The late Michael Jackson makes a 14-position leap on Billboard’s Social 50 chart (27-13) following online activity around his birthday (Aug. 29) and the launch of his Instagram account.
The Social 50 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 as measured by music analytics company Next Big Sound.
Promoted across Jackson’s various social media channels, an interactive social media campaign instructed fans and followers to “spread the message of unity, harmony and hope for a better world.” That message was to be delivered by uploading an Instagram video to “honor Michael Jackson on his birthday by sharing your idea for making the world a better place.”
By using the hashtag #MJWeAreOne, named after Jackson’s Cirque Du Soleil show “Michael Jackson One,” participants are able to see their videos displayed on a microsite, which also doubled as a promotional board for the Cirque show.
The resulting engagement stirred a 109% rise in weekly conversation about Jackson on Facebook, which led to the addition of 493,000 new fans on the platform (an 80% increase over the previous week). The campaign also marked the launch of Jackson’s official Instagram account, which gained 2,900 followers during the charting week.
This week’s chart also factors in a full week of post-MTV Video Music Award (VMAs) social media reactions, which sends Miley Cyrus 8-2, nearly snatching the chart crown from One Direction. The quintet remains at No. 1 for an eighth week, enjoying additional social spikes followings the debut week of its new film, “This Is Us.” Meanwhile, Cyrus’ co-performer Robin Thicke reaches his highest mark on the Social 50 to date, moving 37-9 to break the top 10. Thicke adds 281,000 new fans to his overall fan base (a 74% increase).
Also worth noting is Justin Bieber, who drops out of the top 10 (4-12) for the first time in the 145 weeks he’s resided in the upper echelon of the Social 50. Not being present at the VMAs while also being in between album releases contributes to Bieber’s fall.
To finish re-capping this week’s top 10, Justin Timberlake remains steady at No. 3 and Shakira dips (2-4). Taylor Swift (who was present at the VMAs) remains at No. 5 and Katy Perry is steadfast at No. 6.
Selena Gomez rises 11-7, while Pitbull ascends 12-8 into the top 10. Eminem rises 18-10 in the wake of online buzz generated around his newest single, “Berserk,” which debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.