By coupling several announcements and releases with online contests and promotions, Linkin Park earned the biggest jump on Billboard's Social 50 chart this week, rising from No. 24 to No. 10.
The Social 50 chart ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, using a formula that blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with weekly artist page views and weekly song plays.
While Linkin Park's upcoming album, Living Things, isn't due until June 26, the band has worked to build anticipation about the release by game-ifying the release process.
On April 16, fans unlocked the album's first single "Burn It Down" by playing an interactive browser game on one of the group's many micro-sites (while the promotion has ended, the game can be found at the bottom of the website).
Also on April 16, pre-orders for the album itself went live which included an instant download of "Burn It Down," a subscription to receive a new remixed track from Living Things every month, and early access to tickets for their upcoming North American and European tours. That same day, the band announced the pre-sale dates for its Honda Civic Tour with Incubus and Mutemath.
By staggering updates and creating a game around the single release, Linkin Park sustained high user engagement on Facebook with over 15,000 likes and 500 comments.
During the charting week, the band also used staggered updates in order to remain top of mind and drive engagement. Members of the band's fan community Linkin Park Underground were able to purchase tickets on April 23, while those who only pre-ordered the album got a chance at tickets the following day. The general public on-sale for the tour was April 28.
A litany of exclusive offerings and content peppered the promotional cycle as well. A YouTube video that was promoted on Linkin Park's Facebook page announcing the tour received over 85,000 views and helped the act gain 267,000 fans.
Elsewhere, on the chart this week, Maroon 5 re-enters as expected at No. 41, sizzling from the success of "Payphone's" recent debut on NBC's "The Voice." The group's 75% gain in fan acquisition and plays during the previous charting week continued to generate returns this week, including over 200,000 new fans overall, 17,000 new Twitter followers, and 43,000 views to the band's YouTube channel.
Shortly after its debut, "Payphone" was released to streaming services and debuts at No. 13 on the On-Demand Songs chart with over 500,000 plays across services like Spotify, Rdio and Mog. While the On-Demand chart has only been around for six weeks, this No. 13 debut makes "Payphone" the highest debut since the chart launched.
Usher has begun what will likely be a steady climb up the Social 50 as the release of his newest album Looking 4 Myself is close to a month away. Usher moved from No. 46 to No. 37 during the charting week while the second single from the album, "Scream," premiered April 26 on Soundcloud (over 142,000 streams and counting). It was also released as a digital download on the 27th, contributing to a 14% rise in Twitter followers.
As for the rest of the Top 10, Justin Bieber and Adele remain steady at Nos. 1 and 2 respectively while One Direction (4-3) and Skrillex (5-4) both rise a notch. Rihanna falls 3-5 while LMFAO climbs 17-6 as news surrounding their Sorry for Partying Tour broke on their Facebook page April 23. Lastly, Billboard Latin Music Awards performer Pitbull jumps 10-7 while Katy Perry slips 6-8 and Nicki Minaj is down 8-9.