Miley Cyrus has caused quite a stir with her latest antics at the MTV EMA’s in Amsterdam last weekend. The bit where she twerk dances with a little woman and then pulls out a full joint of weed to smoke it set off alarm bells around the Internet and mainstream media (or what’s left of it).
Many speculated that something was wrong with Miley Cyrus, from depression over her breakup with almost-husband Liam Hemsworth, to a crying out due to bad parenting, the commentary was all around the idea that there was a problem.
Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus is laughing and tweeting that she doesn’t care…
sometimes in life you just gotta decide to not give AF
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) November 11, 2013
And why should she? As of this writing, Miley Cyrus is laughing all the way to the bank. Her Google Trend rankings are the highest in her entire career, ever, for her.
In fact, this year, 2013, it’s more than double what it’s ever been before.
Remember that Miley has used social media to make her record sell 1 million downloads in one day this year, and after a romp through San Francisco that included stops at Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Spreecast. But that was in the spring: for the MTV Awards shows, Miley ramped things up quite a bit.
The first was the MTV VMA’s and a now much-talked-about twerk dance on the groin of Robin Thicke, and the use of a “number one” hand sign as a kind of self-pleasure device. That got everyone talking, but it also moved song sales for her.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, that action at the VMAs generated 306,100 tweets per minute, versus a peak of 98,307 for the VMAs last year. Now, Cyrus is the most active artist on the social media chart kept by Billboard as of this writing, and her album Bangerz is number eight, but was as high as number one and the stop streaming song, again according to Billboard as of today, is “Wrecking Ball.”
All of Miley Cyrus’ actions add up to a brilliant use of social media, giving her media coverage from people that’s at levels never before seen in history.
And Miley’s actions have moved her past Taylor Swift for 2013 – way past her. I compared the two with Justin Bieber last year in this blog post and video and found Taylor Swift to be ahead of Miley Cyrus:
Not this time. This chart shows how Miley Cyrus has come back and topped Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj.
The lesson here is in how the ability to be on a huge media megaphone like MTV can help move the social media needle and drive record sales.
Remember, the main hook for all of this is that Miley Cyrus has an album and songs on it to push. In my analysis, record releases drive Google Trend searches and they fall unless the performer’s going on a concert tour. There’s no planned major tour for Cyrus until 2014, but with the success of this effort, she really doesn’t need to have one.
The 2014 Concerts will keep her name in the public eye for a while.
The overall lesson for online marketers is that sex does sell, and outrageous actions that drive buzz and talk win the day.
The objective is to move your client past the vast amount of noise that’s out there. Miley Cyrus is doing that. A typical, safe performance would have gained a few mentions, but Miley knows not to waste the moment on TV. She works it for social media, and she knows it, and she doesn’t care – except about the numbers and the bucks.
A YouTube commenter asked how Miley compares to Lady Gaga. This new chart I ran shows that Cyrus is also so far ahead of Lady Gaga it should be a matter of concern for Gaga’s business team: