Celebrity Marketing Tactics – Social Media Listening and Applying it To Your Business

 In Business, Horse

Perusing the media headlines, it is all too common to see the celebrity marketing machine putting focus on useless things like duck lips, big butts, and fashion blunders. But once in a while, amidst the worst dressed lists or cellulite paparazzi photos, there appear stories about certain celebrities who are leveraging social media marketing insanely well. And then my brain perks up.


New Normal

I initially set out to write a blog post about how much I have come to enjoy Taylor Swift’s use of omni-channel marketing to grow (and cultivate) her fan base. But one of the things that really stood out to me with respect to her marketing tactics is the use of social media listening and how it seamlessly fits with her image.

Much like Hillary Clinton at Chipotle, Taylor Swift is a public figure that aims to please by relating to the regular person. She could be your bff, albeit with hundreds of millions of YouTube views. She can be awkward and geeky, despite running in the Victoria’s Secret pack. The images, videos, and interviews of her package up a normal person that could be found in your iPhone contact list.


Except she’s not normal.

She’s a machine.

She’s a fine-tuned social media marketing machine.

Plus, any girl who features an Andalusian in her music video is my kind of person.


Drawing You In

What Swift and her marketing team do exceptionally well is not just publish relatable content outward through their social media channels; they also listen and act on opportunities to bring fans inward. They do not take for granted the value of a double-tap or a response to their grassroots army.

The trend of using social media to publicize guerrilla style PR stunts is not new. Musicians crash weddings, actors pop up at screenings, and athletes drop in for a (well-photographed) pick-up game. But the Swift crew constantly finds ways to evolve the art of social listening by connecting with fans on seemingly small-scale ways that ultimately net high-impact results. And they do this in a non-creepy way (of course she has natural advantages here over, say, Gary Busey).

Consider this – every act of engagement with her fans ends up with press coverage. Swift gives a fan a student loan contribution, or bakes cookies, or comments on a kid’s prom outfit and surely there will be coverage! The coverage not only promotes the act, but also bolsters her narrative as the regular but fabulous bff you wish you had. Therein dangles the possibility that she may “notice” you on Instagram or ReTweet your call for help. I can’t even imagine the ROI on these small yet targeted actions. Oh what great fun it would be to ghost her social for her!


Applying this to Your Small Business

So this is all well and good, but you don’t have millions in ad spend or major publications clamouring for a piece of your brand. So how do you use Swift’s social media listening approach to your benefit?

What Swift’s intelligent marketing signals is a new wave of punch card loyalty. Consumers aren’t looking to collect points or stamps, per se, but they want to feel acknowledged in some way. Even the most obscure brands are finding this on social media with crowd-sourced photos or reviews from their consumers. Think about how VIP you felt when you got a like or reply from a brand, company, or celebrity you love (Ken Jeong is great at this, by the way).

Ken Jeong Twitter

“What the what?! Ken Jeong replied to me!”

A recent Canadian Business Insights study found a perception amongst consumers that small businesses “can’t” serve their needs via web/social media/mobile as well as big companies. In this study, 82% of consumers had this view (read this recap here).

So if consumers want to feel acknowledged and they expect big companies to do it well…and big companies often don’t…well, that’s a great sandbox you can play in. For every Taylor Swift-sized entity out there that is doing it well, there are scores that aren’t nearly as agile or witty or timely as you can be.

What data do you collect about your customers and how you can connect the dots between their behaviours and your ability to serve and delight them? Don’t waste contact opportunities like newsletters, confirmation emails, or social media replies to communicate with your distinct flair. Your audience size may not be Wembley Stadium, but it still matters and holds great value if you’re willing to listen.

Nice to meet you, where you been?

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