Become a fan of your fans

This is a guest post from Spike Jones — SVP, Managing Director SW Region at Edelman Digital and co-author of the book Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements. See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.


Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

Unless you don’t have a connection to the interwebs, you’ve been hearing about a one Taylor Swift surprising and delighting her fans in many different ways.

She’s sent care packages. She’s shown up on doorsteps. She’s held private get-togethers for fans in the cities where she’s toured. And the list goes on and on.

There are many lessons to be learned here about engagement, true surprise and delights, content, etc.

But I want to point out two very simple things that stand out to me that haven’t been addressed yet:

1. Taylor doesn’t care about influencers.

Well, I’m sure she cares about everyone, but my point is that follower count is not something that is part of the strategy here. The subject of her latest S+D as 500 followers on Twitter at the time of this post — and I’m sure it was lower before of Swift’s gift.

Again, she doesn’t care about influencers. She cares about passionate fans. She cares about how she can engage them in a personal, MEANINGFUL way. She’s not reaching out and asking them to share her content. She’s not asking them to join a program. She’s identifying passionate fans — sometimes with a specific need or ask — and engaging them in high touch ways. And look at all the attention it’s getting.

2. At its core, this is a fantastic example of a brand becoming a fan of her fans.

And that’s what ties all of these efforts together. It’s much, much more than saying “thank you.” It is admitting that your band would cease to exist without those that support you. Who are pulling for you. And who are showing and telling the world that they are your fans.

What’s the biggest way to reward them? Sure, SWAG is nice. Free product. Cool experiences. But the biggest way to reward them? Becoming their biggest fan. And really meaning it.

It’s not rocket science. But it IS hard work. And that’s why you don’t see many brands ever doing it. Love Taylor Swift or hate her, there’s something to be learned here.

About Spike Jones

Spike Jones is a results-proven communications professional, specializing in digital and offline word of mouth marketing. With more than 15 years of experience, the career path goes something like this: Baylor University; a decade at Brains on Fire; SVP of the Customer Experience team at Fleishman-Hillard; Group Director, Engagement at WCG; and now SVP, Managing Director SW Region at Edelman Digital. Spike is also a co-author of the book Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements.

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