There’s been a lot of PR and marketing chatter lately about the new Myspace. (That’s Myspace with a little “s” — not MySpace, which is so 2008.)
Wait. Wasn’t Myspace supposed to be dead? Didn’t we all abandon Tom’s site long ago to pursue the (then) up-and-coming upstarts Facebook and Twitter?
But apparently Myspace is undead — just in time for Halloween season. It’s making a comeback, and brands need to be ready, right?
Not so fast, fellow higher ed marketing types. While “it’s likely that brands will be welcome with open arms, eventually,” writes PRDaily’s Kevin Allen, it’s still uncertain how it will all play out. All signs point to Myspace focusing on the niche that made the original site popular in the first place: music. And according to Allen, “MySpace will likely skew younger,” since the kids love music. This means that Myspace should attract that college-age audience, and “therefore brands that target the 18-24 crowd will probably be early adopters.”
I can see a migration of college students from Facebook or Twitter to Myspace. Once their parents, uncles and brands — including their universities — get into their social media space, they tend to look elsewhere.
That’s certainly true with Facebook, once seen as the hot spot for teens, and Twitter, which was the subject of a rash of “teens don’t tweet” media reports a few years back. But at the university where I work, we’re seeing a rise in Twitter usage and a decline in Facebook usage among new students. In 2011, only 3 percent of our incoming freshmen said Twitter was their social media of choice. This fall, 14 percent did. Meanwhile, the percentage of freshmen choosing Facebook as their main social media platform declined from 93 percent in 2011 to 79 percent in 2012.
Why the change? The anecdotal reason I often hear is that, now that mom’s on Facebook, the kids want to hang out somewhere else.
But if mom follows the kids to Twitter, then where are they going to end up?
Hard to say. Maybe the new Myspace should go up against Tumblr for social media supremacy with the younger crowd. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that people were proclaiming Tumblr as the new MySpace (with a big “S”), and now, some are calling the new Myspace the new Tumblr. So why not face off against Tumblr and let Facebook and Twitter increasingly focus on the “get off my lawn” crowd.
No matter what happens, we higher ed marketing types will need to keep an eye on the new Myspace. That doesn’t mean we need to chase this newly revarnished shiny object, though. Let’s heed the advice of a seasoned higher ed marketer, Michael Stoner, who in a recent post advises us to stay focused an “get to work on the really important channels,” whatever those may be for your institution. Stoner has a few suggestions. Go read his post.
Focus is apparently what the new Myspace is attempting. Maybe we should try it too.
But with a watchful eye on Myspace. So, let’s go reactivate our accounts, and let’s hope Tom hasn’t abandoned us.