Over the last few years, the huge impact that social media has had on all aspects of marketing communications is obvious – and one of the biggest music icons of 2015, Taylor Swift, recently spelt out the simple truth that lies behind its power.
In a TV interview with American broadcast legend Barbara Walters, Taylor was asked whether she had been worried about losing her Country and Western fans when making the transition to mainstream pop music with her new album 1989.
Her response to this question said it all.
'Not at all, I am in touch with my fans and I know what they like.'
If you look at Swift's rise to global music dominance, one of the main catalysts has been her total dedication to connecting directly with her fans across a wide range of social media platforms. As Barbara Walters summed up in the interview, Swift's fans now "see themselves in her and she sees herself in them".
Swift's commitment to this close relationship with the people that made her famous is such that, when she was launching the 1989 album, she organised previews, or "secret societies" as Swift called them, in her sitting room for invited groups of her fans to hear the new music before it had been launched via all of the other traditional marketing channels. Not only could these select fans experience the music first but, more importantly, Swift could take in their reactions to the new tracks (and I suspect make any necessary adjustments!).
This commitment to connect with her fans has really set Swift apart on the global stage and I suspect will be heavily influential, not only on the activities of her competitors but within a broader commercial context too.
Swift has proved that by being enthusiastic about maintaining a direct dialogue with her target audiences, and listening to the positives and the negatives, and then responding accordingly, you can still sell records in the digital age.
And this is Swift's simple lesson for business. Reaching out directly and regularly to your target audiences and developing a quality dialogue, one that both educates and even entertains, is one of single most powerful tools within your marketing communications armoury.
If you would like to talk to one of the expert team at Westgate about helping you to connect more directly with your target audiences to deliver great commercial impact for your business, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!