As the release of Rihanna's seventh album, "Unapologetic," nears its Nov. 19 release date, the diva has been in promotion overdrive. In turn, the singer soars up four slots on Billboard's Social 50 chart (7-3) with big gains across our monitored social networks.
The Social 50 chart ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views, song plays and reactions.
On Nov. 10, Rihanna performed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," premiered the video for her current No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 single "Diamonds" (Nov. 8). The clip has obtained more than 25 million views to date, contributing to a 55% gain in weekly overall plays for the entertainer.
Along with the "SNL" performance, a Livestream.com-hosted Facebook live event boosts her weekly overall engagement with fans on the platform, giving her a 67% boost in weekly Facebook conversation. The engagement and views gave way to a 37% increase in weekly fan acquisition, helping to usher in 25,000 new MySpace friends, 232,000 Facebook fans and 111,000 new Twitter followers.
On Soundcloud, where Rihanna is one of the most active of the top Social 50 artists, she added more than 400 new followers bringing her total to more than 12,000.
Next week we'll see the impact from Rihanna's 777 Tour, which launched on Nov. 14. During the seven-day trek, the singer (along with a 777 airplane's worth of media and fans) will visit seven countries and plays seven concerts.
Bruno Mars (12-10), Alicia Keys (18-11), Britney Spears (20-16), David Guetta (24-21) and P!nk (38-33). Those are just some of the artists who have experienced steady gains on the Social 50 after the inclusion of Instagram followers into the mix of data sources used to tabulate the chart's rankings.
The photo-sharing platform provides a convenient way to edit and share photos from a mobile device, and many artists who spend time on the road have adopted it as an easy way of engaging with fans. Photo content is compelling and leads to much higher levels of engagement online than text updates, so it's no wonder that artists who have adopted Instagram are experiencing gains on the chart. The artists mentioned above have experienced gains in the Social 50 tally each week that Instagram followers have been a part of the calculation.
BEYONCE'S OBAMA BOOST
Beyonce jumps 30-18 on the Social 50 as her Facebook post congratulating Barack Obama on his re-election obtained a staggering 291,000 likes and 8,000 shares. It generated impressions contributing to a 370% swell in reaction on Facebook. She manages a 15% increase in weekly overall fan acquisition as a result, adding 16,000 new MySpace fans, 146,000 Facebook fans and 72,000 Twitter followers.
BIEBER & GOMEZ SPLIT ROCKS THE CHART
Selena Gomez's rise on the tally (11-5) is commensurate with the rise in media attention due to her split from former boyfriend Justin Bieber, who also experiences a lift (4-1).
Gomez climbs with 429,000 mentions on Facebook during the charting week and the addition of 625,000 new fans overall. She added 89,000 Twitter followers this week, an 80% increase over the previous week's gains. Bieber once again regains his throne as king of the Social 50 with the addition of 303,000 Twitter followers (a 13% increase) and 397,000 new Facebook fans (an impressive 199% weekly increase). His weekly Facebook mentions tally rises with Gomez's (by 37%), an increase in conversation we can expect to see carry into next week as news about the breakup continues to swirl.
To round out the rest of the top 10, Bieber's return to No. 1 bumps One Direction out of the top slot (1-2), while Rihanna's rise causes Taylor Swift to tumble (4-3). PSY continues his decline (2-6) and Katy Perry slides as well (6-7). Lady Gaga and Adele remain steady at Nos. 8 and 9, respectively.