More and more companies are flocking to Facebook to promote their brand. The reason being is Facebook has quickly supplanted MySpace as the king of social media. When you compare Facebook and MySpace, Facebook members are more engaged with the network and more active. Facebook has a lot of functionality that allows members more chances to interact with other members.
One of the reasons Facebook has leaped to the foreground for brand-building is they redesigned the pages that businesses create, making them more interactive and, most importantly, making it possible for those pages to become part of a company’s Facebook fans’ home page news feeds. Now brands can go to consumers, as opposed to hoping consumers remember to visit their favorite brands.
Facebook also offers a variety of opportunities that go beyond conventional online marketing. Companies can use a fan base as a virtual focus group, for example. They can see through Facebook profiles what interests and motivates their customers, and respond accordingly. And they can create applications that connect fans with staff or other fans on a one-to-one basis to discuss products and answer questions.
MySpace has been losing ground lately to Facebook. Why? MySpace hasn’t kept pace with offering new features and functionality that keeps sites fresh. One of the reasons Facebook has leaped to the foreground for brand-building is they redesigned the pages that businesses create, making them more interactive and, most importantly, making it possible for those pages to become part of a company’s Facebook fans’ home page news feeds.
On the other hand, MySpace still remains one of the biggest sites on the Internet. According to comScore Inc., MySpace is one part of Fox Interactive Media, the fifth most visited set of properties on the web. Facebook on its own ranks No. 6, YouTube No. 1 as one part of Google Sites and Twitter on its own No. 46.
Even though MySpace is now known as the place for bands, there are still opportunities for companies to build their brand. There are companies that still use MySpace in its social marketing mix to ensure it’s reaching out to as many consumers as it can to spread the word about the company and its culture of customer service but also to put a face—literally, in many instances—to the company.
Facebook and MySpace are social networks in the broadest and deepest sense. They do everything: friends, profiles, photos, videos, applications—the list goes on. YouTube, however, does one thing, video. But it does it extraordinarily well.
Of the Big Four social networks, it draws the largest crowd: In June it reached 87.7 million unique visitors, a 22% year-over-year jump, research and measurement firm The Nielsen Co. reports.
Internet users can create their own accounts and channels with profiles and heaps of favorite videos. Once signed up, YouTube members can link to friends just like on Facebook and MySpace. And they can subscribe to the channels of others, including retailers, so when others post new videos they are alerted to the new content.
Not only does YouTube offer a high-visibility venue for brands to connect visually with consumers, it’s also a way to boost brand awareness via natural search, where videos are now routinely popping up in what is called blended search—search results with site links, images, videos, news links and more.
Videos posted on YouTube can get great exposure in natural search. It’s harder to find a video posted on a brand page on Facebook or MySpace than a video that’s been posted and properly tagged with keywords on YouTube.