Twitter Business Lessons from Justin Bieber

Twitter's Pop Culture Status Means Potential Eyeballs

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If you’re not familiar with Justin Bieber (you’re excused if you’re not a 12-year-old girl), he is 16-year -old singer, who was discovered by his manager on YouTube, apparently after his mom uploaded videos of his performances so his loved ones could see them.

Do you think Justin Bieber’s Twitter success is a product of or a contributor to his popularity? Both? Share your thoughts.

Justin Bieber - the Reigning King of Twitter Trending TopicsAccording to What the Trend, Justin Bieber is popular right now because, he "has a lot of fans who like to tweet about him," and his new album was just released. It has to be more than that though. Bieber has frequently been a trending topic for over a month straight. The tweets just keep pouring in, and they’re generally not spammy.

The week of Valentine’s Day, What the Trend said, "the young Canadian R&B/pop singer has a lot of fans who like to tweet about him! He is trending these days because his solo begins the new version of We Are the World, a song for the relief efforts in Haiti."

The next week, it was attributed to the same thing. The week after that, it was: "the young Canadian R&B/pop singer is trending these days because his new song, ‘Never Let You Go’ was released for download on iTunes this week, as well as a duet with Sean Kingston, an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. He also had his birthday March 1st."

Last week, it was: "Justin Bieber’s new album My World 2.0 comes out on March 23rd & his fans are excited. He also appeared on Z100.com, QVC, and GMTV in the UK."

(Hat tip to Mashable for keeping an archive of top ten tweets each week).

"It’s pretty crazy to think about and just to have all the fans’ support," Bieber said of his Twitter status in a recent interview. "Everything’s just been wonderful."

So, Bieber has had a busy month. Still, the sheer domination over trending topics that has grown from these happenings has been quite remarkable. Have the Twitter stars just aligned for Bieber or is it all part of the marketing?  Either way,  perhaps there are lessons here that marketers could take away from Bieber’s spark of Twitter interest.

It’s tough for a brand to achieve the fandom of a teen idol (though the good news for brands is that they probably have a better shot at their own fandom lasting for the long run, as teen idols for the most part come and go, despite a few exceptions). Twitter is about what’s happening right now, though, and pop culture is ALWAYS happening right now.

Justin Bieber Twitter Search - Notice how they keep rolling in

Lessons to Learn from Justin Bieber

1. A stream of Justin Bieiber Twitter mentions appears on the Justin Bieber site. Any site can do this, and it helps promote your Twitter presence. However, use caution, because you can’t control what people are saying about you. If you’re ok with that openness, let it show, but if you take care of your customers, chances are they won’t have much negative to say about you anyway.

2. Stay relevant to pop culture. Does that mean go and crank out a bunch of Justin Bieber articles? No, but it may help to show that you are "hip" to what’s going on in some capacity.

3. Perhaps it is hasty to assume, but in this case, I’m fairly comfortable with going out on a limb and assuming that a good percentage of Bieber’s fan-base is made up of young people. If there’s any truth to that, it would appear to mean that Twitter is being more widely adopted by younger generations than previously thought. This could be helpful to keep in mind when considering your potential Twitter audience.

4. Stay relevant not only to pop culture, but to customers. Much of Bieber’s Twitter popularity has been attributed to the various things he has been working on – appearances in songs, TV performances, new singles, an upcoming album, etc. He’s doing things that his fans find interesting and worth tweeting about. Do things that your fans find interesting, and they will hopefully tweet about it.

Is it ok to say no to Twitter? Sure, but you can’t deny the potential reach the service allows you, and this is only growing. A year from now, Twitter is likely going to be even more useful to businesses in a variety of capacities. They’re expected to have an ad platform, for one. Last week, they announced the @anywhere platform.

Don’t expect to get Justin Bieber-like fandom, but I’d wager that many businesses would consider a fraction of that to be a successful Twitter endeavor. By the way, a recent study found that brands on Facebook and Twitter are favored by consumers.

Why do you think Justin Bieber has dominated Twitter’s trending topics so much more than other celebrities and topics? Discuss here.

