In the past few years I have been doing some consulting for companies and helping them create campaigns using social networking websites. I am going to roll out an example of what I did for one of my clients, using MySpace.com as the main website. This is going to be the first in a series, which will outline the steps of what I did.
As we progress through this case study I am going to explain the nuts and bolts of what I did for them and how you can apply this to your business. Today I want to talk about what their goals were, what their misconceptions were, and the initial steps we took.
The Client- A company that specializes in motor sports, snowmobiling, and dirt biking. They have a large website with many sub-sites to complement a large newsstand presence.
Their Goals-They wanted to find a different way to promote their website and publications to a targeted group on social networking sites. In doing so they wanted to generate traffic to their website and continue to build their brand name, while establishing a foothold on MySpace that would allow them to have a base to market to for an extended period of time.
Their Initial Effort- Before I started working with them they had created a profile on MySpace.com with the name of their website prominently displayed. There were a few initial issues with the page.
First of all, it was… well… just there, they established the page and it was on MySpace but they weren’t doing anything with it. They felt that if they put it up people would naturally gravitate to it because of the popularity of what they do, which was clearly not the case. This is a mistake I see a lot of companies make. They subscribe to the theory of if you build it they will come. While that may have worked in “Field of Dreams” it doesn’t work on the web.
The next issue they had was that the layout they designed didn’t work with the Firefox browser, which from a users standpoint made the page unusable. Beyond that they had an overlay that was against the Terms of Service established by MySpace because it covered up specific buttons that need to remain on the profile. So even if the profile grew, they risked deletion because they didn’t understand the design parameters of MySpace.
Our First Meeting- In our first meeting I wanted to walk away with established goals, which I think is important to do. By outlining your goals you can design your profile around accomplishing those goals. Just throwing up a page with no plan, or no concept of what you want to do is a waste of time.
For example they wanted to generate traffic to their website, in my mind I knew that we needed to load the page with outgoing links, and use their MySpace page as a preview of content that can be found on their webpage.
The next thing I asked them was about their demographics, it was important for me to understand the people that they wanted to reach out and connect with. We established the type of users that frequented their website and established the predominate age, gender, and interests that they had. Again this is something that influences design, one of the most popular features of their website was the video content. We understood that it was not only a selling point of the website, as well a popular destination of their website but it was a feature that we had to highlight on their MySpace page.
In general the multi-media content on their page was trafficked more than their written articles, clearly establishing the need to make multimedia the focal point of their MySpace page.