Performer Lady Gaga truly needs no introduction; do a search in Google and she is among the most searched items, along with Harry Potter and Osama Bin Laden. In a way, those associations actually seem quite fitting; the singer is, after all, both a little bit magic and a little bit scary.
Since 2008, the singer has been lauded for her influence on fashion, music, and as a champion for individuality. But lessons from Gaga can really be found everywhere, even for effective social media marketing.
5. Collaborate Whenever Possible
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta could have gone the Diva route with her explosion of fame and closeted herself in her own world of music making, surrounded by a doting entourage, record producers, and the usual sycophants. Instead, we soon found her working with artists, fashion designers, and rabble rousers from all walks of life, even molding her creative team after Andy Warhol's Factory for her Haus of Gaga.
Often, people forget about the "social" aspect of social media marketing. The key to making connections is through conversation and collaboration and it's the best way to build your own network when you're just starting out; otherwise, you're just doing a monologue in a dark room. Reach out to those who inspire you or who share similar values. Support them, mentor them, and let them mentor you in return. It takes tremendous ego to go out on the stage of Lady Gaga but she does not get out there alone and she knows it.
4. Take Some Risks
The costumes. The fanfare. The nudity. Those towering shoes. That meat dress. Gaga doesn't just take risks in her clothes and sound bites; risk is in her blood. For the performer, that risk has paid off in spades. Whether you find it intrusive or charming, there is no denying that she's made an impact on the world's consciousness.
When it comes to your social media marketing efforts, a little risk can be useful. The beauty of social media, especially if you're building your brand, is that a failed experiment can be very quickly buried (unless you've made a serious gaffe that's gone viral. But let's leave that, for now, to Ashton Kutcher's PR team) by your next experiments. The key is to experiment. Don't just stick with tried-and-true methods. Try forging your own path to find what works, and what gets results. Who knew that polls in blog posts could be so effective in garnering community engagement? That was an experiment that worked and it has since become part of our content arsenal. There is endless terrain to explore.
3. Fully Commit to Your Message
In 2010, Lady Gaga made gossip-rag headlines when she appeared at her sister's graduation in a typically outrageous display, dressed like a widowed beekeeper. She's endlessly spotted walking through airports, hospitals, and New York City streets in her trademark style of bizarre couture and exaggerated glamour. Her interviews are always "wild, untamed" affairs; but look closer and you'll see an undercurrent: Gaga is always on message about her brand — in her case, her brand is a personal mantra for creativity.
How many brands or individuals start a social media marketing campaign without the cohesiveness of a singular message? How many more start out on message and quickly devolve into tangentials, desperate to make an impact by making themselves experts on twenty disparate subjects when they really want to be an expert in just one area? Commit to your brand message and make it the undercurrent for all of your networking activities. Otherwise, you might make an impact but you will certainly land far off course for your goals.
2. Give Your Following a Voice of their Own
It could be argued that Lady Gaga has found such a loyal following because she gave voice to her diverse, global audience. And she did it in the simplest way possible; she acknowledged them with an identity. She has true affection for all of her "Little Monsters" and the nickname makes them, in turn, feel immeasurable closeness to their favorite performer.
We're not suggesting you go out and immediately name your crowd of "admirers," but providing them with some sense of belonging is integral with true, authentic community building. It tells them that you are not on a pedestal, dispelling wisdom from up high- you are one of them; you are grateful to them for their attention and you need their voices too. Perhaps the most valuable tool in blog superstar Heather Armstrong's Dooce arsenal is her Community Forum. It gives her an unprecedented opportunity to connect, up close and personal, with the very community who gave her the very powerful platform she holds today.
1. Shock...But Have Some Substance
After the invasion of Gaga, there has been a veritable army of imposters and copycats who have popped up on the music scene. For every Lady Gaga born, there will be five Ke$has. It's the nature of industry. Anyone can shock. But in order to survive, you need substance.
So, pepper your social media presence with flash and razzle-dazzle to make an impact; just be certain there is real talent, truth, and knowledge at the core of your messaging. It's the only real way to ensure that your presence will last in the long run.
Wear those impossibly high shoes; just make sure that you can really sing, too.