A racy Esquire magazine cover and a fan-driven Facebook promotional campaign sends Rihanna flying 10-5 on Billboard's Social 50 chart this week, just as the music video for her single "We Found Love" premiered. As for the rest of the top five, she joins the usual suspects of Justin Bieber (No. 1), Adele (No. 2), LMFAO (5-3) and Shakira (4-3).
On Oct. 11, Rihanna posted a picture of the magazine cover to her Facebook page, wherein it received 34,000 Likes, 5,500 comments and 1,500 shares. The November issue, which bears the text, "Sexiest Woman Alive," hit newsstands on Oct. 16.
Billboard's Social 50 chart ranks the most active artists on the world's leading social networking sites -- YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and iLike -- using a formula blending weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist page views and weekly song plays.
Rihanna has also been running a campaign on her Facebook page called "Unlocked," wherein fans slowly gain access to information about her new album, "Talk That Talk," which is due out Nov. 21.
On Oct. 14, fans unlocked the first part a video series that shows the making of the video for the single "We Found Love." Since its debut, the video has received 100,000 YouTube views, which helped to boast her profile views from 7,000 to 8,000 views week-to-week.
In other stats, Rihanna jumped from 24 million VEVO plays last week to nearly 27 million this week. Across all monitored social networks and music outlets, she also rose in fans, adding a total of 530,000 fans this week.
Meanwhile, the U.S. debut of Avril Lavigne's latest fragrance "Wild Rose" on Oct. 15 and the release of several behind-the-scenes tour videos, shoot her up the chart 20-14, with a growth of 70,000 profile YouTube views.
The Facebook page for the fragrance has been up for several months now, with posts dating back to late June. So far, the page hasn't gained very much traction, as only 127 fans have opted to like the page.
Her first video -- uploaded on Oct. 11 -- features concert attendees expressing their love for the star; it has since been viewed 55,000 times. Then in the following days, she added three more videos.
As her Black Star tour marches on, she also grows in fans, moving from 233,000 fans added last week to 377,000 fans added this week. Her plays remain somewhat consistent, residing around 8.8 million plays. She hasn't released any new music since Sept. 8 when the video for the single "Wish You Were Here" debuted.
With the recent YouTube debut of Jennifer Lopez's commercial for Fiat, the singer jumps ten spaces up the chart, sliding 31-21. Since being uploaded on Oct. 10, the ad has been viewed 112,000 times. Week-to-week, Lopez also showed a tremendous jump in her fans, ramping up from 186,000 fans added last week to 310,000 fans added this week. Twitter saw the largest gain, with a jolt of 222,000 followers. Across the rest of Lopez's stats, her plays (12.4 million to 11.4 million) and views (25,000 views to 24,000 views) decline slightly.
Karmin skips 48-36 up the tally and back into the spotlight, with the release of a cover of "No Scrubs" by TLC. Since being uploaded on Oct. 10, the video has pulled in 679,000 views, boasting Karmin's YouTube profile views from 110,000 views to 164,000 views week-to-week. Their previous effort, a cover of the Bad Meets Evil single "Lighters," which features Bruno Mars, came out on Aug. 19 and has since brought in 3.5 million views.
In the video, they also announced that their latest original single will be released in two weeks. As is usually the trend in a scenario like this (read: Christina Grimmie or Boyce Avenue), the original song will perform well, but greatly underperform in comparison to the covers. With YouTube cover artists, original songs seem to trend in the hundreds of thousands of views to lower millions, while their covers often trend far higher.
Lastly, as Evanescence grabs the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with its self-titled album, the group re-enters Social 50 at No. 41, with a total of 90,000 fans added and 2.7 million plays gained week-to-week.
Back in the top 10, Bruno Mars remains at No. 9. Meanwhile, Pitbull (8-7) and David Guetta (13-8) rise, while Lady Gaga tumbles 4-10.