Social Media in the Music Industry: Brilliant or Desperate?

Is it just me, or have other content marketers begun picking up on the social media signals within the music industry? As we all very well know, social media is a springboard upon which businesses are happily bouncing to bolster brand awareness, lock in customer loyalty and secure sales; however, some of today’s A-list entertainers and musicians are seeing the promise of social media in an entire new light – one that they are hoping will lead to big fat dollar signs. It seems that social media became a strategic element of musicians’ careers almost overnight, which got me thinking…are these tactics genius or just plain desperate? Let’s take a look at three of today’s top celebs who are cashing in on Twitter’s hashtag and we’ll let you be the judge.

Robin Thicke

You’ve probably heard Thicke’s newest funky summer single “Blurred Lines” on the radio, but have you seen the R&B artist’s music video? Throughout the video – which has mostly garnered attention for its risqué nature – the hashtags #THICKE and #BLURREDLINES continuously appear in gigantic, bold red lettering. In fact, the hashtag #THICKE appears almost 20 times throughout the over four minute video while the hashtag #BLURREDLINES appears three times.







The song may be contagious, but I’m not so sure how I feel about the video (if you haven’t watched yet, click here).

Mariah Carey

Thicke’s overly conspicuous social media strategy doesn’t hold a candle to the queen of R&B, who actually used a hashtag in the title of her newest single, “#Beautiful.” Apparently, there was more to the hashtag than just capitalizing on the popularity of Twitter. Miguel, who collaborated on the hit single with Mariah, explained to MTV News back in May why the hashtag was “particularly fitting” for the title, saying, “The hashtag in the title of this song is particularly fitting because the word that comes before ‘beautiful’ when I sing the chorus is an expletive that I can’t say on air. But the hashtag is particularly fitting for that expletive, if you just kind of pay a little bit of attention.”

Multi-faceted recording artist, songwriter and one of the founding members of hip hop group “The Black Eyed Peas,”, is known for pushing limits and continually reinventing the music industry. Now, the artist proudly wears the hat of a social media manager with his newest album titled “#willpower,” which includes the track “#thatpower.”


In a recent interview discussing the state of music and its digital future, explained that the elements and sensibilities of creating a hit record change about every four years. “I go out and make songs that affect popular culture… what if I made a song and put it on the Internet tomorrow?” He continues, “We live in this connected, instant, right-now world…people forgot that the music industry was always technology.”

Listen to the interview in full by clicking here.

Let the gavel fall judiciously – are these not-so-subtle approaches clever and creative or could they have been done better? And more generally, do you think this content marketing strategy easily translates to the music industry?