By now, you’ve probably heard about Hamilton, the latest Broadway sensation that opened this month at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Even before the rave reviews started pouring in after its official opening earlier this month, the musical had generated more than $30 million in revenue. It has been the single most talked-about and highly anticipated production in my lifetime. How has the show generated so much buzz? Aside from having a truly outstanding creative team and product, here are four ways social media contributed to all the hype.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a wonderfully engaging Twitter user. He is also the mastermind behind Hamilton — and before that — In the Heights. As he was writing and fine-tuning the productions, he shared his journey, dating back to 2011.
It’s the feeling of freedom, of seein’ the light. It’s Ben Franklin with a key n’ a kite. You see it right? -The Hamilton Mixtape (upcoming)
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) December 29, 2012
You guys it’s real. http://t.co/U09cFr7Ctl
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 6, 2014
Amplify Influencer Networks
Not everyone can get the President of the United States, the First Family, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, and Bill and Hillary Clinton as brand ambassadors. And politicians weren’t the only ones who saw the musical before it even opened. Julia Roberts, Robert De Niro and Jimmy Fallon also attended, among countless others. The cast always tweeted selfies from backstage, and many celebrities shared their love of the show.
Not an exaggeration: @HamiltonMusical is the most incredible musical I’ve ever seen. It is BRILLIANT. The game has been changed. Get there.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) July 24, 2015
While it’s easy to share pictures with celebrities, Mr. Miranda always takes the time to visit with fans. He even goes the extra mile to engage with them both online and offline. After each show, he takes a selfie with everyone at the stage door. When our very own Likeable team member and *huge* Miranda fan Samy saw Hamilton, not only did he take a selfie with her, but he also tweeted it from his own account!
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 6, 2015
Needless to say, when I saw Mr. Miranda on the subway a few weeks ago, I wasn’t going to miss my shot to get my own selfie with him. Best subway ride ever!
Always Be Likeable
Hamilton is sold out for the foreseeable future, but every performance, hundreds of fans gather at the theater to try to win $10 tickets in the lottery. The chances are small that your name will get picked, but everyone who shows up can catch a #Ham4Ham performance — making everyone feel like a winner!
Can you think of another example where social media has contributed to so much success before the product even launched?