It’s no secret that Taylor Swift is arguably one the biggest pop stars of the decade. She’s not only dominating both the concert scene and the movie screen, but is also dominating something brands often struggle with: successfully reaching and engaging with their audiences.
Taylor’s fans, known as Swifties, can belt the lyrics to any song, have probably been to the Eras tour more than once, and have made dozens of friendship bracelets. They also span across multiple generations – 45% of Taylor’s fans are millennials, 23% are baby boomers, 21% are Gen X, and 11% are Gen Z. With a demographic this broad, brands may struggle with how to make their content relevant and impactful with each generation.
Taylor is known for dropping Easter eggs in her Instagram captions and tweets, music videos, and more. Her fanbase is always looking, analyzing, and, most importantly, *expecting* her to drop cryptic hints about new songs, re-records, etc. Because of this, she’s had to keep up with the reputation over the years.
In 2019, Taylor announced she was re-recording several of her albums and since this announcement, Swifties have been eagerly waiting (and guessing!) when each re-record would come out. In true super sneaky form, she’s taken to dropping snippets of re-recordings in show/movie trailers and episodes.
In the last few years, we’ve seen:
- Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 trailer previewed This Love (Taylor’s Version)
- Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 trailer previewed Back to December (Taylor’s Version) and debuted Delicate (Taylor’s Version) in a show episode
- Wilderness theme song – Look What You Made Me Do (Taylor’s Version)
- Migration trailer – Out of the Woods (Taylor’s Version) which first previewed before the Eras Tour movie in theaters
- Spirit Untamed trailer – Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)
Over half of Swifties fall into the demographic of the above shows and movies. By promoting new releases where her fans are, she generates the type of buzz that’s every brand’s wildest dream. Taylor also uses her own organic channels to talk about new albums, dropping hints and causing Twitter, TikTok and Instagram to go crazy. Oftentimes, her hints cause songs that haven’t been on the charts in decades to skyrocket! Marketing. Mastermind. 🤯
Aside from being pop royalty (and queen of our hearts), we can learn a few marketing tips from Taylor.
👀 Active social listening – In the Swiftie-verse, they call it #TayLurking. Taylor pays attention to what her fans are saying, doing, tweeting, and how they’re engaging with her content. A perfect example of this is the famous Bejeweled dance where Taylor incorporated a fan’s TikTok dance into actual choreography on her tour.
🤝 Authentic engagement – Between touring all over the world and attending Kansas City games, Taylor makes it known she’s not too busy to interact with her fans. Her liked tweets and liked TikToks are public, and she often comments on fans’ TikToks. Because of this, Taylor’s fans feel like they have a true, personal connection with her. She’s able to make a big audience feel exclusive and important just by taking time to engage with them.
✅ Correct channels – Taylor also knows where her people are — what platforms they’re on and what shows they’re watching. She’s not dropping new song snippets during WWE matches because she knows that’s not where her audience is. That would make her a foolish one.