Twitter Business Lessons from Justin Bieber
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  • http://kempedmonds.com Kemp Edmonds

    Well done to capture this phenom and lay out some lessons in the genius that is the Bieber Marketing machine.

    Wanted to add that staggering releases and stories (an old tactic) works well in the social media space. Thanks for covering this annoying yet unforgettable little phenomenon.

  • http://www.luvfreesamples.com david

    Justin Bieber is my IDOL! He’s really had a great voice, and I like he’s solo the song “we are world”. . . Keep it up men! Great voice!

  • http://justin.bieber.com justin bieber fan

    Scooter is his manager. He is a genius, however he did just get arrested for not tweeting fast enough. That’s right, arrested for slow tweeting.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes, I actually wrote about this as well, after talking to Scooter’s lawyer.

  • Guest

    Do you know HOW to have Twitter mentions automatically post to a website??

  • Tiffany

    Taking business advice from Justin Bieber is like asking my 3 year old to give her opinion on my investments. He is a 16 year old kid who has a following of Tween girls in lust with him. No real correlation between his Twitter account and tweeting for business. This is an article purely written for attention and shock value. Give me a break.

    • Chris Crum

      It’s not about taking advice from him. It’s more about learning from how he has been successful on Twitter. His manager/marketers are not 16 year old kids. If I wanted shock value, I could’ve found something a lot more shocking than Justin Bieber.

  • Rockman

    All PR; cute face plus Auto-Tune and lots of marketing cash equals phenom. Anyone remember OTown, Backstreet Boys, Mili Vanili, New Kids on the Block? Nothing new here, same PR strategy that’s worked for 50 years; control the message by buying it.

    The notion that this was some genius viral strategy that used egalitarian social media to expose a talented prodigy is laughable. Bottom line, with enough cash you could sell ice to an Eskimo (oops, I mean “Inuit”) via Twitter.

    Key advantage of Twitter (and social media) is that the speed of growth and ability to control the message (if you have enough cash) can keep you ahead of the fraud/phony curve so by the time folks figure out you’re Mili Vanili yoiu’ve gone platinum and by then the junior high girls don’t care.

    Nice little scam but works for us too – we regularly manipulate buzz and opinion via paid Tweeters, bloggers, reviewers, etc.

  • Guest

    I guess it would be easy if your market was for tween or teenagers to hit the top tweets, but what about if you market is women between the ages of 20-65. do you think that women who work all day, and have a family at home have time to make a 1000 comments on tweeter?
    No, if you market is school children, who are techno-crazy and only use tweeter as a social platform then i am sure being on the top 10 tweets list is valid.
    As a small business owner, i dont have time to post a comment on my business performance daily or hourly to keep up with the techno crazy teenagers. I have responsiblities to maintain that are more important then visiting tweeter all day updating my status to attract a potiental client. I find more value in other forms of advertising then tweeter based on my current target market. yes you will find some of my target market online, however tweeter is not necessarly the page that they spend most of their free time on.
    So i dont see much value for the effort when it comes to updating my status or what i am doing on tweeter… other business may find value in seeing what comments other people are making and doing damage control online, however, if i worried about everybody who did/didnot like my service offerings, then there would be no time for me to worry about attracting people who were in alignment with what i have to offer.
    Using tweeter as a measure of popularity is only as good as your target market is concerned.
    to top it off, those tweens that are making comments, are only doing so in the HOPES that Justin Beiber discovers them and falls in love with them, bringing into play their ulitimate desire of being noticed by the world as HIS girlfriend, they want to be found by him and not his marketing gurus.
    This is only a market machine if it is your target market… do you think he is a genius for breaking the hearts of 10,000’s of young girls as he plays on their fantasies of falling in love with a rock star? Why else would a 12 yr old girl post something about him, it’s becasue they want HIM to see it and be captivated by their presence, just as he has captivated them… enough with the false fairy tale leads…give me a marketing stragie that does not promise false hope and then I can say you have a marketing genius!

