Taylor Swift’s social media usage

 

INTRO

Taylor Swift is a singer and songwriter. She was originally known for pop country music, before moving fully into the pop territory. She has released six albums and has won ten Grammy Awards. She appears to have been working to get past her “girl next door” look. Her newest album – reputation – really drove that point home.

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
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INSTAGRAM
Swift stirred up a lot of buzz when her Instagram (@taylorswift) went blank. All of her photos were deleted, as were her photo and bio. A few months later, reputation was released.
Her Instagram now features over a hundred photos and videos, almost all relating to reputation and her tour. The postings seem to be at random times, though they are regular. Her profile picture is that of the reputation album cover. Her bio states “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.”, quoting a line from one of the songs on the album. Her bio also has a link to buy tour tickets.
The Instagram account has over 107 million followers. Swift is following zero people.

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FACEBOOK

Taylor Swift’s Facebook (@taylorswift) uses the same profile picture and bio as her Instagram. Her cover photo is also off of the reputation album. She has a good deal less followers on Facebook, though it is still a huge amount at over 73 million page likes. Almost all of her Facebook posts include a photo with them – adding a visual aspect that better catches the attention of social media users. She seems to post roughly once a day on Facebook. There are many comments, likes, and shares on every post. For example, a tour photo that Taylor Swift posted on May 9th has over 148,000 likes, and over 7,000 shares. The page does not appear to interact with fans.
Swift’s Facebook page has over 73 million likes, which makes it not as followed as her Instagram but still a huge success.

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TWITTER

The Twitter account for Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) uses the same profile picture and banner as the Facebook page. Swift has not made a Twitter post herself in over a month – it has been all retweets. She does not appear to respond to any tweets. The Twitter posts are all photos, videos, or articles.
The Taylor Swift Twitter has over 85 million followers.

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TUMBLR

Tumblr account, taylorswift, yet again has the same profile and cover photos. Her feed is made up of retweets about her and tour photos. She has connections to her other social media accounts. It also has things linking to her products on iTunes, Walmart, Target, and her own merch store.

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YOUTUBE

The Taylor Swift Youtube account stays with the cover photo and profile picture trend. It also includes widgets to her other social media accounts. It lists TaylorSwiftVEVO as a featured channel.
The uploads includes music videos and lyric videos. There are also videos showing behind the scenes and outtakes for videos, songs, and otherwise. There’s trailers for her tours. She also has some advertisements that she’s starred in and interviews.
The About section features a rather long biography about the singer, and the Community section shows tour photos.
Swift’s channel has over 29 million subscribers.

