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4 Solid Times Kim Kardashian Deserved A PhD In Marketing

The day has come that we admit that she's smarter than all of us.

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Love her or hate her, there's no denying it: Kim Kardashian is the Queen of Social Media. With nearly 200 million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter, and scientists naming a social media index after her, we could all use a Krash Kourse on how to market yourself from the most famous Kardashian sister. Here we analyze 4 notable times Kim Kardashian broke the Internet and why they're absolutely genius.

When She Posted This Sincere Birthday Message to Her "Friend"

Kim Kardashian / Via Instagram: @kimkardashian

Lesson #1 of Going Viral: there is no ‘we’ in social media. Just when you think you've seen it all, Kim once wished her friend a happy birthday on Instagram by posting a picture of herself and her friend’s shadow—yup, you got it, shadow.

As ridiculous and hilarious this post is, we have to admit that it's also completely relatable. Very rarely is social media about anything else but ourselves. When was the last time we cared about how other people look in a picture as long as we look good? Might as well just follow in Kim's steps and post a picture of their shadow.

Marshall McLuhan, the Father of Communication, once claimed that technology are mere extensions of man; that when we view, touch, hear, smell or taste something else we are actually extending our identities through them. Consider this: when we’re driving a car and we get into an accident, we are more likely to say “he hit me” instead of “he hit my car”. This is because our senses are fully immersed when driving a car; we feel the steering wheel and the gas pedal, we see the road and traffic lights ahead of us, and listen for if everything in the car seems in place. In this way, a car is an extension of our identity the same way our smartphones (which almost never leave our sights or our hands) and social media have become a projection of ourselves.

When She Got Naked With Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski / Via Instagram: @emrata

Kim is no stranger to sharing risqué pictures of herself on the World Wide Web, and when Internet trolls shamed her for being a “bad mother”, she didn’t listen. Instead, she gave the people more of what they wanted, teaming up with supermodel Emily Ratajkowski for a topless selfie captioned with a message of female empowerment:

We are more than just our bodies, but that doesn't mean we have to be shamed for them or our sexuality. #liberated

Kim ended up with twice the amount of likes than usual by driving in traffic from Ratajkowski’s followers. More importantly, what Kim managed to do was make her post relevant by attaching herself to the Feminist bandwagon, gaining the support of thousands of women/feminists who commended her for calling out slut shaming. Had she just kept taking naked selfies over and over again without a purpose (which she does a lot of) her followers will quickly get tired of the self-promotion.

Dr. Robert Goldman claims that in a digital world where promotion has permeated most, if not all, aspects of our lives, it becomes increasingly difficult to experience an authentic sense of self. We’ve established that social media is, for the most part, a platform for our vanity, so how can we feel better about ourselves while we’re on it? How do we justify our use? By using social media to support a cause, any cause, even if deep down we know that Kim Kardashian really isn’t a pioneer for women's rights. Yet it worked, because sadly these days, any kind of activism is better than nothing.

When She Sided With Her Husband In a Feud and Dragged Taylor Swift

GIPHY / Via giphy.com

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have heard that Kim Kardashian absolutely obliterated Taylor Swift in the celebrity feud of this century. She released a video on her Snapchat of Swift giving consent to Kim’s husband, rapper Kanye West, to use her name in his song through a phone call, despite Swift claiming that she never did. From a marketing perspective, it was absolutely brilliant for Kim to exclusively release the video on Snapchat.

Here's Taylor Loren of Linkedin had to say about the phenom: “one of the biggest challenges for marketers on Snapchat is that it's very difficult to gain a following on Snapchat. Discovering new people to follow on Snapchat is hard, and it's even harder to get your followers from Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook over to your Snapchat.”

do u guys follow me on snap chat? u really should ;-)

Let’s assume that Kim Kardashian faces the same challenges. Her following on Snapchat is probably not as large as the rest of her social media accounts, and knowing this footage would go viral, she used the opportunity to grow her following on her Snapchat account. Kim waited for the right moment before tweeting out to her followers baiting them follow her on Snapchat, and people totally went for it. I mean, why wouldn't they. Who doesn't love juicy celebrity gossip?

kim, perfectly understanding social media: posts 1 snap story taylor, w/ no clue: posts same thing on all platforms

In response to this, Taylor Swift posted a screenshot of her Notes app, making herself seem out of touch with both her audience and social media. By failing to recognize how each social network best operates (Instagram is visual, Twitter is textual, etc), Loren comments that “Taylor’s message is actually getting lost in the medium. Instead of people focusing on the content of her post, they are commenting on the way she posted it."

Marshall McLuhan did say, after all, that "the medium is the message", and this was the perfect modern embodiment of this.

And Of Course, When She Literally Broke The Internet With Her Butt

The Daily Beast / Via cdn.thedailybeast.com

Need we say more? In fact, this was perhaps the very moment the phrase “break the Internet” was coined. The amount of buzz that Kim’s bare derrière on the cover of Paper Magazine generated in 2014 was unlike anything the Cyberspace has ever seen before.

While critical response to the stunt was quite split, Altimeter Group Principal Analyst Brian Solis stated that "at the end of the day, the [haters] are going to share and consume and become part of the media network that feeds her popularity and relevance.” Looking past the record-breaking amount of views and shares that both Kim and Paper Magazine earned, Kim Kardashian’s butt is now pretty much eternal as it sparked a series of very successful, fan-made memes. Check out this Buzzfeed post featuring some of the best Kim Kardashian butt memes.

This highlights how the Internet has encouraged a more participatory model of media content creation, one that’s a combination of top-down and bottom-up. In the book Spreadable Media (2016), MIT and University of California researchers Jenkins, Ford and Green observed that successful content is no longer made in isolation. Instead, depends on the sharing, remaking, and mixing of media content in order to go viral.

GIPHY / Via giphy.com

Here's a bonus example: remember Kim and Kanye's music video for Bound 2 that everybody made fun of? Well, when James Franco and Seth Rogen thought the same, and decided to make a parody of it, didn't it totally just work towards Kim's favor? All it did was get people to talk about the video more. Any kind of publicity is good publicity, and nobody knows this better than Kimmy K.

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