Lady Gaga’s  nearly unsurpassed status in modern pop culture has arrived as the result of her shock tactics, carefully orchestrated media blitz, and expert use of varied social media channels—not to mention some serious musical talent!

Granted, wearing a dress made of meat and creating music videos that veer close to pornography will get anyone’s attention, even through traditional media settings. And indeed, nearly 12,000 traditional media stories mentioned her in 2010. But Lady Gaga’s worldwide domination involves far more.

From the time she first arrived on the scene in 2008, Gaga has been available to her fans nearly all the time, in many forums. In the early days, she was constantly available for interviews, and made content, including videos and photos, available for music bloggers to post.   She maintains active MySpace and Facebook pages. Her iPhone application, Haus of Gaga, acts as a portal for her fans, widely known as “Little Monsters” to stay easily connected in the form of exclusive content, videos, news, and chats. She personally manages her daily posts, even when she is backstage at a concert. Gaga keeps her fans interested by speaking to them directly via social media.  Her Facebook page is managed by her with the help of others, but she handles her Twitter account on her own.  This authentic one-to-one contact has strengthened her personal connection with her fans.

Through these efforts, she has become the most popular living thing on Facebook, with more than 35 million Facebook fans; has more Twitter followers than anyone else, at 10 million, even more than Barack Obama; and has prompted more than 1 billion views on her YouTube channel. She is strategic in her decisions on what she wears and what she does, knowing that people will be talking about it later. Gaga makes sure that she feeds her fans the content she wants them to talk about–by doing the unexpected.

Why is social media the perfect way for celebrities and artists to connect with customers?

Simon Owens, “The Secrets of Lady Gaga’s Social Media Success,” TNW Media, March 15, 2011; “Undressing Lady Gaga’s Social Strategy,” www.houseblogger.com; Caitlin Burns, “Lady Gaga and Social Media,” http://thesocialrobot.com/2010/03/lady-gaga-and-social-media/

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