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April 16 2009

How Myspace Can Keep Up

by Nydia Davis

Twitter’s on the rise, Facebook has reached 200 million users, and Myspace continues to try and keep up. The quick user interaction via Twitter and Facebook rapidly leaves Myspace trailing. But when it comes down to social media marketing, Myspace is still at the top. After partnering with Google and recent upgrades of Myspace Mobile, Myspace aims to accommodate today’s swift social network users, but they’re still playing catch-up.

Everyone’s Tweeting. Companies are promoting themselves, while big corporations use Twitter as a huge instant survey on what their consumers think. The volume is there in terms of traffic for advertising but are Twitter users planning to click on ads while tweeting? The majority of Twitter updates are from done directly from cell phones. Consequently, the vast amounts of tweeters aren’t viewing a web page. Phone updates takes users away from websites and clicking onto other webpages. Continuous Twitter updates and one on one relationships can be overwhelming for users; especially those who are used to the web page experience adopted from the Myspace world of social networking. Single webpages may be the saving grace for Myspace.

Facebook has been the biggest influence for Myspace advancements. If it wasn’t for Facebook and its application updates, some Myspace users may not have lasted as long as they have. It doesn’t seem to matter what applications Myspace migrates from Facebook, because Facebook still takes the lead with reaching 200 million users who are escalating in age, aside from their college users; but these 200 million users are hesitant to click on ads. Facebook’s user increase hasn’t converted into major advertising revenues. Facebook experienced a fifty percent decrease in the amount of users that clicked on ads from 2007 to 2008. Advertisers are just beginning to grasp the user behavior of Facebook and are shifting their focus on branding as a result.

Myspace does stand alone on one thing that has been taken lightly; the Self Service advertising platform that they offer users. SelfServe by MySpace is for display ads on profile pages. Google has a partnership agreement with Myspace which allows advertisers in Google to create ads for Myspace. This agreement had no influence on Myspace’s ad service platform which is similar to Google Adwords. However MySpace platform is geared toward building display ads, not text ads. This similar ad arrangement conveys the same user experience with ads as they do within the Google Adwords search engine. Myspace might be on to something, particularly given that they exclusively use this ad platform layout.

In order for Myspace to stay relevant in social media, it has to be less time consuming. Viewing photo albums and having to comment individually on your friend’s page will begin to push away users who have become accustomed to the quick phone updates and interactions available through Twitter and Facebook. Myspace is dominant in social media advertising, but in order to remain prevalent, the trend of user interaction has to be considered. Users want quick and that’s what Twitter gives them.

April 14 2009

Your Grandma is Getting Social!

by Marni Weinberg

With all due respect, you pretty much have to be living under a rock if you have not at least heard of one or more of the following Social Media sites:  Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. There’s also Friendster, Multiply, etc. etc. The list is endless.

Social Media is literally all around us. Your elementary school boyfriend (or girlfriend) wants to be your friend on Facebook. You can log on to check your Yoga studio’s schedule, even view your kid’s baseball practice updates. The talk show host/comedian, Ellen Degeneres, is asking you to “follow her” on Twitter and became a “fan” of her Facebook page to win exclusive prizes. Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva recently got into trouble for Tweeting (making a post in Twitter) during half time of a tie game. Need I say more?

Social Media has not only caught the attention of celebrities, NBA stars, tweens, teens, twenty, thirty and forty something’s; even Senior Citizens have taken notice. That’s right; your very own grandma is getting social!

OK, so she may not be sending you a friend request on Facebook or asking you to follow her on Twitter, but she could very well be on sites specifically tailored for seniors and baby boomers alike. These channels are an easy way for seniors to be active participants in the online community without feeling like they do not belong there.

Some of these sites include: Genkvetch, Seniorocity, ThirdAge, Eons and SeniorPeopleMeet. Genkvetch just enjoyed some nice PR in the Fort Lauderdale  Sun-Sentinel on March 23rd. Their home page targets seniors by asking, “Out of place at Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster? Then this is your space!”

I think it’s wonderful that elders have a myriad of choices with respect to social media networks especially targeted to them. They can read and discuss topics of interest with people of similar ages. If the desire is there to engage in social media, there are channels available to suit all ages and interests!

April 13 2009

Who Is On Facebook?

by Emily MacNair

I recently took a trip to see friends and family, and while I was there my sister told me to “friend” my aunt on Facebook.  Although I know Facebook’s popularity has been growing not only among the college-aged users, the fact that my aunt was now an active user made me sit back and think about the growth of Facebook among all adults, especially within the last year.

As Facebook continues to mature, so do its demographics. Presently, according to Inside Facebook, nearly 45% of Facebook users are over the age of 26, and almost a quarter of users are over the age of 35. Surprisingly enough, the age group that is growing the fastest is women, age 55+. From September 2008 to February 2009, this age group grew approximately 175%! (Males within the same age group only grew 135%).  Another group that has experienced tremendous growth is users age 45+ (around 165% during the same time frame).

When my own relatives tell me that I need to be on Facebook (little do they know, I have been for years), and when I come across these numbers, I can’t help but think about the opportunities from a marketer’s perspective.  It is no longer a place to reach only the college-age consumers.

While I understand that social media marketing can be somewhat daunting if you haven’t approached a social network from this angle before, don’t let that cause you to shy away from the potential that exists for your company or organization.  Facebook users sign up to re-connect with old friends and meet others who have common interests, share similar activities, beliefs, views, etc.  Use the information that is provided to target your ads or your marketing message and communicate with those who could become potential customers.  One of the best things about Facebook is that it can fit into any budget, creating very little barriers in order to participate. So don’t let a little hesitation prevent you or your company from delving into Facebook as a marketing channel.  You could be passing up a wonderful opportunity to reach a whole new audience from a different perspective.

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