Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Queen B epitomizes the brilliance that is social media

Picture via US Weekly

Ah, Beyonce has done it again. As many of you probably already know, Beyonce dropped her latest album Thursday night at midnight, breaking virtually every rule known to mankind surrounding the release of an album. In case you are not familiar, most albums are released on a Tuesday, are publicized through various media appearances, involve numerous consumer partnerships and feature at least one single being overplayed on the radio long before the actual album is released. Beyonce, however, refrained from all of these "rules" and in turn, showed the world just how powerful she is.

Unsurprisingly, this new album is not just any album. It is accompanied by 17 videos, 14 outrageous tracks, and was done all in secrecy while Beyonce was on tour and raising a baby. How did she do it? I am confident that many of the world's biggest music stars are probably wondering the same thing. The mere fact that nothing was leaked and no word got out about it is an achievement in itself in this day of technology and social media. There really is only one thing to say and that is, all hail the Queen.

What makes this really interesting from a PR standpoint, however, is the fact that Beyonce relied solely on social media to announce the release of the album. The only form of publicity to occur before all 14 songs and 17 videos appeared for sale on iTunes was a video posted to Instagram accompanied with the caption, "surprise!" 

According to the New York Times, this approach was a success and lead to over 365,000 copies sold in the United States on the first day. It is also being predicted that it will have one of the year's most successful opening sales weeks. Even though it is undeniable that Beyonce is a huge star and would most likely see success no matter how she released her album, this may just be the way of the future for the music business. After all, social media is all about the basis of relationships and by telling her fans exclusively on her personal Instagram, they were able to feel that they truly had a special bond with the artist. 

After the initial Instagram post, the album garnished much publicity. According to Mashable, the release generated 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours and was promoted by stars such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga almost immediately. Additionally, Beyonce spent no money on marketing, which could perhaps have quite the impact on the industry in the future. All in all, Beyonce's album release was a monumental event for the music industry and a huge advocate for the power of social media. It must be nice to be Queen.

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