While many teens use Taylor Swift’s music as their make-up and break-up bible, marketing professionals could learn a thing or two to learn from Miss Swift as well. It was recently announced that Taylor has stripped Kim Kardashian of her crown and is now officially the most followed Instagram user, boasting a whopping 45.9 million followers! To say that Swift has mastered her social media strategy is an understatement; let’s take a look why.

Swift Strategy Tip No. 1: Make and Use Influential Friends

Katy Perry and Tay Swift’s feud keeps making headlines. KP can RAWR loudly but Taylor has called in the reinforcements, an army of fans and influential celebrity mates, including her “Bad Blood” video costars. So what’s the lesson here? Like Taylor, when researching influencers, be sure that they add relevance to the social media strategy. “Bad Blood” features only young, female celebs, bringing girl power to a new, receptive audience and producing great content at the same time. Her famous friends then helped spread the work through their own communities.

Swift Strategy Tip No. 2: Join In

Stalking on social media is something we’ve all done but usually don’t like to admit. However to promote her album 1989, Taylor did just that, signing off with #taylurking. She browsed posts uploaded by fans and reposted their content via her Twitter account. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for #taylurking to trend worldwide, a true badge of honour for a flourishing social media strategy. User-generated content campaigns are a great way to increase social engagement, as well as show that we recognise and appreciate interaction from our community. #Taylurking is just one of the ways Swift continues to engage with her some 38.2 million Insta fans. The social media strategy takeaway here: Forge personal bonds with community members. Play games with them, like their photos, ask them questions and respond to their concerns. Such activities have proved to be very successful in profiling Taylor as a typical girl next door that could easily be our bestie and taking her image beyond a music icon and into a relatable brand that resonates with the audience.

Swift Strategy Tip No. 3: Surprise and Delight Online and Off

Brand love is the ultimate aim for any company, and what better way to receive love than to give it. Taylor often keeps her fans on their toes by surprising them (and building loyalty), both on social media, as we discussed above, but also IRL. Taylor makes her fans feel special by posing for seflies and even inviting them into her home for an exclusive album listening party, which she then documents on her own channels. A small surprise can make a person’s day (or a whole year in the case of ‘Swifties’) and encourages them to spread positive word of mouth. Understandably, delighting customers with gifts can be expensive, so to avoid blowing the budget, we can always make use of a media monitoring tool to help point us in the direction of the brand advocates.