MySpace is the social networking site to all things pop culture. Launched originally as a social network for bands and musicians, there are now over 8,000,000 Music profiles on MySpace. I use MySpace to check out and find new music, but I mostly use it to promote nonprofit organizations and their causes to the MySpace community. The Nonprofit Organizations MySpace is a great community of mostly friendly people that has grown to over 40,000 friends over the last three years, but had any of the Top Artists on MySpace put the Nonprofit Organizations MySpace in their Top Friends, I have no doubt that the NPO MySpace would be well over 1,000,000 strong. But they didn’t… not once.
It’s a pet peeve of mine. If I had to guess there are well over 25,000 nonprofits on MySpace, but you’ll find less than 10 of them in the Top Friends of Top Artists on MySpace. Beyonce? No. Jack Johnson? No. Katy Perry? No. John Legend? Sadly, again. No. Most of these musicians have over a million friends on MySpace. Something as simple as putting a nonprofit organization – any nonprofit organization – in their Top Friends would transform that nonprofit’s brand on MySpace. I have spent hours and hours emailing hundreds of celebrities and rock stars on MySpace asking them to put their favorite nonprofit in their Top Friends. I only got one response ever… from Annie Lennox. She is the one exception in all of MySpace and has only nonprofits in her Top Friends. Thank you very much, Annie. Quite simply, you rock.
It’s not that these musicians don’t care. Most of them do quite a bit if charity work. It’s more that there is just a huge disconnect between the entertainment industry and the nonprofit sector on MySpace. The example I always use to demonstrate how significant this disconnect actually is: Bono doesn’t even have The One Campaign in his own Top Friends… his own nonprofit! What a missed opportunity. It takes less than 10 seconds. It’s almost tragic when you consider how much time nonprofits are investing in just getting 1,000 friends on MySpace (or Facebook and Twitter). I wonder sometimes is it just a disconnect or are they afraid of losing fans/sales because they put the Humane Society, Amnesty International, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in their Top friends? Hmm… does making any kind of statement at all hurt record/CD sales?
It’s not just MySpace either. Celebrities and rock stars have hundreds of thousands of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, but the super vast majority don’t use that power to promote nonprofits or causes one little bit. Despite the tens of thousands on nonprofit pages on Facebook, you’d have to search for hours for a famous celebrity or musician that “favorites” a nonprofit page on their page (I have never actually found one)…. much less posts them as a link in Status Update. Can you imagine the power of the Black Eyes Peas posting the Facebook page for Save the Children as a status update to their 400,000 fans?
The same is true of celebrities and rock stars on Twitter. I have browsed around quite a few celebrity Twitter profiles, and the honest truth is most of their Tweets are vain, lack in substance, and just pretty much a complete waste of Twitter. Even Ashton Kutcher who has the most followers of any profile on Twitter – over 3,000,000 – and who rose to fame on Twitter by promoting Malaria No More’s Twitter profile, doesn’t even follow @malarianomore anymore – or any nonprofit on Twitter! Guess he can’t be bothered… too busy being famous on Twitter.
Yes… celebrities and rock stars need to make a living just like the rest of us and use social media sites to sell their CDs and movies to make their millions. But personally, I think asking for 10 seconds of their time for a status update or tweet and one tiny top friend spot for their favorite nonprofit is very little to ask in return for seeing their movies and buying their music. In fact, it would most likely help their brand on social media sites. So nonprofits, if you have any connections with celebrtities and rock stars, make sure you send them a friend request! Then harass them endlessly until they give you 10 seconds of their social media fame.