MySpace’s Decline into Facebook’s Uprising

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Move over Tom! Oh, hi, Mark!

Long before you were on Facebook, there was a site that many of us had a space on that was just for us. It was appropriately named MySpace, and everyone quickly jumped on board to have one. In the spring of 2008, MySpace was the top social media site in the world. In April of that same year, Facebook grabbed the lead and never looked back. Over the next three years, Myspace would lose over forty million unique visitors per month, lose both of its co-founders, and lay off most of their staff.

How did this happen so fast?

First things first, it’s important to know why and how MySpace started. In 2003, MySpace was created by people in the entertainment industry, not by technology experts and therefore could not innovate at the pace that they needed to compete.  However, MySpace was greatly influential in the music industry. In late 2003, Fin Leavell encoded his music into a myspace profile, becoming the first MySpace musician. Shortly after MySpace was sold to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and 20th Century Fox, they launched a record label: MySpace Records. The record label was made to discover unknown talent on MySpace Music. Some well-known singers such as Lily Allen, Owl City, Hollywood Undead, Sean Kingston, and Arctic Monkeys rose to fame through myspace.

Although Rupert’s idea of incorporating a record label with MySpace was a smart business move, Rupert had an old school way of thought and is said to be a major contributor to the fall of MySpace. Critics claim that MySpace failed to execute the product development by not copying Facebook in design quickly after Facebook launched.

Facebook let third-party developers create apps on the site in 2007 while MySpace held tight to the notion that it would be able to create its own products. This strategy slowed down the process tremendously for MySpace to stay on top of the ever changing market. The former head of MySpace, Mike Jones, has stated that MySpace put up barriers to user enjoyment by forcing members to use anonymous pseudonyms in the place of their real identities, where Facebook encouraged members to use their real names.

Once Facebook took off, MySpace decided to give up on its social media leadership dreams and narrowed its focus to being a social entertainment destination. However, this has not been proven as a successful venture either. Many other websites have followed MySpace’s lead by creating music streaming sites such as Bandcamp which allows musicians to get paid for their music by allowing consumers to buy tracks or albums online.

When it comes to social media and website development, there are six lessons that we can learn from MySpace’s failure.

  • Authenticity is important 
    • The success of Facebook and the corresponding demise of MySpace is partially due to real names adding an aura of legitimacy while removing a layer of anonymous creepiness.

     

  • Standardization is better than free-range 
    • Facebook allows minimal customization regarding overall layout, look and feel. This feature has proven to be successful.

     

  • Mobile is critical
    • MySpace was slow to adopt mobile technology, and the lack of MySpace in your pocket is partly responsible for their decline.

     

  • Think beyond your website 
    • There has never been any significant effort to distribute MySpace broadly across the web by implementing it into other sites. Facebook has made it so that a user can use their Facebook login for a multitude of apps, making registering for new accounts incredibly simple and making Facebook almost a necessity.

     

  • Be business-friendly
    • MySpace has always been user-focused rather than business-focused and has rarely created features specifically for business.

     

  • Don’t sell too early
    •  MySpace made the biggest mistake by selling prematurely in 2006.

Facebook seems to have real staying power for the time being because of their highly adaptive nature and versatility and friendliness in the ever growing internet world. Here at Velocity, we pride ourselves in staying ahead of social media trends and implementing ingredients for success in our marketing strategies. We understand the importance of not only monitoring where social media platforms succeed but also where they fail. If you are in need of social media experts to take your brand to the next level, you know where to go!

Inc. 5000 Recognizes Velocity Agency As One of Fastest Growing Companies in America

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Velocity Agency is honored to be recognized on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies in America and named as one of the top 15 companies in Louisiana.

Congratulations to the team at Velocity! We are tremendously proud of this achievement!

Velocity Agency Recognized as Best Digital Agency in Louisiana

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We are incredibly honored to announce that Velocity Agency was recognized as the Best Digital Agency in Louisiana! It was our dedication, teamwork, and revolutionary approach to helping clients achieve their goals that helped us achieve this honor.

 

Take a look at TMT News’ press release for more information.

 

What’s in the Box?

