Taylor Swift: A Case Study

Taylor Swift is undoubtedly one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now and I debated whether or not I should write a post centered around her because if felt like click-bait. Peruse any pop-culture site and you’ll find an article, photo, mention, anything really as an excuse to use Taylor’s name because mentioning her generates a boost in traffic. She’s on top of her game and people are responding with their “likes” “shares” and comments. All of this is fine to an extent but being a new, unknown blog, numbers aren’t my main goal and I don’t want to write about her for the sake of a few additional views. I wanted to scrap this post but the reality is that Taylor, or the people on Team Swift, have done an exemplary job using the social web and present a fascinating case study, one that I obviously can’t resist.

Full disclosure here, since the release of her album 1989 I’m what you would call a “Swiftie”, so I’m glad to see her not only succeeding but owning the moment so well. By all accounts, she’s a kind and talented person and her work speaks for itself. I’m not questioning her success or her intentions. Instead, I’d like to unpack the ways in which Taylor and her team have used the social web to accompany her re-branding as a bona fide global superstar and examine the ways in which she uses various channels to share content, focusing specifically on her Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts. While her other profiles share similar content as the three outlets I’ve chosen, I’d like to focus on Twitter which she joined in 2008, Instagram which joined in 2011, and Tumblr which she began using in 2014 because these are the channels that demonstrate the most interaction between Taylor Swift and her audience, with Taylor messaging fans, commenting on their posts, and reblogging their content. There are so many elements of Team Swift’s social media presence to discuss but for the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on what I believe is their greatest strength: tone and targeted messaging.

Continue reading

Here We Go Again

Hello?

Is anyone out there?

I won’t be upset if there isn’t. After all, it has been more than two years since my last post. But if by chance there is a reader sticking around, I want to say hi (!) and thanks.

I have to admit that this – my return to blogging and this blog in particular- has come as a surprise. This site was born as a school assignment and was supposed to end along with the class, slipping in line with countless other abandoned blogs and online projects. But I’ve hesitated to delete this site, periodically coming back to check the traffic and read old posts, and now I’ve worked up the courage to start writing again, this time without the class syllabus to provide structure and guidelines.

Continue reading

Caine’s Arcade: Things we know and lessons we can learn

Most of us, whether casual observers or active users are aware of the impact and influence of the social web. If we look at the numbers- 955 million active Facebook members, 500 million Twitter accounts, 100 million Instagram users, etc.- it’s clear to see that people are signing-up and signing-on to social media. All of this is fairly impressive, especially when you consider Facebook, arguably one of the most prominent leaders in social networking, wasn’t even launched until 2004. The social web has certainly come along way in recent years. But the influence of the social web isn’t measure strictly in numbers; it’s also the ways in which we engage with these technologies.

Social media platforms have given individuals the opportunity to share and discuss issues on a grander scale. People like you and I now have the opportunity to broadcast our thoughts, ideas, and opinions to networks that extend beyond family, friends, co-workers and colleagues, potentially even reaching a global audience, all in an accessible low-cost manner.  This pervasiveness is apparent to many users, most of all marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals who are forever trying to find new and effective ways to communicate with their audience. With these social networking technologies, public relations professionals and the organizations they represent are engaging with their audiences across various platforms with the aim of building and strengthening their relationships, while also (ideally) enhancing their corporate brand and reputation.

However, with usage increases comes the addition of more voices, opinions, pitches, and ideas, and we run the risk of experiencing social media fatigue. This can be problematic from the perspective of both social media producers and consumers because suddenly the outlets that once allowed us to speak freely become muddled. But as with most things, there is a solution: patience, commitment, and creativity, which is why I’d like to turn your attention to Caine’s Arcade (video below).

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Source: http://cainesarcade.com/

Continue reading