Chart Beat

A Key Reason BTS Broke the Record for Most Weeks at No. 1 on the Social 50 Chart

BTS
Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment

BTS

Yes, the band's dedicated fan base is the main reason. But here's another.

BTS, as of Billboard's Social 50 chart dated Feb. 8, has totaled 164 weeks at No. 1 -- a new record reign. The group debuted on the chart in October 2016 and has led every week since late July 2017.

Myriad reasons explain how K-pop superstars BTS made history on the chart, but one feels particularly important when comparing BTS to, say, other boy bands or girl groups: the centralization of social messaging under one or two highly popular accounts.

Go on and open Twitter. Search for BTS. There you'll find the group's official account, @bts_twt, which chronicles its adventures as it travels and tours the world. You'll also find @bts_bighit, a label-created account that tweets updates about BTS, generally at a less prolific pace than the one controlled by the seven-piece itself. (No, we're not talking about duplicate accounts counting here; only one account on each social media platform can count toward the Social 50 for a respective artist, as measured by Next Big Sound; for BTS, it's the former of the two above.)

OK, now try the American boy band Why Don't We. A Twitter search will pull up a dropdown that not only includes the band's main account, @whydontwemusic, which sports 752,000 followers at press time, but also five verified accounts below it on the dropdown, one for each of the group's members. Jonah Marais pops up first, and, lo and behold, his account, @JonahMarais, boasts 887,000 followers at the moment -- more than his group's own account. Fellow member Daniel Seavey (@SeaveyDaniel) has 830,000 of his own followers; Corbyn Besson (@corbynbesson) has 862,000; Jack Avery (@jackaverymusic) sports 795,000; and Zach Herron  (@ImZachHerron) boasts 747,000.

It's the same on Instagram. There's a main Why Don't We Instagram account, yes, but its members have personal accounts as well.

But let's say you wanted to follow BTS' RM on Twitter. Or the group's Suga on Instagram.

Unless you know of a secret account, good luck. Because you're not going to find one.

That's the thing: While fans of an act like Why Don't We can get a more tailored, personalized experience for their fandom based on which member they like most, if they so choose, if you're looking for official BTS content on Twitter or Instagram, you have to go through the umbrella account for the band.

And that's not a problem! No one says each individual member of a group needs his or her own social media account, nor that this isn't an easier, more streamlined way to keep up with all the happenings of a band, especially one like BTS that has a whopping seven members.

What it does do is help streamline BTS' social-media engagement. Rather than splintering activity across multiple personal accounts, engagement is focused on BTS and BTS only. You're not going to see a viral tweet from, say, BTS member Jungkook -- unless Jungkook himself posts it to the main BTS account. And then all your likes, favorites, mentions and such follow suit, funneled right to BTS.

Imagine you're a more casual fan of a band and really interested in only one member. You might only follow that member's account and not even choose to subscribe to the main account's posts, opting instead for a social-media experience narrowly tailored to your interest. With BTS, if you're really only here for the act's J-Hope, well, in terms of official accounts, you don't have much of a choice.

For those wondering, this isn't necessarily the case with all K-pop acts. Exo and Super M's Baekhyun, for example, has his own. And each member of BLACKPINK has her own Instagram account (though not Twitter -- yet, at least).

In the most recent Social 50 tracking week (Jan. 24-30), BTS accumulated a whopping 17.1 million mentions on Twitter globally, according to Next Big Sound. That's the kind of metric that's going to be difficult for anyone to beat, and it isn't even close to what BTS has been able to manage past weeks.

While perhaps personal accounts might give fans even more access to their favorite artists than ever before, when it comes to the Social 50, BTS' strategy is very much a winning, and record-breaking, one.