(Guest post from Bianchi PR Account Supervisor Leslie Dagg)
We know, we know. Your opinion of Lady Gaga might be one of love, hate or ambivalence. But no matter what … we all can learn a thing or two about maximizing social media potential from her.
No, seriously. And you don’t have to set a piano on fire or wear an outfit made out of raw meat to do it.
If any one person demonstrates the power of social media and viral marketing, it’s Gaga. Few marketers out there can compare when it comes to leveraging social media to sell product and engage.
She has built her career up from the bottom, performing in small clubs and gradually building a fan base – a community – and then harnessing the power of social media to catapult herself. As Madonna did with the music video and MTV in the 80s, Gaga does with YouTube, Twitter and Facebook today. She oversees all aspects of her social media presence, controlling her own image and engaging in direct communication with her audience.
The numbers don’t lie. Currently, Lady Gaga has:
- More than 6 million followers on Twitter;
- More than 17 million fans on Facebook;
- Towering sales on iTunes; and
- Has set records on YouTube for having her content viewed over a billion times.
Not to mention, she has scored a number of award nominations (Grammys, MTV Music Video Awards, etc.) for her efforts and has even put together her own creative team that she manages –called the Haus of Gaga – to help create ideas and content.
And she centers it all around her official website, which serves as the portal for all things Gaga. It is a constantly updated site, providing event updates, news, video, and more.
All of these social media outreach channels allow her to personally communicate with her customers and has made her easy to find, which in turn makes her product – CD, videos, DVDs and other merchandise – easy to find.
By providing constant, new, helpful, interesting content and access, Gaga is always serving her customers. Her brand is easily accessible, allowing fans from around the globe to experience it at any time with ease. Gaga’s customers are not left wanting. They are never out of the loop or behind on related news. She’s made it easy for them and she has been rewarded in return.
Gaga’s grasp of all things digital have landed her on the cover of TIME magazine and her social media business acumen has been discussed in articles everywhere from The Wall Street Journal to Industry Week to AdAge. As writer Dirk Smillie said in his 2009 Forbes article about Gaga and business, “Lady Gaga isn’t the music industry’s new Madonna. She’s its new business model.”
Due to Gaga’s penchant for dressing outrageously and crafting over the top theatrical performances, “authentic” might not be a word you associate with her. But she has authenticity in spades when it comes to the time and effort she dedicates to branding herself and communicating directly with her fan base.
Take away the shock value, the glitter, the flashing lights and you see what social media is supposed to provide and achieve for everyone – including your company: communication, access, information-sharing, transparency and convenience.
The top three things we can take away from the social media ‘Haus’ that Gaga built:
- Make yourself easy to find online — for your potential customers, existing customers and other audiences. Have a presence. Be accessible.
- Keep it fresh. If you have a blog, news room, YouTube channel or Twitter account, use them! Nobody is going to return for a repeat visit if you’re not offering them anything new.
- Be engaging, interesting and direct. Join conversations in related online communities, talk with people, respond to feedback and leave feedback of your own.