If you’re active with any type of social media platform then your feed was quickly taken over on late Thursday into early Friday by the one and only Beyoncé. In a matter of moments the Internet was her stage when she released a surprise album through iTunes. Leaning on nothing more than the power of her brand and social media the famed artist sold approximately 80,000 copies of her album in three hours. This is yet another example of a powerful celebrity leveraging their strength through online branding and social media marketing.
We at the R&B Management Group have continuously preached the strength of proper branding and the use of social media outlets to reach the masses. The feat that Beyoncé pulled off last week is one of the best examples of the success that can come when these two tools are used together. In one moment she’s set off a ripple effect that may not immediately hit the music industry, but will have longstanding ramifications that will be seen in the future.
She set nearly every social media outlet on fire with the release of her album. From numerous tweets of lyrics from new songs to simple Instagram posts that showed the cover art of the album; it seemed as if every fan took to their phone or computer to talk about anything that had to do with Beyoncé. According to a New York Times report the album release generated 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours. That in itself took the place of traditional album promotions that have been used in the past; especially when other artists such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga also pushed the content to their millions of followers. While other entities have tried to use social media as a promotional tool, none have been able to generate such a response that Beyoncé created in mere hours.
The power of her brand was also on display during these developments as well. It was always clear that Beyoncé was a very popular musical artist but this album release fully shows how her fans relate their lives to her music. That positive engagement, which has come through a protected development of her brand, shows how serious it is for personalities and companies to protect their public perception. If she wasn’t as well accepted as she is today her album release and sales would not be as major a story as it is at this time.
Whether you are a fan of her music or not, there is still a lot to be learned from what Beyoncé did last weekend. The release of her self titled album will have long standing effects while she enjoys the immediate benefits. Either way, this is yet another example of how branding and social media work hand in hand.