    • http://www.strunkwriter.com Guest

      That’s just silly. Women are the largest users of social media. We’re out Tweeting and out Facebooking men. My mother-in-law is in her 70s and has a Facebook account. Women over 55 are the largest growing demographic in social media. Q interactive did a survey in late 2009 and 54% of women said they visited at least one social networking site a day, 75% said they were more active in social networking sites than they were the previous year.

      We work all day, have a family at home and use those 1,000 comments and status updates a day (OK, that’s an exageration) to keep up relationships that would otherwise fall by the wayside. If your target market is women (almost any age group) you need to embrace social media, because we’re the driving force behind it.

  • http://twitter.com/DotDraper Dot Draper

    Oh yeah, it’s quite phenomenal. But imagine if any preceding teen idols had stepped into the spotlight after the Dawning of the Age of Social Media. Never underestimate the power or the fevered tweeting of a teenage girl besotted and dazzled by a cute boy. Really, just don’t ever.

    That said, look at the rest of last week’s top topics. It seems that Twitter has moved into the realm of ‘take me seriously’ and I for one am, like author Tee Morris’ aptly titled handbook, “All A Twitter”.

    I just didn’t get it, wrote it off as an effective way for Ashton Kutcher to share what he was eating or for John Mayer to sharpen his wit. Even after Oprah took to tweeting I scoffed. But Morris’ book put it all in a different light.

    For me, Twitter has become like high-tech show-and-tell. I share new products, new ideas and plenty of news while networking with others who share my interest in advertising, technology, humor and pop culture. And not surprisingly, on my grown-up Twitter feed, there’s nary a note on the Canadian crush.

    It remains to be seen how long Twitter or Facebook will remain relevant (does anybody remember My Space- isn’t that, like, so ancient history?) but for now I think it’s boosting the relevancy of more than just Justin. Plus, it’s honing my editing skills with its wacky 140 character limit!

    And if you still don’t get what Twitter can do beyond letting you share that you’re hungry or hungover, crack open “All A Twitter”. It’s beyond Bieber.

  • http://www.webwizards.com.au Neville

    If your after the tween and teen markets then this may be relevant. I am not sure truck haulage contractors are going to be tweeting all over the place. Horses for courses as far as Web promotion goes.

  • mary

    amooo de paixao esse menino lindoo e fofo
    Gosto muito das musicas dele e linda e meiga voz desse teem q tudoo q ele fala sobre Justin bierbe sempre procuro fika por dentro das noticias bijin bijin … …

  • Guest

    actually it seems like whenever I look at it, the majority of the tweets about him are pretty spammy, most of them seem to be coming from a certain quiz website asking various questions such as “Where would you go on a date with him?” and crap like that. Annoying.

  • Guest

    Social channels are only accelerating his adoption and stardom by articulating his music and his charisma to an audience that can infect each other and share what they love about Justin. If Justin didn’t have these qualities as well as a music “product” that was enticing, his fuse would not be burning.

  • http://www.angeldp.com Guest

    should we listen his voice?

  • http://www.moneyuburn.com stan

    Just like i said previously, there are many younger users or tweeters out there and stay relevant with pop culture.
    Good lesson.

    • Anonymous

      please we girl love you and we do what you do so please stay on pop star think okay

      • Guest

        i say that i love you

  • Guess

    I think justin bieber is a great dancer, and one of my bf’s are totally obbssessd with him…i just dont get why every one has to put him down…cant people just be happy that someone is making a mark in life….keep it up, because you have to live life to its fullest.

  • my ass

    i ruv you

  • victoria

    without comments

  • shallow

    what do ya think bout j.b??hes only a kid right??

  • emily

    guys listen!wwo he really is?canadian untalented boy!well…i think even kevin jonas is betyerrrr!

  • valentina

    justin biber ta amo

  • http://pilipino annerose.fernandez

    i love justin this is my coment for her that i meet her in the phillipines

    • http://pilipino annerose.fernandez

      he is my one and only singer

  • http://riteshrocks.com Ritesh

    i like justinbiber!!!!!!!!!

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