Forget the meat dress and the over the top theatrics. The glamor and the scandals.
Beneath the eccentric alter ego espoused by Lady Gaga is an individual who understands the power of genuine connection, the influence of the minority over the majority, and the supremacy of the sharing economy.
She was the first person in the world to surpass 10 million followers on Twitter. She is one of the best- selling musicians of all time, with global single sales of more than 140 million and six Grammy Awards under her belt.
She boasts a crown as the first ever artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for attaining pop culture iconic status.
Other than her undisputed talent, Lady Gaga’s global success can also be attributed to her social media prowess and the deliberately intimate management of her international following.
Here’s what the ‘Born this Way’ star can teach us about social media success:
Just a few years ago, no one knew Lady Gaga in the way that she is known today—she was almost an obscurity. Like every regular person who joins social media for the first time, she did not have hordes of followers.
How did she build the enormous following she has now? Lady Gaga leveraged the power of word of mouth. She consistently and intimately engaged her first few followers so much so that they were the ones who started telling their friends and friends of their friends about this new quirky musical sensation. She also targeted influential follower within her target audience who had their own large followers.
If you are just getting started on social media, work with what you have—engage those first few followers and make it clear that you want to work with them to spread the word around for you.
Engagement does not mean selling; it means having ongoing conversations with your community and incentivizing them to keep them interested for longer.
A look at some of the most successful brands on social media, including brand Lady Gaga shows that these brands have built a wildly loyal community around them, with each member feeling like an important part of the community. They are united by a certain identity and they feel like they can take on the world together as a team.
For Lady Gaga, her vibrant and deeply loyal community of followers identify themselves as the ‘Little Monsters’ and Lady Gaga their ‘Mother Monster.’ Not only do they have their own private social network, they also have their insider codes, jokes, and language.
With such a united front, Lady Gaga is able to sell out her events everywhere she goes and her songs are almost always a hit due to the support she receives from her fans.
Although Lady Gaga is a real superstar with millions of followers and fans behind her, she somehow finds a way to share her glory and a piece of her celebrity with them.
She not only comments or replies to her fans, she also picks them out whether on social media or during live events and recognizes them. It is common for her to wish her fans a happy birthday and to send them sweet messages. Lady Gaga is also known to bring some of her handpicked fans up on stage with her.
Letting your followers take the spotlight once in a while naturally boosts their loyalty and it contagiously reinvigorates passion for your brand throughout your community. It is a show of genuine appreciation for your fans, and they will love you for it.
The first rule of social media is: Engage Consistently. Lady Gaga knows this all too well. She posts, comments, likes, retweets, laughs, and cries with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and on her private social network on a regular basis. She engages with her fans more than once in a day.
There is no way the popular musician could have amassed as much fame and social media clout as she has if she only checked into her social media profiles once a month or after a couple of weeks to make a big announcement and then went away. People would not be bothered!
You will see the results of your social media efforts when you engage with your community regularly. Your community will not only grow exponentially, but their commitment to your brand will grow as well.
With all her fame and success, you would think that Lady Gaga never has personal struggles such as a sick family member, a stomach upset, a disappointing day. But she does, and she shares some of these struggles with her community.
Social media users are real people, with real personal issues. In many ways, they are not just using social media for the fan of it; they are also looking to have a sense of connection with others who are just as human as they are.
Lady Gaga tries to be “down to earth” and make genuine connections with her community by sharing some (not all) of her struggles. Being unpretentious and opening up to your fans in this way only intensifies their passion and loyalty to your brand.
While you do not need to personify Lady Gaga’s alter ego, mimic her vocal prowess or imitate her fashion nuances, a great lesson you could learn from her is the importance of prioritizing your community in all your social media efforts—their needs come first and if you adopt this approach everything else will fall into place.