Taylor Swift distinguishes her social media strategy from that of other celebrities by taking charge of her account herself. She does not have a PR professional who does her social media posts for her. Taylor Swift benefits from her social media strategy by having a loyal fan base who feels intimately connected to her. Swift dealt with critical issues involving the Apple streaming music decision by using her social media presence to leave a simple criticism that resounded with Apple and with fans. She had other options to deal with Apple privately, or to perhaps create a class action lawsuit, but it turns out that using her social media presence worked much quicker and held more clout.
PR principles seem to be violated in Swift’s social media mannerisms; she does not have an overall idea of what her voice sounds like in the crowd of PR issues: “PR professionals will often know best how to position a statement, see things in the context of all the other noise out there” (Hillgrove, 2017). However, for some reason, Swift has beat the odds of PR by not following the principles per se. However, she does follow the principles of consistency by always presenting herself in a wholesome fashion and looking perfectly presentable.
Taylor Swift’s social media strategy differs from that of other celebrities. Other celebrities have PR professionals who manage their social media accounts. The PR professional knows the bigger picture. Swift disregards the dangers of self-managing her own social media account. There is a fine line between being a PR professional and a doomed celebrity: “When you bypass that specialist expertise to go totally DIY on social media, there’s a real danger of losing control. Or becoming president of the USA” (Hillgrove, 2017). Therefore, Swift differs from other celebrities in that she is a DIY social media queen.
Taylor Swift benefits from her social media strategy. Swift fans are unlike other fans because they feel like they have an intimate connection with her. She drops social media hints that cause her fans to go to extreme lengths to decode her messages (Hillgrove, 2017; Young, 2017). Her fans are involved in her media promotions, and she does not have to worry about having any middleman. Swift also benefits from her strategy because her fans appreciate that she does not have a middleman. However, the bottom line is that Swift benefits from her social media strategy with her returns on her album sales (Young, 2017). The social media hype does translate into album sales. This proves that Swift’s PR is effective.
Other options Swift had with Apple’s streaming music decision. When Apple announced that it would stream music for free, Swift replied with a simple question that insinuated that she does not ask them for free products, why would Apple ask for free products from her? This ended up getting the decision reversed and musicians were compensated for streaming. Swift could have jumped on a bandwagon and formally voiced her opinion, but she took to social media. This proves that social media is a quicker way to reach people than traditional press released statements.
My advice for Swift. Since album sales and fame are at all-time highs, my recommendation would be to maintain the strategy of identifying with fans through immediate social media. However, I would warn Swift that there may be exhaustion, and the threat of inconsistency that could possible destroy her account if she does not at least hire a social media PR editor. It would be good to have someone to run her idea by before she makes them public. Swift’s PR strategy is working right now, but she will have to change her strategy as she ages. Technology will change, and so will Swift. PR professionals have a better perspective than any single individual.
- Hillgrove, R. (2017). A PR performance? Taylor Swift shakes it up with her shock and awe online eclipse. The Drum. Retrieved from http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/08/22/pr-performance-taylor-swift-shakes-it-up-with-her-shock-and-awe-online-eclipse
- Young, A. (2017). Taylor Swift: PR nightmare or day dream. Progressions. Retrieved from http://progressions.prssa.org/index.php/2017/09/22/taylor-swift-pr-nightmare-or-day-dream/