MySpace is a great marketing tool. When I first started using it and adding people, I made a few sales right away! It might not be for everyone, but for a lot of you it would be a great way to reach people your normally don't reach!
Here is some advice on how to use MySpace as as effective marketing tool:
How To Get Started
1. Have a nice looking profile
Make sure your profile looks nice and reflects your store. Work with the colours you use in your banner. If you don't know how to edit the layout of your profile, use a layout generator like MyGen.
2. Don't clutter your page
Avoid things like slide shows, flash, video's and music. They might look nice when they loaded, but most of the time they just slow your page down. You don't want people to leave before your page fully loaded, do you?
3. Make sure the URL to your shop is easy to find
This is important! It's annoying to have to search for a shop URL, and it might make people leave before they even got to your actual shop!
4. Add pictures of your products
Make sure you have pictures of a lot of your products on your site. A few on your profile, so people can see them right away, and the rest in the photo albums. Keep adding new ones too!
How To Connect
5. Make it easy for people to add you
Turn off the "Captcha" (the random anti-spam letters you have to type sometimes) so it's easy for people to add you.
Also make sure your profile is public, and definitely don't use the setting where people have to know your last name to add you!
6. Find your target group
For some shops it's easy to find their target group. My shop has lots of rockabilly, kawaii and Blythe, so I could just look for groups on these subjects, and Rockabilly bands. Or if you sell items mainly for teens, find a popular band. Sometimes it's not that easy to find your target group, but there are tons of groups on MySpace, so there must be one that covers your shop's products! If you really can't find any fitting group, you can always add Etsy folk! There are posts about MySpace on the forums frequently, and there are Etsy groups on MySpace too!
7. Start adding people
This is the most important part! Add people! Add lots and lots of people. I was a little hesistant about this at first, because I personally hate it when bands try to add me! But I tried anyway. Within a week I had 400 friends! If people don't want to be added, they will just not accept your friends request, so clearly people aren't as annoyed as I thought they'd be!
Make sure you add the people in your target group though! Go to the band or group you found earlier, and add their friends! And the friends of the people who you just added. And their friends. Be selective there too though: Do you sell jewelry for women? Don't add men! Do you sell baby items? Don't ad 15 year old girls! (We don't want to encourage teen pregnancy ;))
You will come across "captcha's" when adding people. Those are not capital sensitive. However, they "expire" when they have been open for a while, so you might want to refresh them by clicking on the arrows next to them to avoid having to type the letters over and over!
8. Post "Thanks for the add" comments
These are important too. Everyone who visits your new friend's profile will see your message! So make a nice image (preferably with some of your items) and post that as a comment. Turning it into a link is even better! You can also use your Etsy mini of course.
Don't make the image too large though, you don't want to stretch your new friend's page!
How To Stay Connected
9. Use your blog
Use your blog every now and then. I have to admit, I didn't do this myself up til now, but I found out people are subscribing to my (empty!) blog, so why not use it and get the word out to those people?
10. Send out bulletins!
This is an important one! Send out bulletins with new items, sales, etc. About once a week is great. Don't do it too often, people will think you are spamming them
11. Change your status regularly
You can change your status in your "home" area. Those people who changed it last are on top of the list in their friends' profiles. So changing it every now and then gives you exposure!
12. Add new pictures
Don't forget to add pictures of your new products when you have any!
Edit on April 6th, 2007:
MySpace now has a new tool:
When you are viewing someones friends list, hover over the pictures and a box will pup up that will give you some basic info (name, sex, location) about the person, and under that you will see 2 little boxes: 1 to message the person, and 1 to add the seller to your friends! You can see what it looks like on the picture on the right. When you click the add button, you will be taken straight to the page where you have to confirm the add.
If you don't have the 'add' icon, but a 'leave a comment' one instead, it means this person is already your friend.
This makes adding people SO much easier. In just a few hours I made a couple of hundred (!!!!) new friends! And I have seen great sales results too!
I hope this will be useful for some of you! And don't forget to add me!