This is the third and last part of my three-part blog post about using MySpace effectively in business...The following tips, and much more, are just part of my contribution to Joan Stewart's new e-book, "How to be A Kick-Butt Publicity Hound".
Managing Your Page Once It Is Set Up
"Friends" are really "fans". They are not necessarily anyone that you know or have met personally, but they want to get to know you. Fans want a personal connection, and if they think you are a nice person, they will buy from you, join your mailing list, and support you.
MySpace isn't about the quantity of Friends you have amassed-It is about the quality of fans you have attracted. Just like any famous actor is careful to avoid stalkers and loonies, you also need to do this on MySpace. Here's how to do it....
You MUST reply to every single message and friend request, and comment personally. Yes, I hear you saying, "Aaargh! I don't have the time". Well, make the time or your page on MySpace is totally wasted.
1. When you receive a friend request, check out that person's page.
Find out who they are. If their page is offensive to you in any way, deny the friend request. Otherwise, answer them by saying, "Thank you for contacting me and asking me to add you as a friend. I'll be happy to do so! I'm curious. Please tell me a bit about yourself and what attracted you to my MySpace page..." and then go into a little sales pitch about what might interest them on your website. Free offers available on your official website is a great pitch that gets them
over there. But make the entire message sound like you are so very glad to meet them.
2. If the friend request is from someone who has their profile set to "Private", this means that you cannot view their profile unless you accept them as a friend.
If this is not comfortable for you, then send them a message that you that because their profile is set to "private" you would like to learn more about them before adding them to your friend list. You don't need to add anyone as a Friend if you don't want to.
3. Respond to any comments by writing a friendly comment on that person's page. Always include information about your official website in your comment on their page. Advertise, advertise, advertise.
4. Do not allow comments from friends that contain HTML code or graphics.
Only allow comments from friends that glow about your services or your products. Many people will simply send you comments that say, "Have a nice weekend." Don't post these, because they waste space that could be used for advertising purposes on your MySpace page. But do send a nice comment back to them.
5. Post as many Top Friends as possible on your page, and rotate them from time to time.
Let those people know you have posted them as Top Friends, and they may return the favor on their page. The more exposure you get, the better. Post Top Friends that are colleagues of yours with whom you cross-market, post Friends who are actually associations in which you belong, and post your top "fans". Make those Top Friends those who sing your praises on their MySpace pages.
6. Check your MySpace page at least three times a week.
People think you don't exist if you are not answering their messages in a timely fashion-Just like people think you aren't in business if you don't respond to email regularly.
7. Keep in touch with your "Friends" with a birthday message.
In your profile, you can view upcoming birthdays for the week. Send each of these people a short message that you are just dropping by to wish them a Happy Birthday. You could even send them a special offer. They will thank you, revisit your MySpace page, and perhaps bring you more business.
8. Keep templates of different types of messages you've sent and comments you've posted in a separate word doc.
Simply copy and paste as the occasion arises, substituting the Friend's name in the template. This will greatly cut down on your time spent keeping up with MySpace.
9. If you have an upcoming event that you want to invite Friends to, alas, you cannot broadcast your event in one message to all your Friends.
The interface only allows you to send invitations to individual Friends, which is very time-consuming indeed. It's better to try to get your Friends to visit your official website to sign up for your email newsletter instead. (You can send bulletins to all your Friends at once, but I think most bulletins are ignored).
Simply keep in mind that MySpace is an additional business tool that you can use to reach people who haven't found you elsewhere on the Internet.
Are you a wedding musician or interested in performing at weddings? I also cover the topic of marketing yourself on MySpace in my book "The Musician's Guide to Brides" You can find this book at Amazon.com , SheetMusicPlus.com, and wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold. You can also view pages from the book and purchase it directly from my website at Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos
Musicians who are in a band or who tour regularly might also like to check out Bob Baker's book, "MySpace Music Marketing", available at Amazon.com
Have additional ideas about successfully managing a MySpace page? Please share them as a comment below.