Tagged: pinterest

Myspace: They’re Bringing Sexy Back (Yeah)

Myspace owners Chris and Tim Vanderhook, along with Justin Timberlake, have debuted a preview of the new and improved Myspace.com and, to be honest, I’m actually quite impressed. They’ve essentially taken components of what has made several other social media giants successful (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), and combined them in a slick, new layout that stays true to its original purpose: uniting artists and fans around their love of music. 

Header

 

Style Revamp

The first thing that struck me is the overhaul to the basics: background, coloring, typography, etc. The new look is polished, modern, and makes great use of negative space and differences in font size. By letting users customize their original Myspace pages, the site became an amalgamation of obnoxious color combinations and graphics, and it lacked brand consistency. It seems as though they’re moving away from this overuse of customization and, instead, offering users an interface they can all be content with. My first impression left me wondering “Why didn’t they do this sooner?”.

Profile Setup2

 Profile

 

Back to Basics

Myspace has helped launch the careers of many musicians and while a lot of the original users jumped ship when Facebook became popular, the core set of diehard musicians and their fans have stuck with the original social network and are about to be rewarded handsomely with a beautiful, new website. As a nod to its heritage and loyal users, Myspace has improved many aspects of its music-centered features and, again, updated everything with their new look. The preview shows a feature called “Mixes” – much like Facebook’s “Albums” –  that allows users to share photos and event information, all centered around playlists they’ve built. On the flip side, musicians are able to track fan activity and information relevant to their music in a new overview section of their fan info page. Justin Timberlake, an investor in Myspace, is featured heavily throughout the walkthrough and appears to be the celebrity face of the new publicity push. 

Mixes

Fan Map

Screen Shot 2012-09-28 at Sep 28, 10.37.17 AM 

The Stream

If Pinterest and Facebook’s Timeline had a baby, it would look like “The Stream”. It’s a collection of posts from your friends and artists you follow, but it’s presented in a very visual way, much like Pinterest. The Stream scrolls across the page horizontally, making for a unique user experience, but one that has yet to be tested en masse.

The Stream

 

Tweet That

And as if not to leave out Twitter, Myspace has incorporated trending topics and 140-character updates into their new site. The “Trending” feature is also presented in a Pinterest-like manner and it definitely captures your attention. And following the rest of their styling changes, their 140-character updates are bold and make use of interesting typography.

Trending140 Characters 

To SUM It Up

To say Myspace got a makeover is an understatement. You can tell they’ve been spending a lot of time collecting the best looks and features from their competition and are rolling it out in a new and exciting way, but one that stays true to their musical background. Who knows if they can be a contender once again…but they’re definitely on the right track.

New Myspace

To preview the new Myspace, click here

Social Media – Let’s Cut to the Chase

WebLet’s face it – what started out as an exciting new platform for engaging potential customers, has become a sometimes shallow, polluted environment of over-sharing and “me, me, me” attitudes. I’m talking, of course, about social media.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think (when used properly) sites like Twitter and Facebook can have a profound effect on startups and small businesses and can allow you to develop relationships with people you would have had a difficult time connecting with several years ago. But the focus has shifted from using these tools in meaningful and effective ways, to merely signing up and running a half-hearted campaign with no real idea of what we’re doing and why. Enough is enough.

Below is a list of some of the most popular social media sites and a rundown of what they are designed to do and what impact they may have on your business.

 

Facebook: Perhaps the king of social sites, it’s hard to overlook Facebook. Having signed up for my profile when Facebook still required a college email address to do so, I’m quite familiar with this behemoth of a social site. In addition to being a good way to communicate with and receive feedback from customers and partners, Facebook has become a standard of legitimacy for most businesses. Are there exceptions? Sure. If you have absolutely no consumer-facing products or services and you work exclusively with one major company or client, then you can probably go without. But everyone else should have a profile for their business.

The cover photo provides an excellent opportunity to show off your branding and the enormous user-base makes it a great choice for large-scale messaging campaigns. But be careful; the sheer volume of users can also make it difficult for you to connect with the RIGHT people and you can end up putting in a lot of time and getting out little value.

Twitter: Twitter can be tricky. It is more about giving than receiving and building a large group of followers can take a lot of time. I try to use the 80/20 rule. 80% of things you tweet about should be adding value (sharing an article or interesting thought) and be related to your core competency. 20% can be slightly personal or humorous. By providing good info, rather than adding to the clutter, you will build loyal followers that are likely to retweet you and actually pay attention to the rare tweets that promote your business.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is made up of professionals from all over the world and is geared towards business networking and professional relationship building. This is not the place to constantly post about your latest product and doing so can irritate your peers and damage your reputation. LinkedIn is more of a “rainy day” social site. It is a virtual rolodex, of sorts, and it creates value by allowing you to stay in touch with and meet new contacts that could be key for your business some day. It’s not about the here and now, but rather about building a solid set of online contacts, facilitating industry discussions, and keeping apprised of relevant topics, as well as being an excellent tool when hiring for your business.

Google+: Google+ is relatively new to the scene, but it has grown quickly. With more than 100 million users, it’s definitely worth considering. Unfortunately, many consider its interface to be confusing and less than aesthetically pleasing. I tend to agree, but I have also discovered some inherent value there that may be worth tapping into. You can use the “Circles” feature to disseminate information to a targeted demographic, rather than blasting the information to all of your followers. Share things that may only be relevant to your local customers with your “Local Circle”. This gets your message to the right eyeballs, easier. Google is also starting to use their “G+” feature to help rank websites on their search pages. Websites with a lot of “plusses” (similar to “Likes” on Facebook) will start to show up higher on search results pages than their competitors. This feature should not be ignored.

Instagram: Instagram is a photo sharing app for Android and iPhone that was recently purchased by Facebook for a cool billion dollars. And with Facebook behind them now, it’s no longer a “hipster-only” affair and it’s worth paying attention to. If you have an exciting office space or do a lot of on-site work where photo opportunities are abundant, Instagram is a great way to show your followers a more personal side to your business.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a photo curating site that has been receiving a lot of press recently. Anyone can sign up and surf millions of pictures, looking for inspiration, a laugh, or just something interesting. Businesses have been signing up by the boat-loads and many are left wondering how to extract value from the site. If you have products that are visually appealing or very consumer-facing, Pinterest can be a good opportunity to get your work out there. But if you do B2B consulting or work mostly in the virtual realm, Pinterest might be a waste of time. Time is the most precious commodity in the startup world, so don’t feel the need to sign up, just because it’s the new, hip thing.

 

To sum it up, social media is a two-edged sword. These sites can be invaluable tools for connecting with customers and promoting your company, but they can also trap you in a time-sucking vortex of updating, posting, and sharing. The key is to choose the right websites for your business, outline specific goals for your social media presence, and post in a way that adds to the whole and elicits interactions.

So spend time thinking about what you want to get out of this experience and what you can offer others. When in doubt, default to a “less is more” mentality and be patient. The old idiom “It is better to give than to receive” should be your mantra every time you log into your accounts. So choose right, manage your time, and above all – have fun!

 

For more info on social media and how it can be customized to help your business, contact info@sumseattle.com and ask us about our social media offering.