Social media worked itself into a frenzy this week when “Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively made some drastic changes to her Instagram account. The famous actress and popular social media influencer deleted all of her images and unfollowed everyone on her account, including even her husband Ryan Reynolds. Her last post was a cryptic photo of a completed game of hangman, with the answer phrased as a question: “What happened to Emily?”

Needless to say, the unusual activity didn’t go unnoticed by Lively’s 20.4 million Instagram followers. Frantically trying to figure out what all this meant, fans turned to Twitter:

Making things even more mysterious, Lively began following only people named Emily Nelson on Instagram:

Soon enough, however, fans had a theory. They discovered that Lively stars in an upcoming movie titled A Simple Favor, where she playsa young woman named Emily Nelson who mysteriously vanishes.

Lively’s clever use of social media is a great example of how fresh and creative PR strategies can serve as an effective and low-cost means to generating buzz around your brand, product or, in this case, a movie.

By understanding her target audience and utilizing social media in a strategic and creative way, Lively was able to generate dozens of national news headlines in advance of her upcoming film. Thanks to that creative genius, now everyone is asking the question: “What happened to Emily?“

If you are looking for creative social media strategies for your brand, contact Red Banyan today.