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How to Become a Social Media Monster Like Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga recently bumped Oprah out of her number 1 spot on Forbes Magazine’s Celebrity 100 list. How’d she do it? She dominated social media outlets.

Lady Gaga is the first person to do a lot of weird things: like wear a dress made out of meat, or show up at an award show inside an egg, or sport horns on her face and shoulders. But she has also been the first person to top 10 million fans on Facebook and Twitter. She currently has over 30 million fans on Facebook and over 10 million followers on Twitter!

Gaga ranks among the top three most popular Facebook pages, and holds the number 1 spot for the most followers on Twitter. This chart shows Gaga’s social network popularity compared with other popular pages and compared with President Barack Obama, leader of the free world. (Let’s talk about that briefly. Even JUSTIN BIEBER has more fans than the president of the United States. Does anyone else see a problem with this?)

The Most Popular Social Networking Pages (measured in millions)

Most Popular Social Networking Pages

How does Lady Gaga maintain her spot at the top of the charts? Unlike many record labels and artists, Lady Gaga has embraced the digital revolution. Through social media sites, Gaga can interact directly with her fans. She is able to re-tweet pictures and posts by her fans to show her appreciation, and she is able to let her fans and followers get an inside look at what’s going on in her head (though I’m not entirely sure why anyone would want to go there, it seems like quite a scary place to me). Here is a look at how Lady Gaga uses specific social networking sites to her advantage.

Twitter: Lady Gaga updates her Twitter regularly and frequently. Her Twitter is known for her constant interaction with and appreciation for her “Little Monsters,” crude language, and exciting updates about album, single, and video releases. Her Twitter provides another outlet for her to entertain and amuse her fans. If you’re not following Lady Gaga on Twitter, here’s a look at her page up until the big release of her latest album, Born This Way.

Gaga uses Twitter to entertain and amuse her fans.

The key to Twitter is frequent, unique, and entertaining posts. Use Twitter to interact with individual customers and other people in your industry. Posting relevant links and following trending topics are other ways to boost your company’s popularity on Twitter. And if all else fails, be completely bizarre and overdramatic. (Okay, maybe that only works if you’re Lady Gaga.)

Facebook: If the only pages more popular than Gaga’s are the official Facebook fan page and Eminem, she must be doing something right. Lady Gaga uses her Facebook page to share exclusive photos and videos, announce releases, interact with fans, and give away prizes. If you want people to “like” your company on Facebook, give them a reason to. If customers can gain inside knowledge about your company or earn free prizes by becoming a fan online, they will be more likely to click that “like” button!

Chrome Cows are one exclusive in Zynga's Gagaville.

Chrome Cows are one exclusive in Zynga's Gagaville.

What’s the next step in Lady Gaga’s total Facebook domination? She has joined with Zynga, the creators of “Farmville,” to create “Gagaville.” Now fans can purchase Chrome Cows, Spiky Trees, and Motorcycle Sheep for their farms. Plus, Gaga releases exclusive Gagaville offers on her Facebook page. This is just another way that Gaga is engaging with her customers (and giving away free stuff!)

YouTube: Almost every one of Lady Gaga’s music videos since “Bad Romance” went viral. She has become known for creating the most bizarre music videos in the industry, so each new video release spreads like wildfire across the web. Lady Gaga knows what her fans are looking for, and has started tailoring her videos specifically for YouTube. They have over the top, extensive storylines that wouldn’t normally work for a music video made for TV. Her video for “Born This Way” is over 7 minutes long, even though the actual song is less than 5 minutes – and it has over 58 million views. People are attracted to the whole story and atmosphere that Gaga creates to supplement her songs.

Plus, Gaga uses her other social media outlets to promote upcoming releases. For videos like “Telephone,” “Born This Way,” and “Judas,” fans anxiously waited in front of their computers until the videos were released on YouTube. By revealing on Twitter and Facebook the exact date and time that the video will be released, Gaga is able to get millions of views in a matter of hours. Cross-promoting your social networking sites is crucial to spreading your brand across the web.

If there is one thing that Lady Gaga is good at, it’s getting her fans excited about what she has to offer. You can do the same thing for your brand by interacting directly with customers via social media, offering exclusive deals and updates to your fans and followers, and tailoring your products and sales specifically to your customers’ needs.

The most important thing that you can learn from Lady Gaga? Think outside of the box – way outside of it. In fact, forget the box all together and think nowhere even CLOSE to it.

What do you think? Is there anything else that we can learn from Lady Gaga? Do you follow Lady Gaga on any of your favorite social media sites? And most importantly, what do you think of her new album?



Jenna Markowski

Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Joseph Giorgi

    When I first heard about Lady Gaga being at the top of Forbes’ Top 100 Celebrities list, I was like, “Lady Gaga? Really?!” But then I thought about it and realized that it does make a lot of sense, and this post definitely explains why. Gaga does seem to know a thing or two about successfully promoting her image. We’ve got to give her credit for that.

    Here’s my favorite tip from your blog: “Cross-promoting your social networking sites is crucial to spreading your brand across the web.”

    Absolutely! No matter what industry you’re a part of or what type of brand image you’re trying to promote, your best bet isn’t simply to make use of the platforms available to you, but to use those platforms in conjunction with one another, creating a richer brand experience for both loyal and potential customers.

    Great post, Jenna! :)

    • Jenna Markowski

      Yeah, even though I think Lady Gaga is a total freak, I have to give her props for her total domination of social networking. Anyone looking to improve their popularity on the web can learn from what she has accomplished.

      I agree! Especially because not everyone has an account on all of the many different social media platforms, it is important to be available to your customers on whichever platform they prefer. Cross-promoting multiple social media sites is the best way to build a following online.

      Thanks, Joe! :)

  2. Jana Quinn

    Awesome first post, Jenna. Way to come roaring in!!

    I like how you highlighted Lady Gaga’s personality in her social media being a driving force for her success. Many Twitter/Facebook accounts are managed by PR people or agents and serve in more of a press release capacity.

    Lady Gaga keeps the SOCIAL in social media.

    Excellent debut post. :)

    P.S. Did I miss the implosion of reality when Facebook made its own fan page… on Facebook?

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Jana! :)

      I agree! I’m not a huge fan of Twitter myself, but I will follow celebrities that constantly post entertaining things. For a lot of celebrities like Lady Gaga, Twitter is almost used as an extension of their performance/persona — which is exactly what it should be!

      And seriously — you’d think having the most users out of practically everything on the internet would be a good indicator of how many people “like” Facebook, but apparently that wasn’t enough for Zuckerberg.

  3. cyberneticSAM

    Well, she deserves every bit of her fame and following. She honestly came from nothing, worked her butt off, and promotes the most amazing fan appreciation. She stands for what is right and is the perfect example of what people with money and fame should be. And to all you skeptics who question her odd antics: well, look where it got her! How many pop stars can you say that about?! Not many. The amount of charity this lady does is amazing. I wish more people would learn more about her before they judge. I was once a skeptic, then some people dropped some knowledge on me. Now I’ll gladly admit to being a little monster. :)

    • Jenna Markowski

      I agree! Even though I’m not a little monster, or even that big of a Gaga fan, I think her dedication to her fans is absolutely commendable. I can’t think of any other celebrities off of the top of my head who will re-tweet or post pictures directly from their fans. If one of my favorite celebrities gave me some credit on one of their social media sites, I would freak out! It’s no wonder why so many people love her.

  4. JPorretto

    EXCELLENT first post Jenna! Welcome to the blog!

    I honestly can no longer tell the difference between genius and bat-shit crazy. Maybe there is no difference. Maybe success makes you a genius, and failure makes you crazy. For every Gaga success story, there has to be countless people committed or arrested for doing things like wearing dresses made of meat. I mean c’mon. No sane person does that. But if you can market it in a way people latch on to, then more power to you!

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Jeff!

      I honestly just think Lady Gaga is crazy, but obviously she’s still making way more money than I am, so she must not have completely lost it. Unless she has, and her social media skills help her spread her craziness to the masses. My guess is that her social networking and psychotic behavior go hand in hand!

  5. ASneed

    Great first post Jenna! =)

    It took a little time for Lady Gaga to grow on me but I really like her music now, so it looks like I’m a Little Monster, lol.

    I really like Facebook, and I use it quite a bit, but I don’t have a Twitter account, and don’t have any interest in getting one. But I can see how Twitter would be awesome for Lady Gaga! She has done very well for herself. I think that yes, she’s really strange, but that is a big part of her appeal, and what makes her so unique and interesting.

