In 2010, social media has truly found its place as a function of a company's and musical artists overall marketing strategy. It's power and reach are evident in almost all social media campaigns that companies and musical artists are engaging in. And the most important word in social media is of course, 'engaging'.
Zero to Hero example is 'Lady GaGa' or 'GaGa' which the musical artist likes to refer to herself as. As far as breakout musicians go, few artists have had quite the zero-awareness-to-ubiquity time-warp of GaGa. And as far as brands go, few marketers of any kind have leveraged social media the way she has to drive sales of their core product -- in her case, albums and digital singles. GaGa has really benefited from her use of engaging with fans the world over with social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. She has over 3 million Twitter followers, 5 million Facebook fans, not to mention over 200 million views of her constantly unique and outrageous music videos. In 24 hours after the release of her new video 'Telephone' featuring Beyonce, the video had racked up over 9 million views on Youtube with over 1000 user comments.
Old school meets new mediaHow did a 23-year-old singer/songwriter achieve so much in so little time? Two words: social media. Sure, Gaga had a fair share of old-school artist development -- radio play -- to become the first artist to score four consecutive No. 1 singles from a debut album. But she's also put a new-media spin on her distribution strategy. The November premiere of her video for "Bad Romance," for example, debuted on LadyGaga.com before MTV or any other outlet could play it -- resulting in a Universal Music server crash, a Twitter trending topic that lasted all week and a cumulative 110 million (and counting) views on YouTube to date, more than any viral music video of yore (OK Go, anyone?) could ever claim. Vevo, a music video site co-founded by Universal Music Group, also recently reported a whopping 20% of its traffic came from just Lady Gaga videos -- as in 1 in 5 videos streamed on the site was likely to be a song such as "Poker Face," "Just Dance" or "LoveGame."
GaGa The New Face Of...
So, in an age where majority of musical artists can't shift C.D's from the music shelves, Lady GaGa has managed to shift over 20 million records worldwide in an 18 month period. If GaGa can sell this many records in a digital age, surely she will be able to sell anything from superglue to lipstick, right? GaGa is already plugging a few of the worlds biggest brands in her new catchy and outrageous video 'Telephone', including Polaroid, Virgin, Diet Coke and Chanel. So the next few months will be interesting to see who GaGa decides to team up with. My guesses are all big marketing companies will want a piece of GaGa in order for her to shift some product.