Social Media Stunt

Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj video released via elaborate social media stunt.

It all started with Justin Bieber’s allegedly stolen laptop.  On October 10, Bieber tweeted to his 28 million followers: “Sucks when u take personal footage and people don’t respect your privacy.”  He followed that up with “had a lot of personal footage on that computer and camera and that is what bothers me the most. ‪#lame‬ ‪#norespect.‬” This issue of leaked photos isn’t a new topic, neither is social media yet when combined it can become deadly to that artist.  Even though all artists have a P.R. team that probably could be employed by the president.  This wasn’t the end of it.

The story was snatched up by many news stories yet Twitter feeds were exploding.  Discussions between this supposed hacker and Justin Beiber were getting heated.  The hacker @gexwy tweeted a link to Bieber and Nicki Manaj’s new music video  “Beauty And A Beat,” which had just been posted to You Tube.  Bieber retweeted @gexwy , and this is when it became pretty clear:  This wasn’t a case of stolen footage, this was a clever marketing stunt to launch a new music video.  Fans were stunned!  This is a true display at how social media is the way of the world.

What is changing is how people think about advertising on the web.  If anyone’s at risk it will be people who are reliant on traditional premium display advertising.  The worlds shifting away from agency-bought and standard media.

While you can’t always predict what news or events will become a #hashtag that people will follow, it’s a pretty safe bet that events like the #Oscars or the 2012 Election #debate will have an extremely large group of people following the hashtag before, during and shortly after each event. PR pros should consider timing news or relevant content around these events so they have an immediately engaged audience for tweets about this content.

You can certainly drop your tweet into the fray and hope people will retweet it, but to truly participate in the conversation, you should actively engage. Retweeting good content, following interesting people, replying to questions and posting more than just links to your brand content so the community recognizes you and values your contribution. This is the way of the further.


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