Dedicated Platforms Vs. Free Social SitesThe other day, a friend of mine had problems with one of his MySpace photos being taken down, despite the fact that it was not sexual, graphically violent, or otherwise offensive. Furthermore, he could not get an answer from MySpace as to why the pix was nixed.

This kind of thing wasn\’t merely annoying; as a professional musician, my friend relies on MySpace for the vast bulk of his marketing. In a similar vein, people in other industries rely on LinkedIn, Facebook, or other niche sites for their marketing. Still, marketers need to have a dedicated platform – rather than a free-to-use social site – as the basis for their digital campaigns. That\’s because with a dedicated platform, marketers can control all their information in a way they can\’t with free sites.

I\’ve already touched on this topic before:

  • When alleged cyber-bullying mom Lori Drew and spammer Sanford Wallace made federal court headlines in the same week last month, I noted that MySpace was going to crack down on whatever usage it deemed unacceptable – fairly or unfairly. That\’s because social networks are ultimately controlled by the purveyors – who access all the information related to one\’s page as well as decide what can stay or go.
  • In April I pointed out the trend of musicians creating their own social networks – likely because of the kinds of limitations implemented by free sites. Chris \”Broadway\” Romero, director for new media at G-Unit Records, which handles 50 Cent\’s network, made an important point: \”The thing that separates Thisis50 from MySpace is we control the e-mail database.\”
  • Back in February, ComScore released a report indicating that social network users didn\’t appreciate the proliferation of ads on these sites, especially when they were just trying to talk to their friends or get information they really wanted.

All these examples aren\’t meant to criticize social networks as a marketing medium. Instead, they\’re meant to point out their limitations: Less control for users. They can\’t manipulate the database, fully control information that is or is not shared, or choose the most receptive consumers to whom they send messages.

Dedicated messaging platforms, on the other hand, avoid these restrictions. They give marketers control over their campaigns while making sure everyone who is reached via a campaign really wanted to be.

Sure, the best platforms do make help marketers conform to certain restrictions, like national laws that regulate messaging. But heck, that\’s better than arbitrarily removing content, like my friend\’s photo, for no reason.

Eydie Cubarrubia
Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
“I’d rather you text me”