Lady Gaga’s Social Media Genius

Much is being said these days about Lady Gaga and her team’s marketing genius, as evidenced by her rapid ascend to the top of the charts, her incessantly played tunes, and her ability to license her brand (and videos) out.

Much is being said these days about Lady Gaga and her team’s marketing genius, as evidenced by her rapid ascend to the top of the charts, her incessantly played tunes, and her ability to license her brand (and videos) out. Whether this fame is sustainable or limited to a moment in time is yet to be determined. Regardless of your opinion of her music and sense of artistry, there is something to be learned from her marketing prowess, and specifically from her use of social media to truly engage with her audience:

  • Take matters (and your brand) into your own hands – or at least know how to execute yourself before directing someone else on how to do it for you: According to AdAge, all parties who work with Lady Gaga on her label, management and marketing teams cite Gaga herself as the ultimate brains behind many of her creative and social-media ideas and tactics. She regularly Tweets to her audience from backstage.
  • Utilize a phased approach in your content distribution strategy (exclusivity works):  “Bad Romance” debuted last November on LadyGaga.com before MTV or any other outlet – resulting in a Universal Music server crash, a week-long Twitter trending topic and a cumulative 136 million (and counting) views on YouTube to date, more than any other past viral music video. (OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass”, which premiered this past Tuesday, currently counts 3.5 million views).
  • Accept and embrace that your brand – and its success – is dependent upon your customers taking a stake in it:  As noted by ChurchofCustomer, while some artists  protect their image by prohibiting recording devices during performances, Gaga instead bars professional photographers from capturing her performances, including one in late 2009 in Las Vegas.  She prefers to allow fans to record and distribute videos of her live performances on YouTube.

If nothing but a social-cultural commentary or example of how quickly the marketing machine can be figured out, Lada Gaga is also a reminder that it can pay dividends to be fearless in how a brand directly engages with and grows to understand its customers – and learns from both the hits and misses.

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