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Online shopping started in 1994 and spread like wildfire in 2017. As a result, nearly 79% of Americans shop exclusively online. People have ditched waiting in long lines, driving through traffic, and searching for the best bargain by simply scrolling through the World Wide Web. It doesn’t get much simpler than being able to type in anything that you are looking for and setting filters to narrow it down to your preferred product. Business owners discovered they needed to be innovative and develop a new way to sell their goods online. Thus came the birth of an entirely unique time in online shopping: The Box Pop.

Subscription boxes are everywhere. Chances are if you are on the internet, there’s at least one subscription box beckoning your wallet. Birchbox put the subscription box retail trend in motion with its launch in 2010, with a specialty in beauty, grooming and lifestyle products. Birchbox subscribers pay $10-$20 to receive goodies like skin rejuvenators, fragrances, and makeup. This company has 800,000 active global subscribers which equal a total of $96 million in annual sales.

Just like with any successful business model, the imitators quickly followed suit. There are subscription boxes for everything from razors, tactical gear, video games, clothing, and of course: food.  In 2012, Blue Apron was founded and is now known as the gold standard for food delivery services. Each Blue Apron box contains enough food for you and your family (2-4 people) and offers a very reasonable price range ($59.94 – $69.92).

Subscription boxes have risen to fame because of three different reasons: convenience, personalization, and excitement. Subscription boxes are a perfect example of experiential marketing, a strategy that directly engages consumers and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand or a brand experience. Therefore, creating a consumer-producer relationship with the brand.

Convenience

There’s nothing more convenient than coming home from a long day’s work to see a box on your doorstep full of goodies; meal kits offer a hassle-free way to prepare dinner after work. Some consumers don’t like to get off of work and then face the stress of determining a recipe, shopping for ingredients, and preparing a meal. With meal subscription boxes, all of that is taken care of for you. There are even specialized subscription meal boxes made for those with particularly demanding schedules such as college students.

Personalization

The difference between the average consumer now compared to ten years ago is the value placed on personalization. After all, we live in a time where there’s a space for each of us on the internet that we can personalize and make our own through social media. Upon subscribing to a box, subscribers are asked a series of questions. Some have a list of all of their products with check boxes for the customer to click, while others have text boxes where customers explain their product preferences in detail. Consumers have the chance to put a little of themselves in their ordering and feel special in the process.

Excitement

You’ve already skipped the stress of real-life shopping, and you have defined yourself by making your product preferences known. Now it’s time for the fun part: the excitement of the box on your doorstep. Because the business asks what makes you tick, you know that the box is going to contain products you will love. But, it’s the feeling of it being a gift and a surprise that really has jump-started this marketing trend. This type of excitement isn’t just trending with subscription boxes either. Unboxing videos routinely take a few of the top 10 spots on most-viewed YouTube watch lists, among the music videos from international superstars and the latest viral prank.

Even though the marketing model for subscription boxes seems to have everything that we as consumers want, some recent news has made many of these business owners wary. The subscription box business is not immune to the same dangers of other, more traditional businesses. Many of these companies have been reporting a dramatic slump in sales and must think of ways to increase sales. The subscription box market is severely saturated, with more than 2,000 different types of boxes to offer and steadily growing. Also, big companies such as Starbucks, Sephora, Macy’s, and Adidas are joining in the craze which is making the smaller companies lose steam rapidly.

What do you think the next step will be for these business owners to stay on top?

Juliana Joins Us!

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Here at Velocity Agency, we’re always moving and growing, but we always find time to welcome our newest members. Now we welcome our newest web designer Juliana Katz!

Juliana comes to us from Rio (as in Brazil, yes that Brazil) with a BA degree in Communications with an emphasis in Advertising and Marketing. Even before coming to the United States, she quickly developed plenty of skills in user experience, user interactions, and coding and developing websites. Her love for web design and interacting with customers on social media platforms shine through her work.  Juliana soon earned the title of Art Director with her digital design expertise proven by her skills in designing ads and brand collateral.  Even in an entirely different country, she was clearly perfect for us.

Before working at Velocity Agency, she worked as a digital designer at Interação Inteligente, an in-house agency for a corporate bank in Brazil, and C Comunicação, an advertising agency focused on designing and developing marketing projects for restaurants. After learning all that she could about design and digital marketing, she eventually came to the United States to refine her English at the University of New Orleans. She figured that UNO and New Orleans would be the best places to learn the language properly, and I can’t say that I disagree!

