13 Reasons Taylor Swift Shines at Social

Pop sensation. Blonde. New York City newbie. Millennial? There are so many words we could use to describe Taylor Swift. But one you’re hearing more often is social media rockstar.Whether or not you love her as much as I do, numbers don’t lie. Swift has more than 55 million followers on Twitter, 25 million followers on Instagram, 70 million likes on Facebook, and active presences on Tumblr and Vine. Her social footprint is hard to ignore.

Here are 13 ways Taylor Swift shines at social, and how we can learn from them.

1. She knows what’s right for the Taylor Swift brand.

There’s a reason you don’t see Taylor Swift’s face and name on every brand, or why you don’t see her sharing a slew of posts with “#sponsored” at the end of the copy. Swift knows what products she can represent without deviating from her classic style. Examples? Diet Coke and Keds.

Being selective is better than pleasing everyone - a great takeaway for brands of any kind. With ever-changing algorithms and shifting platforms, social media managers need to know where and when to limit content to select platforms or adjust accordingly. Also, she was totally on top of it when she claimed these x-rated domains before someone else could spoil the name.

2. She's a tease. 

The success of any campaign, product release or, in this case, album release, depends on how well you can tease it before the actual launch. Swift has done a great job of creatively pushing her last two albums, which have both been wildly successful.

She took to Instagram to post album teasers in the form of countdowns and lyric previews before her 1989 album release. Bonus: she even established “#TS1989” as the official hashtag for the album, which now has more than 400,000 photos.

3. She knows her audience.

You might recall when this Tumblr post was circulating a few years ago. As you can see, the picture is clearly Taylor Swift, not a girl named “Becky.”

Swift knew her fans were active on Tumblr and thus, knew this post all too well. So, she decided to order a t-shirt and come up with this witty post that blew up:

Once you know your audience and how they will react, you can create killer pieces of creative content.

4. She’s authentic.

Unlike most celebrities, Swift has a very approachable, down-to-earth demeanor that translates seamlessly in the social sphere. For instance, Dad selfies?

She’s not trying to be cool. She’s showing her humility and transparency by not being afraid to post a picture that isn’t totally polished or photoshopped. Part of the beauty of social media is the ability to create content that is on the go, in the moment and real. Don’t be afraid to post something that isn’t print-ad ready.

5. She’s not afraid to lurk a little.

Taylurking: (v) the act of Taylor Swift sifting through millions of fan’s social media posts looking for opportunities to engage and share their content.

To quote Taylor Swift, “I cyber-stalk because I care.” As marketers, we have to recognize that when it comes to hyper-targeting our intended audiences, social data is our friend. Sometimes we have to do a little cyber-stalking to find brand ambassadors we need to interact with.

6.She’s there. Just as Swift does a little cyber-stalking, she also reaches out to fans who seek advice. Life advice from TS = customer service points for brands.

Whether wishing her fans the best birthday ever or reminding them that they’ll “do things greater than dating the boy on the football team” she’s actively and consistently reaching out to people.

7. She surprises and delights. 

Let’s go back to December 2014 and Taylor Swift’s gift of giving. Using the aforementioned cyber-stalking skills, Swift identified a select number of fans to surprise with very personalized Christmas gifts, then compiled their reactions into a YouTube video. It’s worth the watch.


8. She makes fun of herself.

One large part of being transparent and approachable is being goofy. Taylor Swift makes fun of herself frequently, and it works.

9. She’s on Snapchat, even if she’s not on Snapchat.

Though Taylor Swift doesn’t have a Snapchat account herself, she still somehow made an appearance. The fast-growing app, now with almost 200 million monthly active users, uses filters based on either location or date. In Swift’s case, this filter was available to users on December 13, 2014, her 25th birthday:

Like any big event, Swift made sure her birthday celebration was covered on all platforms. Even if your brand doesn’t have an active presence on Snapchat, think about how to incorporate it into your next big campaign.

10. She’s not afraid to ask for help.

Before Swift knew all the secrets of Tumblr, she was a newbie just like us. In fact, her first Tumblr post was a cry for help.

Like most other learnings from Taylor Swift’s social strategy, this shows her transparency, willingness to listen and highlights the value of her followers’ answers. Be an expert in your brand’s industry, but actively engage and use the “social” aspect of social media to source answers, opinions and other content ideas from your followers when needed.

11. She said no.

In the summer of 2014, Taylor Swift decided to take all of her music off of Spotify. Why? Because it wasn’t serving her and giving her the value she thought she deserved. Swift took a stand and went to the Wall Street Journal and other media to defend her decision. 1989 sold more than 4.5 million albums, so it looks like the decision only helped her.

As social media marketers, we have to know when to say no. Posting everything on every platform is not a way to build social media success. Remember to be selective.

12. She boldly calls out her biggest “fans.”

From a glance of her Instagram, it’s pretty obvious. Taylor Swift has a lot of famous friends. She’s not shy about it, either.

Swift is supportive of her friends like a brand should be of their own partners. Though some of her famous friends could be considered competition, she still shows a strong social rapport between them. Don’t be afraid to go after a partnership, coordinate some witty banter or tout your relationship with a similar brand.

13. She shakes it off.

Most importantly, Swift has fun, even in the time of crisis.

Disclaimer: This blog written by Meredith of Sparkloft, not to be confused with Swift’s cat, Meredith. Double disclaimer: all puns were intentional.