EVALUATION

Taylor Swift has kept her social media accounts fairly clean and neat. They all hold the same vibe and usually include the same general sorts of content.
It fits in with her website as well. Taylorswift.com features the same sleek white background with her reputation art being the first thing seen. The Taylor Swift store, which you can access off of the main site, features different sections. These sections are Tour, Merchandise, Tour Lookbook, and The Old Taylor. The last section will show merch relating to her past albums. This, yet again, stays with the theme of her being a new type of artist and plays off of her song lyrics.
Looking at recent news about the pop artist and songwriter shows a variety of topics. There is a decent amount of articles on her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. This is unsurprising considering how the media reacts to relationships and considering Swift’s stereotype of being “boy crazy”. Then there’s the articles on her feud with fellow pop singer Katy Perry. This also goes along with a view on her – that she is “fake” and only cares about drama for attention. Articles on her using a voice recording of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s three year old daughter (James Reynolds) for the beginning of the song titled Gorgeous also made the news. This adds to “celebrity friendship/shared fame” idea.
Other recent popular news about Taylor Swift includes her stalkers. Mohammed Jaffar was sentenced to six months in jail (along with five years probation, during which he is required to receive mental health treatment) after he stalked Swift at her apartment in Tribeca last year. He also pleaded guilty to attempted burglary. He was sentenced on May 16th, 2018.
Other recent articles talk about a different stalker, Julius Sandrock, who drove straight from Colorado to Taylor Swift’s home in California. He was found outside the house in April 14th, 2018 with a variety of concerning and disturbing objects – including rope, a knife, ammunition, and masks. Swift got a temporary restraining order against the man. The restraining order lasts until June 6th, when they’ll have a hearing on the topic.
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There’s also a lot of talk – in news and among online gossip – on how Taylor Swift has reacted to what her reputation is with the album reputation. The album, tour, and videos all have references to those stereotypes.
The music video for the singer’s song Look What You Made Me Do featured scenes where the “old Taylor Swifts” were falling from a pile, leaving only “New Taylor” standing. The old Taylors featured costumes from old music videos, old tours, and even past award ceremonies. Look What You Made Me Do is also the song that featured the line “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh – ’cause she’s dead”. There’s an opening scene of her crawling out of a grave stating “Here lies Taylor Swift’s reputation” on it, in case any viewers missed the message. She fully acknowledges things that the media has attacked her for by having her various selves criticize each other at the end of the video (“Stop making that surprised face – it’s so annoying”, “What’s with that b*tch?”, “Oh stop acting like you’re all nice. You are so fake”, “There she goes, playing the victim again”, etc.).
Another play off of her reputation is the feature of snakes. She has snakes everywhere in her videos (Look What You Made Me Do has snakes and a lot of snake jewelry), merchandise, and tour (the reputation tour actually features a giant snake head as part of the set). Importantly, her social media has many of the reptilians present. In fact, her first posts she made after the Instagram disappearance was GIFs of a snake with no caption. This is in reference to a dispute with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Many people know of the 2009 drama when Kanye went on stage during one of Swift’s acceptance speeches in order to tell the world how he thought Beyonce should have won the award instead. Th real issue came in 2016 with the release of Kanye West’s song titled Famous though, which featured the lyrics “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b*tch famous”. Swift was deeply upset about the lyrics, but after Kim Kardashian posted a video of Kanye on call with Taylor Swift which appeared to show the singer giving her consent for the lyrics, along with Kim posting a tweet about snakes that was a dig at Swift… The internet went a bit wild. Swift’s social media pages were flooded with snake emojis and hateful messages.
Taylor Swift addressed the drama further on her tour saying “Someone called me a snake on social media, and it caught on…” and later added, in reference to all the snakes she used “I guess with the snakes, I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses name-calling to bully you, and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to defeat you. It can strengthen you instead.”
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COMMENDATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

All of these things put together with how Taylor Swift has used her social media pages really tells a story of the artist and sends her message. She’s taking control of the things about herself that people have attacked her over, and she’s making sure that statement is loud and clear. It’s displayed over all of her social media channels – the idea of “New Taylor” and “Old Taylor”. The snakes have certainly become a sort of brand mascot for the singer. I applaud her for taking bad publicity and making it into something positive for her.
Something I think she should do more of is interacting with fans and making her posts personal. A lot of her posts are shared things as opposed to her own messages. Swift has perhaps tried to make up for this with special things like the magazine of her art/poetry that you can buy with a reputation album, but people who are not already fans will not spend the time/energy/money to get those things. For her to have a more personal online presence could draw in more people and show her in a more positive light.
Overall, I feel that Taylor Swift has a cohesive online presence that fits with her brand.

References:
https://taylorswift.com/
http://store.taylorswift.com/
https://www.instagram.com/taylorswift/
https://www.facebook.com/TaylorSwift
http://taylorswift.tumblr.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/taylorswift
https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/ryan-reynolds-my-daughter-has-terrible-ego-after-taylor-swift-song/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5737905/Taylor-Swift-stalker-caught-lurking-outside-pop-stars-Tribeca-home-jailed-six-months.html
http://www.canyon-news.com/another-taylor-swift-stalker-arrested/78469
https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/reviews/taylor-swift-e2-80-99s-e2-80-98reputation-e2-80-99-tour-has-bad-blood-good-will-sex-appeal-and-serpents/ar-AAxnz3o

Photos are all website screenshots. The news articles come from a Google search, and the tour photos are from Swift’s Instagram page.

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Case Study #4 – Chris Tomlin’s Social Media

