LeBron James continues to out-trend all other athletes on social media this summer and single-handedly raises his déjà vu home team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, five spots on the Google Trends Charts. Recently using his Instagram account to invite fans to help choose his Cavaliers jersey number — he’ll wear no. 23 (again) — James and his management teams continue to build their community of fans without a single misstep. Really. LeBron and his digital decision-makers should be leading webinars.
The same “digital guru” status remains a topic of debate for Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, 32-year-old wife, mother and, most of all, star of Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMA). Better known simply as #QueenBey — Beyoncé may be a step behind Iggy Azalea on the Trends Charts (with Ariana Grande close behind) but she’s been dominating social media chatter through summer thanks to gossipy updates from her On the Run tour alongside husband Jay Z.
The #QueenBey challenge is that her Instagram posts broadcasting her support for Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign and loving family photos of Jay Z and their two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy pale compared to the countless tweets, posts and shares involving cheating rumors (Jay Z), backstage estrangement, separate hotels and an inevitable divorce when the tour ends in mid-September.
Still, that’s Beyoncé’s tumultuous online life. Offline, and onsite on the VMA stage inside The Forum in Inglewood, California, Beyoncé goes on to deliver the night’s best performance, a 16-minute sample of songs from her 2013 self-titled album.
Watch Beyoncé ignite her performance standing in front of a neon “Feminist” sign and script from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s girl power poetry.
Better yet, at the end of the performance, gaze at the love and harmony as Beyoncé receives the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award from Jay Z and Blue Ivy.
Pundits say the loving embrace of Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy push the needle on the talk of inevitable divorce and family discord. This once, offline, onsite, real time actions wipe away all the “hateful” social media chatter.
The performance of the evening has nothing to do with Beyoncé’s selection of songs. After a summer of bad publicity, Beyoncé’s killer performance centers on single-handedly convincing her fans that all’s well at home — and she didn’t even have to post a photo to Instagram.