Thursday, June 6, 2013

Psy, Gangnam Style, and Social Media

In the last year, people around the world were first exposed to K-pop (Korean pop) through the song "Gangnam Style." It's artist, Psy, has become a household name, and his follow-up single, "Gentleman," has also been a hit in many countries. So how did Psy go from a regional star to a global icon with a #1 song in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and #2 in the US? He did it because of social media.

Not trying to create a worldwide hit, Psy simply uploaded his now famous music video on YouTube and publicized the new song to his fans and audience through social media. But the beauty of social media is that once you introduce content, it is available to everyone and very easy for users to share what they like with all of their friends and fans. And if you have a strong social network, like American rapper T-Pain, who tweeted about "Gangnam Style" to his many fans and celebrity friends, you can reach an amazing number of people. T-Pain's 9-word message helped to send "Gangnam Style" on an unprecedented climb in popularity around the country and the world.

Now while many of us are not trying to reach a global, or even national, market with our products and information, social media still plays a critical role in how we market ourselves. It allows people to easily connect with businesses to learn information and share their opinions about products/services. How businesses manage these interactions is crucial because of the huge audience on the Internet. This is perhaps even more crucial for local businesses because of their reliance on word-of-mouth recommendations and the increased ease of finding information about area businesses, due to location-tracking and GPS.

Facts About Gangnam Style

  • Most viewed video on YouTube with over 1.5 billion views, the first video to reach 1 billion views
  • Surpassed the previous most viewed video ("Baby" by Justin Bieber) in less than 6 months, even though "Baby" had a 2+ year head start
    (Source: BBC)
  • More countries have watched "Gangnam Style" than those that are members of the UN

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