Social Media

3 Reasons Why Soulja Boy’s 2.5 Million Twitter Followers Netted Only 13,000 In First Week Sales

image from cdn.thebeatofphilly.com The theory that Twitter can help sell music suffered a body blow recently when Soulja Boy's 2.5 million Twitter followers bought just 13,000 copies of his new album in it's debut week. "The DeAndre Way" sold 2,000 digital copies and 11,000 physical in the U.S. according to SoundScan and Billboard in the week following its release. His last album, "iSouljaBoyTellem" sold 45,000 the first week. Three factors helped contribute the low tweet to sales conversion.

  • As Billboard's Antony Bruno points out, "Soulja Boy is very much as singles artist. "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)" was the 14th best-selling digital song of all time with more than 4.6 million downloads. But even the first single from "The DeAndre Way" – "Pretty Boy Swag" – didn't stack up, with 590,000 downloads since it first went on sale in June. Track sales from the new album total 718,000."
  • Twitter is by nature an easy medium to ignore and it's almost impossible to keep up with a constant string of tweets from various sources.
  • Soulja Boy's "call to action" was weak. Soulja tweets 15-20 times a day, but asking fans to buy a new album in a track driven genre is obviously no longer enough.  Perhaps the response would have been different if his Twitter fans were offered an exclusive "I Do It The DeAndre Way" t-shirt with a download code attached for $15?  Or if Soulja had tweeted a series of private concerts where having a copy of the new CD was the only way to get in.
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10 Comments

  1. How about this dude is the worst rapper in the history of rap! I heard people who suck, and then there soulja boy.

  2. Tweeting poorly-spelled, barking comments at 2.5 million fans 15-20 times a day is what killed it. Quality over quantity is key with Twitter.
    I’d also love to see how many of those 2.5 million followers are actually just bots.

  3. Tons of followers don´t guarantee anything really. First off “Social Mavens” are less likely to buy something within Social Networks, simply because of the fact that Social Networks are not intended for that primarily and secondly he for sure should have given a bonus.

  4. Fans want what’s hot now. they want the single. they dont care about the album. you need to create a demand for your music and the only way to do that now is give it all way. 9 out of 10 songs should be free. They’re going to want to that one song they couldn’t get for free. The traditional music biz model is gone. dropping singles to create anticipation for the album release is no longer especially if you’re selling the singles. you can create incentives to buy, as some have suggested, but you’re still banking on the old model. sell the album. The incentives idea to buy music has always been around. Limited Edition releases, exclusive artwork, bonus songs, hidden tracks, golden tickets, etc. you’re not doing anything new here. If everyone has your music already, whether they bought it or not, they still want to see you perform it live. And that’s where you’re going to make your money at. Labels are so worried about record sales because that’s how they make money. Artist shouldn’t be worried about that. They should be worried about how many fans are going to be at their show. Soulja Boy has 2.5 million followers and sold 13,000 albums. Do you really think only 13,000 of his fans have his music. I guarantee you a nice chunk of his followers already had the music they wanted and can’t wait for him to come to town so they can go crank that superman live and in person.
    See my blog post: Do You Need To Have Your Music On iTunes? http://wp.me/p1cgyB-6N

  5. Nurredin: If he sucks as an artist, why so many followers? How many artists do you “follow” on Twitter and Facebook that you DONT like?

  6. Chedda B nailed it. Any long-standing celebrity account is part of a short script of automatic adds used by pretty much any bot — Ashton and Gaga are both on that same list. I’ve set up a few bots for clients and that seems to be S.O.P. … definitely changed my mind about the value of metrics there.
    Obviously what really matters is interaction, the only metric that really means something is @ messages, and even that can be up to 50% automaton spam most days.

  7. Chedda B is right. Quality over quantity. Also hitting the nail on the head was where it says that he has a didn’t have a really great call to action. You MUST do that, especially since hip hop fans are fickle, and tend to lost be as eager to spend money on something they don’t trust. A single vs an album is a prime example. @amarareps

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