising department. Make sure you have reasonable advertising budget.

However, I suspect that many people wanting to use MySpace for marketing purposes actually don’t want to go through the official channel (ie they don’t want to spend money directly with MySpace), and in fact they want to use MySpace for guerilla marketing. That’s OK, though it does mean you need to do a lot of the hard work yourself.

Probably the best way to use MySpace for guerilla marketing is to first set up a profile about the product or service you want to sell. It needs to be a cool profile; preferably one that is more than just the standard template — though I have seen some standard templates used quite well.

The second step is to segment your market, and then identify profiles that match the profile of your target market. Luckily, MySpace’s browse function makes this quite straight forward, though it will take time to develop a list of suitable prospects.

The third step is to make “friends” with your list of prospects; ie selecting “add to friends” from each prospect’s profile. Because all each prospect will see when they get your friends invitation is a photo of you with a link back to your profile, you need to be very thoughtful about how you set up your profile in the first place. There’s already a lot of Spam on MySpace, and most MySpace members will refuse to be your friend if you come across as yet another peddler of questionable merchandise (and there are many of these on MySpace).

Once you have created a list of “friends” who are interested in your products, there are a number of ways that you can than communicate with them — such as through bulletins, messages, or comments.

There are a number of online services that automate this process, and I’ll talk about them in a future post, but be aware that there are some issues you need to consider before signing up. In future posts I’ll also provide further advice on social marketing, and how to do it in an ethical way. I’ll also look at the official marketing services offered by MySpace.

If you have any experiences you’d like to share, or have an opinion, please go ahead and leave a comment.

 John Pospisil

Companion blog for Hacking MySpace launched

Monday, July 3rd, 2006
With the release of “Hacking MySpace” in August, I’ve started setting up a companion blog/web site for the book at

The companion web site will provide links to all the software used in the book (which is all freeware or opensource), and links to layouts and other MySpace resources. It was also contain all the code examples in the book.

I’m also planning on running MySpace-related news, and a series of articles about the “Masters of MySpace”, where I will be intereviewing the owners of outstanding profiles.