17th March 2014

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by: Jo Dodds

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Tags: Large Company, Leadership

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Categories: Engage for Success Blog

What can organisations learn from Beyonce’s interaction with her fans?

The similarities between a global entertainer and successful organisation may not be so obvious initially however upon closer inspection it seems engagement, innovation and building great relationships with customers (fans) are common practice between both!

Unlike many other entertainers who post their entire existence on social media, Beyonce has been using her social media presence to effectively engage her fans, giving them adequate insight into her life however still maintaining an air of privacy. Beyonce started out in the 90’s when social media presence wasn’t around, over the years she has successfully adapted to external forces and even put her own stamp on it. What organisations can learn from this is that even if you are successful in your current status quo – innovation in the form of calculate strategic moves can take that success to greater levels.

Beyonce started of with a twitter page with no tweets but millions of followers, she turned her focus to creating a blog, facebook and tumblr page so she could put her values, lifestyle and creativity stamp on it. A perfect example of her using a selection of all the tools available but ensuring it is in line with her personal values. She creates a pseudo-connection with her fans that makes them feel like a part of her while – to an extent that suits her. Not only does she post images from her concerts, music videos and day to day activities she also posts about causes she is passionate about which happen to be common ground for her savvy fan base. Whether it’s charitable projects across the world or historical individuals for black history month, with every social media move she scores points with her fanbase. Fans also know if they attend her concerts and make selves known/stand out she will personally post their pictures on her social media channels.

A recent article discussed whether Beyonce took innovation to new heights by killing marketing. In December 2013 she released a surprise album without prior marketing for months. Her brand and innovative approach meant her album had sold a million copies in the first week and that was just on itunes without a hard copy being released. Quirky strategic moves may be feared by most organisations however in Beyonces case, the risk taking paid off. She announced her album release directly to her fans via instagram and in seconds copies were being download, by communicating directly to customers and avoiding media channels, there was a spike in engagement levels.

A recent CNBC article stated ‘I wouldn’t so much say that “marketing as we knew it is dead” but rather that marketing is reverting back to what it was in the 1960s — relationship marketing. Artists, authors, Fortune 500s, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between is learning that social media and online marketing can only get you so far. Building great relationships with your customers (or fans) is the single greatest form of marketing you can do. Beyoncé’s new album isn’t successful because she kept it a secret and dropped it out of thin air, it’s successful because she has a huge fan base, has poured her life into her brand, and is an incredibly talented human being.’

In regards to the bottom line, Beyonces live performances are continuously praised by even those who aren’t fans. Her worldwide sold out tours include innovative awe inspiring performances and continuously engaging her fans. From the onset she ensures she is in continuous dialogue with the audience, asking them to sing along, what songs they would like and at times even singing happy birthday to fans personally.

When looking at Beyonces approach it seems her fans voices are key, as is her engaging approach. Her personal values being reflected in all her decisions ensures integrity and her innovative moves are perfect examples of strategic narrative. The 4 enablers are visible in her approach and a perfect example of success.

Extracts of the above article have been extracted from slideshare, in addition various media sources have been quouted.