In two short years, Lady GaGa has become an international phenomenon—selling millions of albums, breaking Billboard records and earning Grammys.

According to Jackie Huba, she has also demonstrated a natural ability to cultivate evangelistic fans: “While her performance art-style stage shows and bizarre outfits have garnered much buzz, it’s her loyalty marketing that may sustain her for years.”

Here are a few things small businesses could learn from Lady GaGa:

  • Bring your fans into the fold by giving them a special name. “Gaga doesn’t like the word ‘fan’ so she calls them her ‘Little Monsters,’  named after her album ‘The Fame Monster,’” notes Huba. “She even tattooed ‘Little Monsters’ on her arm and tweeted the pic to fans[,]  professing love for them.” The name doesn’t have to be whimsical or bizarre—Maker’s Mark, for instance, uses the straightforward term “Ambassador.”
  • Make them feel like they’re rock stars, too. During her stage shows,  Lady GaGa always places a call to someone in the audience. “She dials the number onstage, the fan screams out, is located and they are put up on a big screen,” says Huba. “While the rest of audience goes bananas,  she invites the fan to have a drink with her after the show.” By giving your fans special—and very public—attention, you make them part of the show.

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