Social Media Star

Jaunique Sealey, one of the nation’s most sought after social media marketing and brand development strategists, doesn’t use Facebook and Twitter to banter about where she’s dining or her mood of the moment.

She uses social media platforms to brand superstars and develop multi-level campaigns for blue chip entertainment companies such as Sony Pictures and Universal Music Group, where she negotiated groundbreaking deals to pair emerging content with Apple, Netflix and Google.

She’s the mastermind behind the online presence of the popular R&B boy band Mindless Behavior, pop/rock singer Greyson Chance and the reason why mega-pop sensation Lady Gaga’s Born This Way campaign has more than 23 million Twitter followers. 

Working with Lady Gaga inspired the native Detroiter, who earned engineering and law degrees from Duke University and Harvard Law School, to write her new book, Piece of the Fame: Rockstar Social Media Strategy for Everyone. In it, Sealey offers an in-depth look at the concepts of social media and how using the right tools can have a profound impact on clients. Sealey, an international speaker, runs her consulting business in Los Angeles. 

When did you first become interested in social media? 

I’ve always been on the cutting edge of technology. It just sort of happened with being in engineering school. I took programming classes and became immersed in all things Internet, digital and computer-related. I wanted to focus on the entertainment industry and that’s what really drove my interest in the digital arena. I also took a non-traditional path after law school and ended up working for a start-up record label, so a lot of what I did was focused around digital. 


How has social media changed the way people do business?

Social media is here to stay. I think it will evolve and the tools that people use, but the concept and the fundamentals are grounded. I am starting to see a back-to-basics approach in terms of doing business. People were getting confused with such a great diversity of digital options and the reality is that social media is about connecting, dealing with people and focusing on human behavior. 

What do people need to know when using digital tools?

I always stress knowing your audience and that’s fundamental across every brand. Even with the clients that I’ve worked with from Lady Gaga to Barneys New York, I have to know my audience. Even if you have an idea of what you want to say, you need to know who you want to say it to. 

Speaking of Lady Gaga, how did the two of you become connected?

I worked at Universal Music and knew her manager for a number of years. We had general conversations, and I was aware of her project Little Monsters when it first started and this was right before she launched her Just Dance single. We decided to start the project along with a team and she was my first client. It was a great transition from business development to managing an agency and a team and handling client relationships. It was the launch cycle of her Born this Way CD.

Were you inspired to write your book after landing the Lady Gaga deal?

That totally inspired me to write my book. It gave me a certain level of access to information and a wonderful place to see how things work at the highest level. I found that most people with access to digital tools were using them in a way that was not serving them and so I wanted to provide a strategic tool that would help them formulate a plan and package it in a useful way for those whose success hinged on social media.

What’s the strategy behind Lady Gaga’s 23 million followers?

The strategy was research and just knowing my audience, knowing what they read and listened to and having the right information to help me develop digital concepts to keep them engaged.

Will social media end traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is healthy. There are clients in all areas of business but the large platform is not going anywhere. Social media involves segmentation and specifics and that’s why I stress knowing your audience.

Is Detroit ready for the social media revolution?

If Detroit is not ready, Detroit had better get ready. I am from Detroit and it has always been near and dear to my heart. I know the city is going through a difficult time and we are fighters and people who will make it happen by whatever means. Social media is the perfect tool for the city to galvanize, support each other, get the message out and birth new businesses. I think Detroit has to be supported by the business sector. There are huge opportunities in Detroit for getting the message to create vibrant communities.


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