She’s already taught us that we were born this way, but it looks like Lady Gaga now has a more important lesson to teach the world – how to effectively use social media. With 48 million Facebook likes, 29 million Twitter followers and 1 billion YouTube views, the woman is clearly doing something right. Of course, being an international celebrity makes clocking up those numbers a whole lot easier, but she hasn’t been dubbed the ‘Queen of Social Media’ for nothing. We’ve taken a look at some of her online movements and have compiled a list of three things Lady Gaga can teach brands about social media.
1. Give your fans a backstage pass
A ticket to a live concert is cool, but a backstage pass is even better! When someone hits the ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ button on your page, it’s like they’re buying a ticket to your concert. When you post, it should be like you’re giving them the backstage pass. Give followers access to exclusive and personal information about you that they couldn’t find anywhere else. Lady Gaga chose to reward her loyal followers with this picture, which featured the new stage design for her upcoming tour:
Gaga also regularly posts candid photos of herself, puts up a live feed of her album signings or lets followers listen to new tracks first. Any online marketer will tell you that you need to reward your followers with content like this. Make them feel special by sharing exclusive photos, having competitions, providing hot-out-of-the-oven updates and offering discounts. People love new and original content just as much as Google Spiders do, and will index you just as high on their social networking favourites if you give it to them. So make it worth their while to follow you. That being said; don’t make all of your posts self-promotional. People will eventually tire of this, so throw in an occasional post that isn’t about you, but that’s still in-line with your brand interests. This is where adding external links to cool articles or asking questions comes in handy!
2. Get your fans to interact with you and when they do, acknowledge it!
Lady Gaga has a particularly good grasp on this one. In May 2011 she hosted a QR Scavenger Hunt in association with Starbucks, which had fans scanning in-store QR codes and finding hidden clues to win a range of prizes. But Gaga engages her fans in simpler ways too, just by asking for their advice or input. On the 7th of Feb she tweeted:
But what’s more important is that she adds value to posts like these by actually following them up. She lets her fans know that she personally reads their tweets, by sending out posts like:
The effect of doing something like this is that fans will start sending out even more tweets addressed to @ladygaga in the hope that she will respond to or retweet them. It works a little differently for brands, but the essential point is that it’s important to interact WITH your fans. Ask questions and get their feedback, but don’t make them do all the work. If you get a cool comment that comes back, ‘Like’ it, or post a response and tag their names personally. This will encourage your followers to interact even more, because they’ll see it’s not a waste of their time and that their input is actually being considered. Engagement will also show that you’re not just some robot sending out generic posts. As internet marketer Lyn Terry says: “People want to know you’re human”. Social media is, after all, all about socialising and people can only do this if there is a human, or at least a personality, behind the posts for them to identify with. But watch out for the dangers of getting too personally involved! You can read our previous blog post on “Online Reputation Management – How Important Is it?” below for tips on what not to do when interacting with your followers.
3. Post regularly and be accessible.
Lady Gaga has a presence in just about all of the social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter, to YouTube and Google+. Even though her Facebook traffic is substantially higher than her Twitter and Google+ accounts, she doesn’t purposely drive all of her fans to one page. She keeps her posts regular and consistent across all channels, meaning that fans can freely choose whichever one they prefer and not lose out either way. Plus, she is posting on average at least once every two days, sometimes more, which means that fans will check back regularly and have her constantly in their home feed. As a brand, you should do the same.
We could go on and on about what else Miss Gaga can teach us, but we promised to limit it to just three for now. But we recommend checking out this cool overview of all of her 2011 website campaigns which appeared on Mashable: http://on.mash.to/lABbtl. We look forward to seeing what she brings to the table in 2012 – at least from a social media point of view.