Unless you’ve been living in a sound-proof booth for the past few weeks, you’ve heard that country-crossover pop queen T. Swift has removed her massively popular release 1989 (and the rest of her music) from Spotify, making it only available in physical album form and as an iTunes download. To interpret this as Swizzle scoffing at social media music streaming services would be a giant oversimplification of the princess of pop’s brilliant marketing approach.
Sure, Sweezy’s rejection of what will surely prove to be the future model of mass music consumption is unexpected and unfortunate for the hundreds of thousands of her fans who would love to use Spotify to listen to her. But keep in mind: the move is only a (likely temporary) attempt to make as much money as possible while people are willing to pay top dollar for her albums. It’s not a reflection of some secret hatred for modern forms of content distribution. We repeat: T. Swift does not hate social media. On the contrary, Taylor Swift and her team are social media superstars, and her love for the Twitterverse and Insta-land is exactly what has helped make her album the best-selling record of 2014.
Swift is a social media maestro. Here are just 4 of the tricks that helped make her latest album an instant hit—both online and off.
As the release of 1989 neared, Taylor’s social media marketing team didn’t just hype the album with meaningless tweets, they established an official social countdown timer that was updated like clockwork. You might even have been one of the tens of thousands of people who retweeted the #5HoursUntilOutOfTheWoods hashtag. Whether they’re music fans waiting for an album to drop or fitness freaks looking forward to the arrival of their local gym’s new exercise machines, social media followers love countdown campaigns, and any business looking to build anticipation should have a good strategy in place.
Getting onto your consumer’s level is not only a pretty darn cool thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Taylor Swift hand-picked a roomful of especially vocal superfans from her Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter feeds to come listen to her album before it went on sale for what she called the “1989 Secret Sessions.” Rewarding your social media fans who naturally have the largest following is brilliant because it ensures that your brand message will come across loud and clear to a large group of people who are already inclined to endorse you.
Taylor didn’t wait for major media outlets like the New York Times to pick up news about the release of 1989. She made the news herself by partnering with Yahoo! to announce that the new album would be coming out soon in an exclusive online-only, livestream event. She then released the video a few days later, racking up millions of views in hours.
Taylor Swift joined Tumblr a month before the release of 1989. Coincidence? Certainly not. Unless you manufacture molasses for a living, your product and/or service is visual enough to be illustrated on graphic-centric channels like Tumblr and Pinterest. Trying out new approaches is part of what makes social media marketing campaigns fun, relatable, vibrant, and ultimately–successful.
Social media marketing isn’t an all or nothing approach. Like Taylor Swift’s personal brand, your business will benefit from cherry-picking the aspects of social that currently make the most sense for your industry. Just because once social-based service (like, in Taylor’s case, Spotify) isn’t a great option, you shouldn’t rule out channels that will, indeed, help you improve your bottom line. If you’re ready to give your business the T. Swift social media marketing makeover, reach out to us for a free social audit.