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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Social Networking, Lady GaGa, and You... The times, They are a'changin...

Born This Way is Lady GaGa's third album. The last two sold 24 million copies; Born This Way debuted at iTunes at number one on a Monday morning..
She has 10,367,424 Twitter followers.
34,973,035 Facebook followers.

What is she doing right?
Good question. 

Yesterday I watched The View as Lady GaGa -- escorted by two assistants who looked like they were her personal Secret Service agents -- carefully stepped on to the dais and embraced Barbara, Sherry, Joy and Elisabeth wearing a pair of elevator boots I sure wouldn't be able to walk in without two (hunky) assistants!

She was polite, articulate, professional, and she made her mother -who was in the audience, wearing a suit as conservative as GaGa's boots were stacked - proud.

I like Lady GaGa's music; I like seeing her on tv and on videos. Heck, I even enjoy parodies of her videos. 

<- I'm loving this one because I support Alzheimer's research. I only wish they got a dollar for every hit.

  She is a Performance Artist following in the footsteps of the Greats. 

Oh yes I do remember Liberace... The Big Daddy of Performance Artists. And yes I would wear a rock like his on one of my fingers... like you wouldn't? 

But did you know Lady GaGa is now Forbes' top pick for Most Powerful Celebrity?
How did she get there at the ripe old age of 25?

From all the interviews I've watched so far, Lady GaGa is surprisingly 
                     -- humble.
She never fails to acknowledge and thank her fans, aka her Little Monsters. They dress in original costumes to honor her, they line up everywhere to catch a glimpse of her. On Twitter her tagline is MotherMonster. She tells 'em to go download her new album, and ...
there they go. They purchase, download, and sing her music to the tune of...  oh, I don't know what #1 is around the world, but I do know it's ALOT!

One young man who showed off his Algebra notebook covered with doodles of Lady GaGa -esque costumes pinpointed her appeal:  her music, her clothes, and her message all work together.
She is her own Brand: lipstick, headphones, and her own record label.

And guess what her Platform is?
Those Little Monsters of hers, all grateful to her for an outlet for their expression.  She validates them, and makes it cool to be freaks, to not fit in.

I loved Cher. When I was growing up in the 70's, she was the epitome of glamour. She had a deep voice, exotic beauty, and was impossibly thin.  And she rocked those Bob Mackie outfits! Still does. But Cher herself has said that she never fit in.

Then came Sir Elton.  Disco boots and stars on his eyes and sparkly stuff everywhere.
Try to pigeonhole him- I dare ya!

It was all impossible to reach for a  high school girl with crooked teeth and bad hair. My dreams shrunk to the size of being accepted by classmates and getting a date for Spring Dance.
  And even then I had to wear a recycled bridesmaid's dress if I wanted to go. Ugh.

Lady GaGa -- surprise!-- is down to earth. Very Much Herself.
She probably could have - would have - rocked the crooked teeth if she wanted to.

Just like another music icon, but on the other end of the exhibitionist spectrum...
                                                        Happy Birthday today! ... Bob Dylan
And yes, this is also a shameless plug for my #samplesaturdaysunday Bright Lights writing prompt!

And she shows her Little Monsters what can happen when we don't let Big Dreams shrink to the size of the world of the moment. That cool is defined by being You.
It's heady stuff for a high school teenager. Heck, it's heady stuff for this mom of teenagers.

But the genius of it all is her Connectedness to her Little Monsters. As a writer who plans to publish online, either independently or via an epublisher, this is a vital lesson for me to learn. So I'm taking notes.

So what do you do to connect to your fans? Tweet? Facebook? LinkedIn?  Follow me @PamelaVMason, and check out my Twitter for Beginners post if you want.

How can you keep your dreams, or your fans'/readers'/kids' dreams, from shrinking?


  1. Hi Pamela! I think Lady Gaga's fame is due to her being humble and truly genuine to her fans. A person being humble and having fame has become rare these days. She is not the best singer or not even top 10 if talent was the criteria. But she has a top 3 caring spirit and that is what matters. It draws people to her and that is good thing.

    P.S. she is a weirdo, but so am I. LOL

  2. Proof her success comes from hard work & making her fans happy.

    Weirdos...geeks...nerds...Little Monsters, it's all good.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Love, love, love this post Pamela. Lady Gaga is a great example of standing out and enhancing her platform via social media.

    I'm debating on whether to self-publish my book on amazon instead of sending queries or maybe WHILE sending queries. Either way, social media has become essential for any author/artist/entertainer to get their names out there. The key is to finding a way to display your freakishness without scaring people away. I haven't found a way to do that yet ;).

  4. There's some argument about chicken and egg here: Lady G's followers helped push her to the top of the tree, but a LARGE portion of those have come about because of her fame. The big point about social media is that when she made her initial splash, people could connect with her in a way they couldn't with (for example) Madonna when she released "Lucky Star".
    Lady Gaga is not my cup of tea (I don't even drink tea, so maybe she's not my cup of coffee....) but I'll drink to her continued success. I believe she's earned it.

  5. Candace, the more I'm on twitter & facebook, the less alone I feel in my freakishness. I don't think it's a matter of scaring followers away. I think it's more putting yourself out there and seeing who identifies with you and finds a 'home' in your artistry. Those people are the platform you'll build upon, speak to, sell your books to.

  6. Good observation there d,I'll give you that. But she recognized it and used it and exploited it. That's something to learn from this generation behind us- they know how to manipulate technologies and exploit it for their own gain, be it gaming or endearing yourself to those who buy your books or your music.
    So here's my blog... what can I do to serve my readers? What can I write, express, offer to them to keep them coming back? And have them say to other readers what a great writer/blog I have? That's where LadyGaGa's brillant platform comes in: she found a niche, reached out, and arrived.

  7. I've tried to stay away from the Monsters and Gaga, but I've been very impressed with her lately (Saturday Night Live & The View). I won't lie, I have her music on my MP3 player for my gym workouts, but I haven't really given her the time of day until last week when she frequented some of my favorite TV. She is a dynasty now - and I think she's doing it right.

    To answer your question, I keep in touch with my fellow writers (I refuse to call them my fans) by tweeting conversations, visiting their blogs (like this great one), and sending friend requests on Facebook. I guess I'm turning into a social media ho.

  8. Hahaha! @Tiffany_A_White...we know who's to blame for that, right?


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