Katy Perry “gets” social media or at least the people she works with get it. I’m a fan of her music so I started following her on Twitter and “liked” her Facebook page. In the beginning of June, Katy introduced a character Kathy Beth Terry  and encouraged people to “like” her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter. Kathy Beth Terry is Katy’s character in her video for Last Friday Night, but she built a whole page and persona to lead up to the premier of the video. Great example of using social media as a campaign strategy and not just your ongoing communication.

There were several teaser videos to give a back story to the video and characters, again all leading up the the premier. Basically, they shot extra footage on the set of the video and used it strategically as teasers. This probably didn’t add much to the overall costs since everything was already set up. Now I know you don’t have a music video-sized budget, but I want you to think how you could use this type of approach for a product launch or event.

The video was suppose to premier on June 14th on Funny or Die, but she gave her followers a challenge on June 12th at 1:40 pm.  If they could get #KathyBethTerry trending, she would release the video early. By 2:30 it was trending and Katy released her video exclusively at FunnyOrDie.com.  Giving those that are most loyal to her the chance to get what they wanted (the video) earlier than planned and do some advertising for her as well. Win-Win.

After the video was posted, Katy took the next step to further promote the video by encouraging user generated content. She provided images from the video complete with green screen backgrounds, and encouraged her fans to Photoshop the images and upload them to the Facebook page. More content and promotion provided by the fans. Love it.

Just to provide one more example of this social media rockstar, she even used location based services in a unique way to reward concert attendees. She was at Merriweather Post Pavillion on June 15th, and she posted that the 1st 100 concert attendees that checked-in to the concert using Facebook Places and claimed the deal would get early entrance into the venue. Definite advantage to the general admission crowd. No discount or savings, just early access.

Why am I telling you all this? Even as a small business, we can look at what others are doing and tailor it to suit our own needs. If you break down what Katy Perry did, she put together a social media campaign to promote a product (video) before, during and after its launch (premier). As you look to promote an event or product launch what can you do before, during and after to reward those most loyal to you and encourage them to help with the promotion? Now get out there and show them that you “Baby you are a firework”. Sorry couldn’t resist :-)