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Amanda! :)

      I agree with you. Her strangeness is what makes her so appealing, and so popular on social media. And lucky for you, Lady Gaga uses more than one platform for social networking. Since she can’t get to you on Twitter, she can get you on Facebook — Gaga leaves no fan behind!

      • ASneed

        Agreed, I’m glad she uses them all! And that’s awesome–because I’m with you, Twitter is just not for me.

        Welcome to the blog Jenna! Well done! =)

  6. Mandy Kilinskis

    I see the problem with the Justin Bieber v. Barack Obama fans.

    Great post, Jenna! Besides being a Little Monster (one that follows Gaga both on Twitter and Facebook), I think that everyone can learn something from her/her publicity team’s social media prowess. This is the woman that had the balls (or bad timing) to post about the video release of “Judas” at the same time that news networks were reporting the death of Osama bin Laden.

    • Jenna Markowski

      Right? I think Obama’s publicity team could learn a thing or two from Lady Gaga and Bieber. Then again, I’m not too sure if Obama posting that his water broke would be very appropriate, lol. :)

  7. Lauren G.

    Great post! Once again QLP is showing me about using people or things etc to make business better! Lady Gaga is in her own class. She has dominated social media as Jenna said. Sam, I totally agree with you. I was a skeptic too, but I then realized she works so hard to get further in her career plus more! The “Gagaville” on Facebook, genius! Joe, I also agree with you! Use whatever social platform you can to promote yourself, your business and what you represent. It is one package that people are looking for nowadays. You can’t just sell a product, you have to sell yourself too. All and all, an awesome post!! :)

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Lauren! I agree with everything that you said! Any person or company hoping to get ahead NEEDS to take advantage of social networking — in fact, it’s expected. Social media provides a great way to create an image and personality for your brand, and no one does it better than Gaga!

  8. Jill Tooley

    “The most important thing that you can learn from Lady Gaga? Think outside of the box – way outside of it. In fact, forget the box all together and think nowhere even CLOSE to it.”

    That’s my favorite line from this stellar post. You’ll get nowhere if you recycle other people’s ideas over and over again! Lady Gaga may seem crazy, but I guarantee there’s a method to her media madness. She shuns the traditional and follows her own path all the way, and that’s one reason why she’s so successful. Even if you think she’s insane, she still has your attention one way or another, right?

    I’m PROUD to call myself a Little Monster and I follow her on both Facebook and Twitter. I love her music and I just love her in general. She’s entertaining and she always shares intimate details and goings-on with her audience, which is really cool. Even though there are millions of other fans following her, sometimes I feel like she’s sharing secrets with me! That’s how involved she gets with her fans. It’s refreshing to find such an influential celebrity that’s still emotionally grounded like that…not to mention all of her amazing charity work. I think she’s bloody brilliant!

    Nice work. Welcome to the QLP Blog Squad, Jenna! :)

    • Jenna Markowski

      I agree, Jill. There is definitely a method to her madness. People can make fun of her all they want, but I highly doubt that anyone could master social media as well as she has. It is totally awesome that she is able to create a one-on-one atmosphere with her fans, even though she is communicating with millions of people at the same time!

      Thanks, Jill! :)

  9. Negin

    I just want to say that id love Lady gaga as much as water
    well i had alot of memorys of her songs when i was just 7
    so thanks alot your subjects are very very good
    i want to say that 6 or 5 years later youll surely see me as a famouse singer really really:a famouse singer Negin………

  10. Lee

    Dear Jenna, it is wonderful that you did a story on Lady Gaga; however, it is a journalist responsibility to write responsibly. Troy Carter her business manager who you did not mention once is the brains behind everything Gaga so much, so that Harvard did a case study on her meteoric rise and Troy Carter is a central part of the case study. FYI

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Lee. In no way did I intend to come off as though Lady Gaga herself was planning all of her social media campaigns. I have no doubt that Troy Carter has contributed to these numbers.

      As a journalist myself, I know of the responsibility to write responsibly. In fact, I’ve written about that very subject before. However, for the purpose of this blog, which was to give social media marketing tips to marketers and brands, this post was simply an overview of the social media efforts of Lady Gaga’s brand.

      Nonetheless, thanks for bringing up the brains behind the whole operation in your comment. Have a nice day! :)

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