Chris Tomlin is a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter of contemporary Christian worship music. His Facebook page has over 3,547,000 likes. His Twitter page (@christomlin) has over 1,028,000 followers, while he’s following only 75 people. Tomlin made his Twitter in May of 2009. In those nine years, he’s made over 4,600 tweets. On his Instagram (which is also @christomlin), he has around 638,000 followers and is following 45 people himself. He’s made over 1,300 Instagram posts.
Chris Tomlin’s Facebook page includes a profile image of his smiling face – using neutral colors. The cover image says “JOIN ME FOR WORSHIP” and gives the link to view his tour dates on his website. Tomlin’s About page gives this biography: “Husband. Father. Singer. Songwriter. Worshipper. Hope to see you at an event!”. That description and the profile image are featured in all of his social media pages. This is good since he is creating a clear online image for himself.
His Facebook posts consist of sharing Youtube song links, Bible verses, and what he’s up to. He posts pictures with his posts a fair amount. One thing that stood out was the amount of shares he gets on his posts. Every one of his posts that I saw had shares – the ones with Bible verse images gaining over 1,000. His posts also seemed to all have positive comments. There certainly are active followers of the page.
Tomlin’s Facebook also has sections for Tour Dates, Photos, Videos, Community (allowing you to scroll through any public posts that mention him), Notes (little articles that he wrote himself), Reviews, and more.
His Twitter page content feels the same as his Facebook. A lot of the posts are exactly, or nearly exactly, the same. He posts the photos that he posts on Facebook with the same caption. However, he doesn’t get as many likes or retweets.
There’s a fair amount of responses from the page to follower’s tweets…but not from Chris Tomlin himself. All of the responses are signed “- Team Tomlin”. This may be disappointing to some fans who’d hope to get a personal response from Tomlin. On the other hand, this allows for more responses and uses honesty. They are transparent about the fact that it isn’t Chris Tomlin himself responding, which can gain points from other fans. I saw no retweeted posts shared by his page.
Tomlin’s Twitter page mainly follows other worship/Christian artists – Michael W. Smith, Matt Maher, Amy Grant, etc. He also follows some other famous Christians. These range from authors of books on the faith (like Beth Moore and Max Lucado) to celebrities who just happen to also be open about their Christian faith (such as Tim Tebow). This helps Tomlin both with making connections and with keeping his persona clear to his fans.
Instagram – though still having the same happy profile picture in the neutral tones – changes up the biography some. The Instagram biography includes a hashtag at the end of it: “#WorshipNightInAmerica”. The Worship Night in America Tour is something Chris Tomlin has gotten together to try to unite the Christian church. The 2018 tour includes Tomlin and five other Christian worship artists as guests. There’s also a section on his Facebook page that features info for the Worship Night tour.
His Instagram feed features quotes (from Bible verses and famous people, along with some from Tomlin himself) and photos of his tours. The tour photos tend to be in calming cool tones, blue being used a lot. There’s also a lot of black and white tour photos used, and photos from the tours that have a focus on the crowd. Aside from the quotes and tours, Tomlin has pictures with friends, family, and posts about events that he’s a part of.
There are videos scattered throughout the page. Overall, the videos are far overpowered by the amount of photos though. This could be good or bad. In my personal experience, people tend to not always take the time to watch videos on their Instagram feed. On the other hand, Chris Tomlin is a singer. It would make sense to have more content featuring and showing off his music. He makes up for that some by posting videos on his Instagram story, which may get more views from his followers than if he posted it just on his feed.
The trend of many likes and positive comments continues. He also has a lot of posts that he’s tagged in on Instagram. The hashtag “#christomlin” brings up over 70,000 posts.
Looking over all of Chris Tomlin’s social media pages shows a clear page that works the best for him, I believe. His Facebook page has millions of more followers than his Instagram or Twitter. However…I wonder if that has less to do with the content and more to do with his audience. Instagram and Twitter are marketed more towards youth – teens and college students. Facebook used to be like that, but has since gained the audience of anyone. Facebook is considered a great way for Grandma to see what her grandkids are up to, even. Chris Tomlin tends to market his works toward older crowds as well. He has done Facebook talks on healthy Christian marriages, has posts about why people should consider taking in foster care children, etc. Topics that are clearly not aimed for teenagers.
Facebook does also allow users/followers to find what they’re looking for more easily though. The side pages where you can view specific topics or tour dates is a great feature that I believe serves him well. These things added up make Facebook the best asset for Tomlin.

This Simple Balance – Blog Analysis

 OVERVIEW

This Simple Balance is a motherhood minimalist blog. The page is run by a woman named June. She tries to live a minimalist lifestyle while homeschooling with her four kids. The blog features sections specifically on homeschooling, minimalism, parenting, and being a working mom at home.

