Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Simon Cowell Must Hate Facebook

On Sunday the whole nation was shocked when it was announced that Rage Against The Machine’s single, Killing In The Name was Christmas number one. The single was released in 1992, so how come 17 years later it becomes Christmas number one? It is all down to the power and effectiveness of social media.

A man named Jon Morter started a Facebook group called ‘Rage Against The Machine For Christmas No.1.’ The Facebook group asked the question, ‘Fed up of Simon Cowell's latest karaoke act being Christmas No.1? Me too... So who's up for a mass-purchase of the track 'KILLING IN THE NAME' from December 13th (DON'T BUY IT YET!) as a protest to the X-Factor monotony?’ It started off fairly small but then began to take off and the group now has just over 500,000 members. As the group started to attract attention in the media one of the bands members, Tom Morello used his Twitter page to encourage fans to purchase the single. This along with lots of word of mouth campaigning is what resulted in this incredible shock to the nation.

I actually remember coming across the group on Facebook when I was invited by several of my friends to join. When I saw it I just thought of it as one of the many groups on facebook that is nonsense. I regarded it in the same category as the types of group which you see that are called ‘If 100,000 members join I will tattoo my name on my forehead.’ I was shocked when I saw people on my facebook started posting comments about how the single has become Christmas number one. I then turned on to the news to check if this was real.

I along with the rest of the nation expected X-Factor winner, Joe McElderry’s single to become the number one. For the past four years the winners of The X-Factor have released cover songs which have made it to Christmas number one, partly due to the final being held just before Christmas. Maybe if Simon Cowell and the rest of The X-Factor crew had worked harder on promoting Joe's single then it may have made it to number one. This year may be the turning point where The X-Factor is no longer as popular as it once was.

This is an example of social networking used in exactly the right way. It has worked well because along with the campaign having a clear goal, Facebook and Twitter were both used to speak to fans directly to create a massive buzz and this in turn has created media hype.

All this has reminded me of other occasions where social media has been used effectively. An example is the film Paranormal Activity, which was recently released in the USA and UK. The film was originally shown in the USA in just 13 towns, but Paramount later announced that they would use social media platforms to promote the film and if the film received over 1,000,000 demands then the film would be released nationwide. The film hit 1,000,000 demands and was then later released nationwide across the USA and then the UK and it has been a huge success.

It has been proven once again that social media is becoming more and more powerful in influencing people’s decisions. If the recent success story of Rage Against The Machine doesn’t encourage more businesses to start using Twitter and Facebook, then what will?

1 comment:

  1. The result of Rage Against The Machine reaching Christmas number 1 is truly significant. It has broken the stranglehold that X Factor had on the position for how many ever years! Which, as you have pointed out, goes to show how powerful social media can be in influencing people's decisions. Without doubt, social media such as Facebook and Twitter will continue to grow in strength and have an even greater impact in the future.