Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is a force to be reckoned with. Although Swift’s fans always say how much she has appreciated them, she’s taken her outreach to a whole new level to promote her new album, 1989. With this grassroots approach to her celebrity status, she has started connecting with fans and truly reaching out to the people who got her where she is today.

This approach is something every business can learn from. Companies who need help in the online marketing department can take a page from the Swift book of connections. After doing extensive research and a little Tumblr stalking I’ve whittled the strategy down to four basic ideals that businesses small or large should take note of.

Keep Everyone Updated

Swift keeps everyone in the loop. Whether they follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Google+ they can find out what’s happening in her life. Things are kept up to date by her team along with personal touches from her everyday life. She knows what platform is good for what information. Facebook and Google+ are excellent platforms for ticket sales, store information, and tour updates. While on Twitter and Instagram she can share snippets of her life and interact with fans. Tumblr is the place to see Swift as she would be if you were hanging out on a Friday night. However, she still weaves in updates that garner importance like music videos and song releases.

Taylor-Facebook-Info

Know what channels are good for what information you have to provide. Don’t try to use Twitter to discuss your new dish at your restaurant, save it for Facebook. Keep one piece of social media more professional than others but make sure key information is being released on all platforms.

Be Real

If you look at any of her social media sites you’ll find that Swift likes to keep it real. Whether that is through photos of her cats, a video of her dancing around at Target, or her feelings about fan videos (she loves them), Swift doesn’t hold back. After joining Tumblr in September, Swift unabashedly asked for help from fans after not being able to figure things out. She comments back to her fans on photos and regularly gives out positive advice through the same medium.

Interact with your followers and don’t hold back. Be professional, but be a great representation of your brand. Don’t try to hide your practices or the people involved. Showcase them and promote your company image. Make sure you are genuinely caring about people and utilize social media as a customer service mouthpiece. Crowd source if you need help with something or ask around for recommendations. Fans love giving their two cents and feel will enjoy products more if they feel they have had a hand in them.

Show Glimpses Behind the Scenes

Swift is not only great about showing what is happening in her life off the stage but also behind the scenes. She recently partnered with American Express to create an app with content giving a behind-the-scenes look at her newest music video. While recording 1989 she Instagramed photos from inside the studio and gave out copies of Polaroids she took during its creation with physical CD copies.

Photo Cred: Taylor Swift's Instagram
I decided today that when my friends’ children come over, I’ll feed them chocolate chips and let them jump on the furniture. Photo Cred: Taylor Swift’s Instagram

Much like being real, giving a glimpse into the behind the scenes action at your company can increase your brand equity. Customers will view you as more trust worthy if they knew what went into your company. This also gives you a chance to showcase the core principles of your brand. If you say you care about the environment then make sure you post a picture of the park cleanup that your employees participated in last weekend. If you’re a restaurant, show what goes into making your famous dish without giving away the secret. Providing customers with more information about products and the spirit of a company only increases their likelihood to repeat purchase.

Reward Loyalty

Rewarding loyalty is probably something that Swift has stepped up the most with the promotion of this last album and continues to do as she reaches out to fans. Loyal fans were able to enter a contest to win a spot at a secret listening session before the album was released. She invited those who love her into her parents’ home, her NYC apartment, and various other places to show them what she created. She took silly photos and spent time with them, discussing tracks and sharing stories. In November she sent secret Christmas gifts to some of her most loyal fans from social media (she refers to them as her friends). Each box was filled with special things she had found during recent travels that reminded her of her different friends. Personalized notes described her love for each person and why they were special to her. Her fan community responded with love and excitement that she cared so much about them. Months later, Swift released a video of her wrapping the presents for ‘Swiftmas’. Giving fans the idea that this was definitely not a PR stunt as she waited so long to divulge her secrets.

Personalize your online strategy. Reach out to people who seem like they could need a bit of help or throw some free swag towards people who love your brand. Rewarding loyalty and making a real effort for relationship will go a long way with customers. If someone has come into your store before, learn his or her name. Follow that follower who constantly re-tweets you or mentions you positively. Set-up a rewards program or hold a contest on social media. Word-of-mouth is the best marketing for a brand and can be helped along with care from you.

All in all be genuine in what you do, promote your passion, and showcase the hard work you’ve put into your brand. If you need a little more inspiration try listening to our ‘Blank Space’ cover. Don’t forget to shake off the haters and maybe you’ll make it out of the dark digital marketing woods.