As a web designer with Velocity Agency, Juliana is building intuitive and visually appealing websites for a diverse client portfolio. Her skill with custom CSS code and her knowledge of backend systems further bolsters the strength our expert web design team!

In her downtime, Juliana enjoys plenty of outdoor activities like going to the beach. Although that’s probably the one thing the city New Orleans doesn’t offer, she’s certainly glad to be here. And we are even more pleased to have her work with us at Velocity.

Are Millennials Killing Business?

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If you’ve crossed any business or marketing site you’ve probably heard the news about how millennials are business killers, ruining once proud businesses with their own culture. Things like the golf industry, the wine industry, and even McDonald’s have seen a slight decrease in value in recent reports, leading most market experts to blame these events on the rise in Millennials coming of age. From some headlines (“Are Millennials Killing Credit?”), readers would not be remiss in considering this the end of days. Are 20-30-somethings really single-handedly ruining the country’s economy though? The answer to that is of course not.   

First, the idea of any generation “killing” the industry or culture of another is hardly a new development. Millennials alone have been accused of ruining movies, cruises, department stores, and even vacations to the point where the complaint hardly has any merit. As new technology develops and the culture changes, some systems will undoubtedly change regardless of any time period or group of people. Look no further than the song title “Video Killed The Radio Star” released in 1978.

Likewise, millennials do not destroy industries out of pure spite or disinterest in the public market. The demographic, like plenty of groups before them, simply adapt to the circumstances given to them and choose to spend their money elsewhere. According to reports from both Forbes and Time Magazine, although this younger generation spends less money on wine or vacations, they are still well-represented in items such as technology and organic foods. They also appear highly adept at new technical developments such as Uber or same-day delivery systems compared to other generations. The millennial generation is still a force in the market following the latest trends and causing a boom for some companies. Those businesses that do not keep up with the times are usually the ones millennials leave behind.

Furthermore, the millennial spending habits seem to reflect the spending habits of their parents or the generation before them. Following the recession earlier in the century, many baby boomers were negatively impacted as thrifty spending choices did not serve long-term goals. Millennials ranging from young teens to college-starters often witnessed this effect first-hand from their parents, leading them to change destructive market habits. Also, with seven out of ten millennials saddled with student loan debt, the generation is less apt to make long-term, expensive purchases such as a house or a car compared to their parents. From that impact, many previous staples of life such as the 9-to-5 job or marriage are also altered or postponed as Millennials struggle to earn a debt-free life. While the millennial generation is spearheading this change in the economy and culture, the obvious source is their parents.  

However, just because some businesses have seen a slight regression doesn’t mean the Millennials are a generation of ” business killers ” in the darkest sense. Their gradual rise and general impact on the economy simply prove the need for businesses to adapt to the times and that all companies should practice keeping up with their customers. As the economy improves, more people throughout all generations will be more inclined to spend their money on the things they choose. These are still factors beyond one group’s control and will likely continue to affect people for years to come as the generations and times continue to change. Although there will probably be plenty of factors to influence the market by then, the headlines will be full of just as much doom and gloom. Just remember that these same headlines were written about hippies in the 60’s and that turned out quite alright!

No matter what generation leads the market, one of the best ways to keep a business afloat is up-to-date promotion and a significant social media presence. Contact Velocity Agency to keep your company prepared against any potential ” business killers ” and get ahead of the market trends!

Never Fear! Lindsay is Here!

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We just never seem to stop growing here at Velocity Agency. Today, you get to meet Lindsay Kornick, our latest copywriter!

Lindsay was born in Chalmette, Louisiana, making her a proud member of the “Chalmation Nation” as her parents call it. She graduated from Mount Carmel Academy in 2012 and later earned a degree in English and Digital Media Studies at Tulane University. Since then, she has worked as a freelance writer covering subjects ranging from TV reviews to national events to what Kim and Kanye have been up to on the weekend. She’s just that experienced!

Nowadays, Lindsay spends her time honing the craft that combines her two great loves: learning about new subjects and writing about them. In her downtime, you can usually find her watching television, spending time with her local family, and, of course, eating. Since Lindsay has lived around the New Orleans area her entire life, she has nurtured a love of beignets, jambalaya, and boiled crawfish as well as her dad’s famous Doberge cakes. Oh, and did we mention she’s a twin? Yep, her sister Lauren works nearby as a data analyst for Causeway Solutions in Metairie. There is so much of them to go around!

