When most people think of MySpace they believe it is merely a community for individuals to make friends or reconnect with old friends but MySpace can offer more to savvy Internet marketers who know how to network effectively on MySpace. Although MySpace is intended to be a noncommercial community and commercial websites are strictly prohibited there are some opportunities to advertise and stimulate sales through MySpace. This article will discuss the subject of advertising on MySpace, the terms of service on MySpace and how MySpace members can avoid being viewed as dreaded spammers by other members of the community or by MySpace administrators.
Advertising on Your MySpace
According to the MySpace mission statement, the community is meant to be a noncommercial one. However, this statement refers to the individuals’ pages created and maintained by members and not the website as a whole. In fact MySpace is a commercial website with banner advertisements running on many of the pages and other advertisements appearing in sidebars and other locations. These advertising opportunities are open to the public and anyone who is interested in advertising in these areas is urged to contact MySpace directly for more information. This type of advertising is worthwhile for business owners who have products or services which may appeal to the members of the community.
While advertising on individual websites on MySpace is prohibited by the terms of service there is sometimes room to market products one ones website without violating the terms of service. Although many visitors to MySpace have encountered websites which are blatant advertisements, this practice is not recommended because, if discovered by MySpace administrators, it may lead to the individual being banned from the community. However, consider an example where a link to an ecommerce website selling sunglasses is placed in answer to a question of, “What is your favorite type of sunglasses?” The link certainly provides a relevant answer to the question and does allow visitors to the website to learn more about the member. Determining whether or not this is advertising or not is a matter for MySpace to determine but it is likely they would not consider this advertising although those who follow the link might end up making a purchase.
MySpace Terms of Service
The terms of service provided by MySpace were created to offer members guidelines as to what types of actions are acceptable and what actions are prohibited. All members should read these terms of service before joining and should review the information periodically to ensure it has not changed significantly during the course of the membership. Members who have questions regarding the terms of service should contact MySpace directly for more detailed information or an explanation of the terms.
Avoiding the Spam Pitfalls on MySpace
We have already discussed how although commercial websites are prohibited on MySpace there are some advertising opportunities which still exist. MySpace reaches a large audience each day and this large audience might tempt some to try to advertise to all of these members and visitors at once. Unfortunately this sometimes can be construed as spam. Therefore, precautions should be taken to avoid actions which might be considered spam by other members or the MySpace administrators.
As an example of the potential for spam consider a MySpace member who is very excited about the cosmetics line they sell. This member might really believe in the products and think they are so wonderful that everyone should learn more about these products. However, if this user then begins systematically going through MySpace searching for all users who mention anything even remotely related to cosmetics and then places a comment on their website directing them to a link to more information about these cosmetics this would likely be considered to be spam. The member may think their actions are harmless but the members who receive these comments and the MySpace administrators may disagree.