What Brands Can Learn From Lady Gaga's Instagram Strategy

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl spot hit $5 million this year. Even with 111 million viewers tuning in for the big game, that’s a lot of dough, especially considering that you can access 5.5 times more peeps on Instagram.

Point being, you don’t need huge budgets to reach your customers. Here’s a list of @LadyGaga-inspired Instagram strategies to get you started.

Follow the 80:20-ish Rule:

Gaga sprinkles in tour and merchandise promotions, but the crux of her Instagram programming centers around her fans, her story, and her life. This is by design. Gaga balances the use of content her fans want with overt self-promotion. Dedicate 80 percent-ish of your efforts to content that your audience considers valuable. Use the remaining 20 percent-ish for promotion. If you are a health food brand, your followers will tire of photo after photo of your products. Incorporate recipes, influencer content, lifestyle shots, inspirational quotes, giveaways, and other like-worthy images, videos, and stories.

Chart Describing 80 20 Rule

Beat Gaga at the #Hashtag Game:

Gaga managed to tack on over 100,000 followers after her Super Bowl performance, landing her at a whopping 21.7 million followers. She can thank her halftime exposure for that, as her hashtag strategy leaves something to be desired. Hashtags aren’t just trendy. They are keywords that associate your post with specific topics or themes, making it easier to discover relevant content and profiles. Gaga occasionally aligns with trending hashtags like #SB15 or proprietary hashtags like #JoanneVibes, but often abandons them completely. Her audience targeting and reach could improve with a balanced use of these hashtag types.

  • Proprietary hashtags: Establish brand consistency with a signature hashtag for your company or campaign. Encourage your fan base to use it as well.
  • Trending hashtags: Reach the masses by aligning with trending topics or events, but ensure your content has a legit tie in.
  • Content hashtags: Use common hashtags that are specific to your target audience and your post image or video. This helps you reach relevant people.

Lady Gaga Super Bowl Instagram


Avoid Poker Face

Lady Gaga filled her Instagram with videos and images capturing her dedication and excitement leading up to her Super Bowl halftime performance. Her enthusiasm was contagious, spurring hundreds of thousands of likes and comments from her followers. Gaga didn’t bombard you with boring performance promotions but instead pulled back the velvet rope to let you in on the rehearsals, workouts, team and energy leading up to #GagaBowl. Experiment with ways to show your Instagram followers your excitement for an upcoming event, contest or promotion. If you aren’t excited, why should they be?

Lady Gaga Instagram Hype


Show Appreciation

Gaga routinely thanks her fans or Little Monsters for their love and support. She knows that humility and appreciation can translate into ticket sales, a positive public image and certain wardrobe liberties (cue the meat dress). Brands need to find creative ways to show thanks to their community. Of course say you appreciate your fans, but also show them. Here are a few ideas.

  • Showcase fan photos and videos
  • Run contests with giveaways
  • Respond to community comments
  • Ask for ideas
  • Foster feelings of exclusivity

Lady Gaga Instagram Thanks


Don’t Hide

Gaga took to the halftime stage in multiple outfits, including one exposing her midriff. She rocked it but suffered body shaming backlash from internet trolls and haters. Gaga, an anti-bullying advocate, took to her Instagram immediately.

“ I heard my body is a topic of conversation, so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do.”

Whether it’s bullying, a public relations disaster, negative product response, or a bad judgment call, it’s best to address the problem head on. Take the high road and be direct, humble and human. Your followers will appreciate your honesty and bravery.

Lady Gaga Body Shaming

That’s a Wrap…

You don’t need deep pockets (or a glitter-clad body suit) to connect with your customers, but you do need a strategy. Follow Lady Gaga’s lead and transform your Instagram feed into a strategic marketing machine. Do it right and you’ll have an advocate army of Little Monsters in no time. Contact Fullbottle for more winning Instagram strategies.