Have you heard about Beyoncé’s new album yet? If so, try to recall how you heard about the music superstar’s unexpected album release last Friday. Chances are you found out while chatting with a friend, browsing your social media news feeds, or an unpaid news release.
Whatever the case was for you, it was not by the discovery of a paid advertisement or promotion. How do I know that? Because there weren’t any. Not one penny was spent on traditional marketing like radio commercials, magazine advertisements or billboards. Despite spending nothing to promote the release, 828,773 copies of the album were sold in three days!
So put aside any thoughts that social media is useless and yields no return on investment. Beyoncé showed the world the power of electronic word-of-mouth, otherwise known as social media.
Beyoncé capitalized on her fan base and used her fans as brand advocates to help spread the word about her new album. Before TV, radio, and print, word-of-mouth was the most common means of marketing, and with the spike of Internet usage, it’s back. Consumers are more vigorously sharing their thoughts and opinions, which is now referred to as electronic word-of-mouth (Ewom).
iTunes records were broken as Beyoncé’s new release quickly became the fastest selling album and achieved the most first week album sales ever. Beyoncé proved, once again, that word of mouth is useful and powerful, perhaps even more than ever with the added punch that social media packs.
There were other factors that played into Beyoncé’s instant success. I’m not trying to discount her superstar status—that certainly helped. But with marketing, it’s harder to take risks like Beyoncé did when she chose to let word-of-mouth do the talking rather than pay for any traditional advertising. She could have lost profit if it hadn’t worked out—luckily, it did, and it proved once again that being a little risky is necessary sometimes.
Four Lessons that can be learned from Beyoncé
1. Remember the power of your own brand advocates as your best salesmen
2. Create and produce good content
3. Word-of -mouth is still the most important means of communicating a message
4. Social media CAN yield a great return on investment
Elizabeth Muckensturm – Guest Blogger & Internet Marketing Strategist