The Taylor Swift Approach to Community Management: Building Fandoms, Not Just Followings

Published on
09-02-2024
Author
Aisys
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How to
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Taylor Swift's recently dove into the "tortured poets" aesthetic.


Complete with a monochrome profile picture change; this sent the internet—and particularly, her fandom, the Swifties—into a frenzy. Swifties worldwide mirrored her, changing their profile pictures and flooding social media with content about it.


This seemingly simple act underscores a profound lesson in community management: the power of personal connection, exclusivity, narrative, adaptability, and loyalty.


How can SaaS companies harness this "Swiftie" strategy to cultivate their communities?

Personal Connection

Taylor Swift sets the gold standard for personal engagement. Her surprise fan visits and heartfelt responses on social media make every fan feel seen and valued.


Imagine if SaaS brands adopted this approach. Moving beyond automated customer service responses to genuine, personalized interaction could transform user perceptions from mere service users to valued community members.


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What SaaS Companies Can Do:

  • Personalize your responses on social media to reflect the user's tone and context. Like you can use your B2B SaaS LinkedIn page to interact with prospects & customers’ posts regularly.
  • Celebrate user milestones through shout-outs or personalized messages.
  • Host virtual meet-and-greets with product teams to deepen connections.


For instance, Zendesk's approach to customer service, where they not only solve tickets but also engage in meaningful conversations with users, showcases a level of personal connection. They share these stories in their annual reports, highlighting how they've impacted businesses and individuals alike.


Besides, Salesforce’s Trailhead offers a unique blend of education and exclusivity, providing users with badges and certifications that are highly valued within the Salesforce community. This not only educates but also creates an elite group of knowledgeable users.


This level of interaction can transform user perception from seeing a service to seeing a partner in their journey.


Exclusive Content

Swift knows how to make her fans feel special with content that's just for them. This sense of exclusivity builds a community that's eager to engage and share.


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SaaS companies can mirror this by granting exclusive access to webinars, insider information, beta testing opportunities, or sneak peeks into upcoming features, turning ordinary users into brand ambassadors.


This not only creates a sense of belonging but also turns users into advocates, eagerly sharing their insider status and spreading the word.

Narrative Building

Swift's storytelling turns her music into an anthem for many. Her ability to share her journey in a relatable manner has cemented her place in the hearts of millions.


I mean, just look at, “And you call me up again just to break me like a promise. So casually cruel in the name of being honest”.


Similarly, SaaS companies should craft and share their own narratives. This might involve telling the story of your startup's journey, sharing customer success stories, or explaining the 'why' behind new features.


Taylor's Instagram

Taylor's Instagram



A compelling narrative can deeply resonate with your audience, aligning your brand values with their personal or professional aspirations. Make your customer’s story a part of your B2B SaaS content marketing strategy.


For instance, Slack’s "Work, Simplified" campaign effectively shares its narrative of simplifying communication across teams and platforms. Through customer stories and use cases, Slack demonstrates its impact on productivity and team collaboration.

Listening and Adapting

Just as Swift's music and persona evolve in response to fan feedback and societal shifts, so too should SaaS companies be adept at listening and adapting.


This is where tools like Slack’s community channels come into play, serving as a real-time feedback loop that can guide product updates, content creation, and customer service improvements. The key is not just to listen but to act on that feedback, showing your community that their voices matter.


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And HubSpot’s adaptation of its platform to include more robust CRM features came as a direct response to community feedback. By listening to its users’ needs for a more integrated sales and marketing tool, HubSpot was able to significantly enhance its product offering.


So, here’s what you can do:

  • Implement regular community feedback loops through surveys, AMAs (Ask Me Anything), and feedback forms.
  • Feature a "roadmap" page where users can suggest and vote on new features or improvements.
  • Actively monitor social media and forums for unsolicited feedback and trends.


Rewarding Loyalty

Swift doesn't just acknowledge her fans; she rewards their loyalty.


SaaS companies, take note. Implementing loyalty programs, acknowledging milestones, or even featuring users in your content can make your community feel valued.


HubSpot, again, is an excellent example of this, rewarding its community with resources, certification programs, and recognition, thereby fostering a strong sense of belonging and loyalty.


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Similarly, Adobe’s Creative Cloud offers exclusive tutorials, early access to new features, and discounts for long-term subscribers, effectively rewarding their loyalty and encouraging continued use of their software suite.


Here, the challenge is designing a loyalty program that motivates continued engagement without inflating costs. So, the solution could be to offer non-monetary rewards such as exclusive access, recognition, or professional growth opportunities that align with your community's values.


Case in Point

When Swift changes her profile picture, it's not just a change—it's a signal, a call to action that mobilizes her community.


When a SaaS company introduces a new feature, shares a milestone, or changes its interface, it should be with the same intentionality. To communicate, connect, and galvanize its community.


In essence, building a community in the SaaS world, much like Swift's approach to her fandom, is about creating shared experiences, values, and goals.


So, as we navigate the complex dance of community management, let's ask ourselves: How can we make our users feel like they're part of something bigger? How can we be the Taylor Swift of the SaaS world?


In doing so, you might just find that building a community is less about the strategies you employ and more about the connections you make.


After all, in the end, it's not just about growing a following—it's about nurturing a fandom.

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