Communication researchers at the University of Missouri have been listening to plenty of Lady Gaga recently— but we’re not talking about her music here (well, maybe). It’s her Twitter presence they’re REALLY interested in, as well as the discourse she has with her fans on the platform.
And guess what? You might not be a Goddess of Love, but you CAN likely increase your following by ‘going Gaga’ on Twitter.
The university’s recent study, entitled “Making monsters: Lady Gaga, fan identification and social media,” suggests Lady Gaga is using Twitter as more than just a promotional tool. Researchers have been listening to the way Lady Gaga communicates with her “Little Monsters,” and how both the pop star and her millions of fans appear to benefit from this relationship.
In the same spirit as Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation, Lady Gaga’s Twitter feed promotes kindness, bravery, difference and individuality.
By exposing the more human aspects of her life (like the black circles under her eyes, her disorganised thoughts and her sadness over the death of her dog) Lady Gaga is building a sense of intimacy between herself and her followers. This allows her fans to feel closer to her and imagine a connection with the star — and, more importantly, with each other.
While Lady Gaga benefits from a strong and devoted fan base, the fans themselves benefit from a sense of community and safety. This relationship provides them with a way to accept, love and celebrate their differences and eccentricities — many of which are at the root of self-esteem and confidence issues.
According to the study, “Little Monsters” who identified as victims of bullying claimed the star “instilled strength in them through her acceptance of their differences, which gave them a reason to live.”
Whether you like Gaga’s music and fashion choices or not, it’s great that she’s having such a positive impact on her fans’ lives.
And, for the more cynical among us, it’s a good lesson in social media, too. With over 40 million followers, Lady Gaga certainly seems to understand the importance of using social media to foster relationships.
So the big question is: Could this social media strategy work for you? Sure, if you can handle getting a little personal with your followers! You don’t need to ‘go Gaga’ to the extent Lady Gaga does, but just sharing a bit about yourself and empathizing with others goes a LONG way in this cold, isolating online world.
Have you tried it? Will you now?