We’re certainly looking forward to getting to know her here at Velocity Agency.

Chasing the Dream

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I guess the phrase should really be another day, another new employee to celebrate at Velocity Agency! Here we say hello to Chase Treadway who works as our newest web developer.

Chase hails from Mandeville, Louisiana but has lived all over the place from his time spent as a military brat. Originally he earned a bachelors degree from the University of Mississippi with a focus on Hospitality Management. However closely following his college commencement Chase suffered a Spinal Cord Injury and thus adapted his skillset to better suit a computer based profession. Today, he still lives in nearby Mandeville which just goes to show how much our little state can stick out in the world. Or maybe he’s just a fan of the food!

Outside of work, he says he has no spare time, something I’m sure everyone at the office can all relate to around here, but, unlike everyone at the office, Chase also mentors individuals with newly acquired disabilities. He has found himself collaborating on some pretty cool projects, from 3D printing prosthetic hands to public speaking at local schools promoting “abilities etiquette.” Clearly, this is a guy who welcomes a challenge.

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we’re glad to have you aboard.

Heating Up Your Summer Marketing

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Summer is usually one of the perfect times for a vacation. The weather is beautiful, kids are off from school, and people tend to take things slower than usual. As everyone takes a break from the rest of the year, however, marketing brands and entrepreneurs may want to use this time to get ahead of the curve. Though the season can be a slower one for some companies, summer promises a time for new opportunities in promotion, something that can affect business for the rest of the year.

One way to do this is to understand the certain trends that remain popular every summer. For instance, the summer months have notably higher numbers of beer and hot dog consumption. The Fourth of July also earned approximately $755 million for the fireworks industry, one of their busiest days of the year. Moreover, studies at WalletHub have found that an average $941 is spent on every person during a summer vacation. Summertime is not a relaxed time for the wallets, but how do brands reach beyond those products?

The answer to that question is basic content management. This means not only tooling the products to fit with the season but tooling the message to fit as well. In the new age of social media, it’s almost a requirement to be on top of reaching out to the public, and online settings can provide the best way to form a content strategy. The best way to understand this method is looking towards online trends and the content that Americans share across social media. Those sharing pictures of their families at the beach could be good targets for ads regarding summer wear or even vehicles for travel. By keeping track of this online activity, companies can better understand the consumers they want to target, thereby learning what is best to market to them. Simply extending ads to popular social sites like Pinterest or Snapchat can be a good start.

Most importantly, the summer season allows companies to plan for the rest of the year. Upon reaching out to people and their online preferences, businesses can update their content strategy with empirical data revealing new favorites or new sales numbers. If these months are inevitably slow, the summer can be the perfect time to reach out to new clients and revitalize the home base. Even if some consider the summer to be a vacation break, there is no time like the present to manage the industry better.

Whether the summer months means extra work or vacation time for people, the season is always the best place for opportunity. Sometimes, that’s all an ad campaign needs to work.

A Day At Dave & Buster’s

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What could be more fun than a job at Velocity Agency? After this past weekend, I doubt you could answer anything else. On June 16th, the people behind Velocity Agency took a well-deserved break at the city’s latest place for fun and games: Dave & Buster’s.

The day started at ten in the morning right when the place opened to get the most out of the little retreat from the office. Employees were treated to a private party room and a good lunch complete with tacos and burritos before spending a day in the arcade. Games at Dave & Buster’s include everything from the classic Pac-Man and skeeball to Mario Kart and Pump It Up. And that’s not even mentioning the available bar right next to the party room. Fortunately, Velocity took care of the drinks!

Of course, having the whole agency together also made them qualified for the Dave & Buster’s Team Building Challenge. This challenge placed four teams of six employees against one another on four different arcade games for prizes at the end of the day. After a few rounds of Mario Kart and shooting hoops, you would be surprised at who would become a valuable player. Once the challenge was complete, and prizes were doled out, employees were free to spend the rest of the day using their provided Power Cards on any of the available games. With unlimited free credits on the card, that led to quite a few good hours at the arcade. And that gave us quite a few good photos for our social media page!

Whether you were in your 20s, 30s, 50s, or 60s, the day at Dave & Buster’s was considered a success all around the office. Let this be said about the company; they know how to give its employees a good time.