In 2013, companies promoting via social media have a variety of choices: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the like. Any other site is a sad relic of the past, used only by old people who are just getting into this Internet thing and don’t know any better.

Except that’s not entirely true. A great many social media sites from the past are still around, still kicking, and still have a large enough user base to garner you great self-promotional results. You just have to target the right places.

Do not actually do this. Arrows hurt.

1. MySpace

You might think of MySpace as nothing but a punchline to a joke about what used to be popular on the Internet. But if you actually check the site out, you won’t see tumbleweeds and old, clipart-laden profiles that haven’t been touched since 2008. No, you’ll see a completely updated, slick, and hip realm, devoted mainly to the sharing and promotion of music (which makes sense, since Justin Timberlake owns the thing now.)

So how could this help your business, if your business is not music? Simple: everyone loves music, and it’s a great way for two seemingly unrelated people to quickly connect. Keep your company’s profile up-to-date with the freshest music around, reach out to fans of your hot new playlist, and use that as the icebreaker. Letting your friends know about your company and what it has to offer them, is the logical next step.

2. Xanga

Up until a few weeks ago, we would not be talking about Xanga at all. It was completely dead and buried, and needed a boatload of money just to survive. Well, it got its money, and has been re-branded as Xanga 2.0. The new Xanga is basically another Tumblr, albeit one that operates via WordPress. A savvy WordPress user could create an incredible Xanga site for their business or product, provided they’re willing to invest a bit of money into doing so (Xanga is subscriber-only, and will run you $48 a year).

That being said,the old adage of spending money to make money rings true. If you decide to part with a little bit of cash in order to attract Xanga users (many of whom have used Xanga for years, proving their loyalty to something they love,) the end result should be nothing but beneficial.

3. Digg

Back in the day, a high score on Digg was proof positive you were doing well on the Internet. Stories and articles that earned high amounts of “diggs” from fans made it to the front page, and that kind of exposure could send a business sky-high, in terms of exposure.

Last August, Digg relaunched as more of a news aggregator site, with a complex formula for determining front-page items, one that relies very little on Diggs. You can sign up your site and submit articles, but the likelihood of it getting attention depends more on how visible you are elsewhere. So while a high Digg profile is still a great goal to strive for, it’s far more likely to happen if you’re already Internet famous.

4. Friendster

Beating people at virtual poker = massive LIKES

If MySpace is for Internet grandparents, then Friendster is your great-great-great-great grandparent, who helped settle this great land of ours so many centuries ago. Friendster was basically the original social networking site, left for dead at some point in the mid-2000’s. And unbelievably, not only is it still around, it’s actually still quite popular, with over 115 million users.

Of course, there are caveats. For one thing, roughly 90% of the users are located in Asia, so if your goal is to promote your local business, and your locale isn’t Malaysia, then you’re in trouble. In addition, at some point Friendster rebooted as an online gaming site, one which just happens to have user profiles like in the past.

So, like with MySpace, you can use this profile to play games, compete against potential clients while simultaneously making them warm up to you, and using the site’s picture section to provide visuals of your company. In short, it’s what you might do over at Facebook, only with far more interesting games to play.

Though they may be influenced by today’s social media, the sites of the past have their own quirks and charms to offer. Plus, they have a built-in fanbase who never stopped loving them, even after all their friends sought greener (and hipper) pastures. These are the loyal customers your business wants, even if finding them means becoming an active member of a site that you forgot existed until just now.

Jason Iannone blogs about social media, trivia, music, and anything else that enters his fragile little mind.

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