Friday, August 22, 2014

Miley Cyrus: Social Media Marketer

This is not an opinion, but rather a statement of fact.

Last week, VMAs viewers watched a homeless man accept the Video of the Year award on behalf of Miley Cyrus. But an acceptance speech, he did not deliver. For many, this was the first time hearing about Miley's advocacy for the 1.6 million homeless youths in America. However, for those of us tuned-in to Miley's social platforms and personal accounts, she had been clueing us in days in advance.

I fancy myself a Miley insider by virtue of simply following her across several social platforms. She likes to tease her fans (the media, everyone in general...) with cryptic images or captions. As it relates to social media marketing, Miley and her team know how to create thumb-stopping content, design messages that pique interest and urge the passive skimmer to participate in some way. Prior to the MTV awards show, Miley released photos of herself at a site unknown on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. One photo was captioned "Met some of the coolest young people I've ever met today," and another one which included the website and #makinsomeartformyfriendsatmyfriendspace. Makes you wonder what Miley is up to, right? These particular posts were anticipatory and promotional; sprinkling in hints of something bigger to come and at the same time giving you the resources to find out for yourself. All signs pointed to Miley realizing her stardom and widespread reach to freely advertise for a homeless shelter called My Friend's Place.

Miley used her position as an influencer to raise awareness about and campaign for a cause. Mix-in cause-related marketing with the social strategy, and her message was focused and simple, later reinforced by the events played out at the VMAs. The early photos and concise content drove collaboration, connection and community among Miley, her followers and My Friend's Place. She encouraged website traffic as well as converted interested parties to further participation, like volunteering and donating. She has made a huge impact on the organization and the thousands of homeless kids in Los Angeles since the various announcements. Following the VMAs Miley was trending on Twitter, garnering attention from big names like Kim K, Madonna, Chelsea Handler and Susan Sarandon, in addition to users outside the music and entertainment industry. The lingering effects include Miley leveraging herself as a brand and influencer, providing a social link and association to another brand, and ultimately adding value and credibility to an otherwise under-the-radar organization.

I'm happy to see Miley flexing her superhero strength for a great cause. Other brands can easily imitate this example and successfully pursue and execute a mutually beneficial partnership. Certainly Miley and My Friend's Place are enjoying a healthy boost in stock right about now.

It's likely Miley doesn't even know she is actively participating in social media marketing tactics. But then again, being the smart and savvy young lady she is, she probably does.

Mashable article here.

Follow Miley here or here.

Disagree with me or itching for an intellectual debate? Comments open to all.


  1. I've been on the line about whether I like the 'new Miley' but after seeing her use her name and brand for a great cause I've decided that I am still a fan!

    I agree with you in that I don't think she realizes she is using social media strategy, but I do think she knows how huge of an impact she and other celebrities can make through their facebooks, twitters, and instagrams.

    The ALS ice bucket challenge is another social media frenzy that celebrities have helped make successful and raised a lot of money for a good cause. I hope that these big names continue to use their huge social media presence for good!

  2. I completely agree that Miley Cyrus has a huge social media presence, her endless Instagram posts caused me to unfollow her, and I also completely agree that she probably doesn't realize she is using social media marketing to make an impact. She has undoubtedly used controversy to to get attention, people either love her or love to hate her. Either way, she has done an incredible job of getting people talking about her and her antics. And it's definitely nice to see that she is using her huge presence for good.

    1. Just getting back to you, but thanks Lindsey! Love seeing what y'all have to say.