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)
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.
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!
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.