One Direction At The BRIT Awards 2014Jpg 600Px

Above: One Direction topped album charts in 32 markets following a social media campaign. Image credit: J M Enternational.

One of the biggest social media success stories of the last few years has undoubtedly been the rise to fame of one of the UK music industry’s much-loved exports, One Direction.

The group’s success is also a testament to how, in this digital age, UK record labels have become experts in building fan bases around the world and have embraced social media and placed it at the centre of marketing campaigns to ensure global success.

In 2012 One Direction was the world’s biggest band with an upcoming second album. But generating and satisfying demand from fans around the world is a very real challenge. The boys performed a one-off gig in Madison Square Gardens and turned it into a three-month global adventure called Bring me to 1D that got every One Direction fan and the world’s press buzzing.

Fifty-five 'Go1Den Tickets' promising a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” with the boys in New York were released globally. Each was won in a completely different creative way. The band joined the dots with its constant presence via Facebook, Twitter and the official 1D site, where an interactive Bring Me to 1D map enabled fans to follow what was happening around the world.

Millions of fans took part. Tens of millions engaged.

And the result? One Direction’s site achieved its biggest ever volume of traffic. Facebook likes and Twitter follows doubled and, in the first week of release, Take Me Home, went straight to Number 1 in 32 of the 40 participating countries, flying the flag for British music all over the world.

Genevieve Ampaduh, Head of Digital Marketing at Sony Music, who masterminded One Direction’s social media campaign says: “Social media has changed the face of music marketing forever. The ability for artists to reach out to their potential fans in every corner of the globe in real time is incredibly powerful and cannot be replicated by traditional media.

“Early advocates of an artist have become an extension of the label’s marketing teams and play an invaluable role in breaking artists in their local countries. Empowering super-fans should be a staple of any music marketer’s strategy, as should entertaining fans. Why shouldn’t a marketing campaign be exciting, memorable and fun? It should be. And if it is, fans will stay with you for the journey ahead.”