Shattering records & converting (social) non-believers.
This past year the world witnessed Beyoncé make a marketing (and selling) splash of epic proportions. With just one short Instagram video Beyoncé started a social media wildfire that led to 1.2 million tweets in just 24 hours and subsequently crashed iTunes as millions flocked to download her “Surprise!” (<-subject line of her Instagram video) album.
You don’t have to be a Beyoncé fan to appreciate a remarkable story like this. After all, selling over 800,000 albums via word of mouth in just three days to mark the largest single week ever in the U.S. iTunes store isn’t your everyday feat.
But surprise releases are nothing new, what made this one unique?
The conventional marketing methods in the music industry have been to generate buzz over time and then capitalize when anticipation peaks.
A relevant and recent example of this is Lady Gaga (another pop sensation), who had spent all of last year promoting her new album via social media teasers, interviews and the likes. Her label, Interscope Records, dumped millions into ads on buses, bus stops, billboards and even pop-up shops in LA & NYC. Two weeks after it’s release, Lady Gaga’s album had sold 305,000 copies, far less than Beyoncé’s whopping 800,000+ in three days.
Well how do their social media following’s stack up?
[milestone color=”Accent-Color” number=”60″ subject=”million Facebook followers”]
[milestone color=”Accent-Color” number=”13″ subject=”million Twitter followers”]
[milestone color=”Accent-Color” number=”11,6″ subject=”Million Instagram followers”]
[milestone color=”Accent-Color” number=”65″ subject=”million Facebook followers”]
[milestone color=”Accent-Color” number=”41,3″ subject=”million Twitter followers”]
[milestone color=”Accent-Color” number=”3,4″ subject=”Million Instagram followers”]
Despite falling short of Lady Gaga’s overall social following by some 20 million fans, Beyoncé still pulled off an epic album release relying solely on word of mouth/social media marketing. What’s more, she saved a ton of money in the process.
Why did Beyoncé go against the traditional marketing grain on this one?
In a press release from Columbia, Beyoncé said, “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans.”
Not only did Beyoncé break records, but she also showcased the true power of social media in today’s society. She played it smart by taking the approach that she could go directly to her fans, creating the sense or feeling that she was handing a gift (at a fee of course) directly to her fans.
5 Tips To Take Away From This All
1. Focus on building your brand where your audience is.
Beyoncé focused on using Instagram where she has 11.6 million followers while other brands such as Pepsi may choose to go with Facebook.
Last year Pepsi launched their “Like Machine” which oddly enough debuted at a Beyoncé concert in Antwerp, Belgium.
Now, the truth is that most of us don’t have a celebrity-like social media following or the resources to create a “Like Machine” the way Pepsi did, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative & begin promoting your brand on social media.
You can start by building a facebook page and engaging with your audience there.
2. Present your content in a way that resonates with your platform
Not every social media platform was created equal; each platform has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the type of content being shared, the methods of delivery and the audience being targeted.
In January, Facebook made changes to their news feed algorithm in an effort to deliver more relevant content to its users. As a result, marketeers are now looking to craft the most interesting posts possible in an effort to continue being noticed.
This means that your company page shouldn’t just look like a static billboard. Your aim should be to spark conversations & engagement by asking questions, running events, posting visual content and going for an all-around approach.
There are many different ways to get the most out of your Facebook page, so make sure you do your homework in order to get the most out of your time!
3. Don’t let your following, or lack thereof, hinder your ambition
If you look at the numbers, Beyoncé has about 20 million less total followers than Lady Gaga yet that didn’t stop her from eclipsing Lady Gaga’s record release numbers.
The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t get down on yourself if you have a small social following. We all have to start somewhere, and I would venture to guess that most of us aren’t celebrities.
Get on, get active and apply etiquette that you would in every day life to your social media strategy. What I mean by that is try not to be the company that blasts away with content but pays no mind to recognizing or engaging with others’ content.
A great way to build your following is to block out a small window of time twice a week where you take a moment to simply browse and interact with what others are sharing. During an Inc. Live Chat, Carre Kerpen of Likeable Media said, “It’s about connecting with your customers online and getting them to spread the word. Worry less about what you need to do and worry much more about what your customers want and what their social behavior is like online. That will help you craft a strategy.”
4. Be yourself; be human
One of the things that fans love most about an artist like Beyoncé is that she can, more or less, keep things real with her fan base. People can appreciate when they’re treated, well, like people! This is something that a lot of companies have failed to grasp over the past few years; this is what Digital Darwinism is all about.
Back in 2011, Forbes published an article that made light of the radical times of change that were ahead. This article stated, “In a recent study, it was found that between 1973 and 1983, 35% of the top Fortune 1000 companies were new to the list. During the decade that followed, the rate of replacement increased to 45% and then between 93’ and 03’ surpassed 60%!” The author then went on to state that, “if the current trend continues, over ¾ of the existing captains of industry will fall from their thrones.”
With that being said, one big ol’ ugly truth is that it’s damned near impossible to hold each person’s hand every step of the way through the sales process when your business reaches a certain growth point. This goes for social media as well as responding to interest coming from your other marketing channels.
In recent years businesses have begun to adopt marketing automation tools that allow them to keep things on a human level while the interest drives itself down the pipe.
A great way to ensure that your business is able to scale without sacrificing that personal touch is to look into how you can begin automating your marketing processes. Think of it as investing in an autopilot system for your marketing.
5. The purpose of your marketing is to drive in revenue
At the end of the day the reason that you’re spending time creating content, building newsletter campaigns, growing your social presence and all the rest is to drive in business. Beyoncé’s surprise Instagram post was clearly actionable; her fans knew to head strait to the iTunes store to download this surprise album.
Every marketing message should contain key elements that make your message actionable. Once that’s done, this is where the sales team comes into the picture.
Making sure that your sales team can efficiently recognize and capture interest from marketing via their CRM system is crucial to maintaining an effective buyer journey. Some call this sales enablement, some like to describe it as aligning your sales and marketing teams; regardless of what buzz term you go with, it’s about bringing the two closer together in order to drive home the deal.
With powerful CRM systems such as SuperOffice your sales team is able to act upon hot leads directly via your marketing platform for this exact purpose. This closes the loop on the process and ensures that your business is scaling properly without allowing interest to slip through the cracks during the journey from awareness to client.
If you’d like to know more on how eMarketeer is helping businesses do more with their marketing, give us a shout; we’d love to hear from you!
Do you know of any other great marketing tips or examples that bring to light the power of social media? Your comments are welcomed!