Using MySpace for business: an introduction

MySpace is great for creating a presence if yours is a creative business, or for reaching out to and/or researching a fairly young target market. Read on to find out why and how.

What is MySpace?

It's social networking aimed at young(ish) people, combined with various other platforms and sub-sections - in this case video, comedy, celebrity, music, charity ('Find a cause'), urban, schools (universities). It also offers apps, blogging, forums and friend-findings functions, as well as games, instant messaging and mobile content. Users create profile pages and design their own pages - from background, colours and fonts to soundtrack (you can embed a music-player on your page). They connect with each other and keep up-to-date with whichever sections of the site interest them.

Who uses MySpace?

  • Users: approx 125 million per month, international
  • Age and industry: majority are late teens and early twenties. As such, most users' careers' have yet to be defined, but music and fashion have by far the greatest presence

Why would I want that?

  • Targeting people in their late teens and early twenties.
  • Positioning a brand or product as 'cool' (if you can do it right).
  • Viral spread of video or cult-status of a product among young people.
  • Researching youth trends.
  • Well suited to music and fashion businesses.
  • Opening up dialogue with young people.

What's the catch?

  • Older age groups are on MySpace, but typically you risk denting your professionalism if you try communicating with them on there as a business unless you're in the music or fashion industry.

Going to get on MySpace? Here are some words of wisdom:

  • There is no real scope for a business to create a page for itself (although music bands and labels can), although if you are a (relatively trendy) design agency or fashion label there is more leeway and you could get away with it.
  • What that really leaves you with is the option for researching a young target market, and our advice on Bebo all applies in much the same way. However, MySpace does provide different features which can be used to some advantage. Its rampantly popular Music section provides a key insight into trends (look at the clothes, attitudes and cultures of music your target audience's tastes, beyond just the sounds artists are making).
  • Find a Cause can work as a useful starting point for any social-enterprise linked campaigns you're thinking of initiating, and Celebrity and Comedy may offer up personalities or trends in communication for larger-scale campaigns. Although if you're getting into the realms of celebrity endorsement, you almost certainly need to get an ad agency on board.
  • Usefully, MySpace offers the opportunity to create adverts in a fairly similar fashion to Facebook - called MyAds. Although it's still in Beta, the level of targeting MyAds offers makes it well worth a look. You can advertise to users not only according to their age, location and gender, but also targeting their music interests, hobbies, sports they do, and so on - a fairly astonishing level of sophistication.
  • You pay for ads using pay per click, but can set a daily budget - actually a very fair way of doing business. If the MySpace audience is your target and you know your target customers' profile well enough to capitalise on this level of targeting, it's definitely worth trying this service out. Monitor it closely though to see what results your spend is producing. You can read more about advertising on MySpace in this Business Week feature.
  • If you're the same age as the market you aim to target on there, you should create yourself a page. Again as with Bebo, identify a group of people who epitomise your target customer, and draw from the type of design they tend towards to design your own page.
  • As image and expression are so key here, it's worth researching your target customer perhaps more fully than a business would were it publicising itself elsewhere - you need to make sure the soundtrack, the language you use, the interests you hold and the bands you like are in tune with your target audience if you truly want to integrate yourself with them to open up conversations with them. This may sound contrived, and perhaps it is - but you need to discern how much you want to appeal to your target customers as an individual in order to get them buying from you.


The norm on MySpace is to leave your profile fully open, and if you're trying to attract attention, this is definitely the way you want to go.

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