ANALYSIS

The web address is as basic and easy to remember as you can be – thissimplebalance.com. It claims the ownership of the title, and looks more professional due to it. There is no extra things to remember (such as “.webs.com” or “.wordpress.com”).
The page style fits perfectly for a minimalist blog. The screen is all white, aside from the text and a picture for each article. It’s simplistic yet clean, featuring the tagline “Own less. Do more.”. You are also able to see the newest articles featured on the main page, a photo of June with one of her kids (works as an emotional connection to the blogger as well as cuteness factor), and the different pages of the blog listed below the title which allows for readers to find their section of interest quickly. When you scroll over the various sections, you also get more specific subtopics within the topics.
When you look at your tabs bar, you see a logo with “TSB” (for This Simple Balance) matching the writing style of the title on the main page. It also features another tagline: “Where Minimalism Meets Real Life with Kids @ This Simple Balance”.
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The about page holds a lot of information. June tells some of her story and reasons for minimalism. She also features a photo/link for her e-course on the topic with parenting, and lists facts about herself. There is a bigger version of the photo of June and her child here, which would be nice if the smaller version wasn’t still shown next to it.
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The blog does not have any links to social media accounts, or at least not any clear ones. The contact page only features a form to email her. I Googled the blog to see if it had any other social media…and indeed it did. This Simple Balance has other pages such as FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. Though the social media accounts featured links to the blog, the blog didn’t have connections to the other social media. This is a missed opportunity. People often forget to go to websites to check on them, so inviting readers to follow the blog on a more regularly used form of media and having them see posts about it show up in their feed is a great way to remind people to look at the blog and incite interest again.
The footer of the page is simple. There’s a search bar to search for things within the blog. There’s links to three of her recent posts. You can search the archives for specific months. Then there’s links to the areas of the site such as contact, privacy policy, and disclosures. Nothing draws huge attention to the footer, but it offers quick ways to find what you need easily that you can’t from the other areas of the site.

CONTENT

The blog appears to have new posts fairly often, though not daily. January 2018 had ten posts and February 2018 had nine. The blog posts include eye catching titles promising rewards for reading, such as ‘This Library Hack Will Save You Hundreds on Books” and “Why Every Mom NEEDS to Try the Paperless Kitchen”. These types of titles are good for getting people to your page, though it runs the risk of people getting negative views of the blog using click bait. Lists are also popularly used on the site, which is a plus as it allows people to easily skim if they have less time (which, considering that the majority of the blog is geared towards stay-at-home-moms, is an important thing to keep in mind).
The posts have a mix of text styles. Bigger text is used to mark different main sections within the post, bold text is used to mark important sections, italics are used for emphasis or talking/thoughts, and regular text is used for the rest. This is another positive for readers who want to save time.
Throughout the blog posts, you can find links to other related blog posts on her site. This is a great way to keep readers reading (grab their interests again) and to convince them that the site will be an overall benefit to them, as opposed to just having one good article.
Pictures are featured with the article titles and the website URL. This is perfect for easy sharing and marketing. It also can be pinned to Pinterest boards, which expands the reach. This benefits both the reader and the blogger – the reader can save the blog for future reading, and the blogger essentially gets free advertising through the pin.
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There are buttons to share blog posts at the end of each post. Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are the available options and you can see how many shares have been made to each (Pinterest being by far the most popularly used one).
The blog posts also allow for comments. June appears to respond to the majority of her commenters, even if it’s just to say that she’s glad they enjoyed the post. This is good for creating positive connections with people and making them more likely to visit the blog again.
Readers are encourage to subscribe to blog updates with the offer of free pages for homeschooling planners. This is featured on the side of the main page and is included in parts of the blog posts. This is another example of a win-win scenario for both the reader and the blogger. The blogger gets to gain a more consistent readership through reminders and the reader gets a free resource.
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CONCLUSION

   This Simple Balance is a blog with a clean design that gives readers easy usage of the website.
It’s simple to navigate and the topic are laid out in a way that lets people quickly find informative posts on the topic of their choice. The search bar at the bottom of the page is there to help anyone who does have difficulties.
The blog posts are easy to read, whether you’re skimming or reading every word. The pictures throughout add some breaks from the text and gives it a visual (and sometimes emotional) appeal. Links and pictures are featured to encourage the reader to remember and/or read more on the site.
My only real critique of the blog was the fact that I could not find links to it’s other social media presences. I believe that’s something which should be displayed somewhere where all readers will see it and it should be used to it’s full potential.

Why Hedgehogs May Not Be the Pet of Your Dreams

Hedgehogs are adorable animals that have become more popular in recent years. The internet loves them. Take a look at Mr. Pokee’s Instagram page – the little critter has over 400,000 followers!
Years back, I bought into the cuteness…and bought some cuteness. Emma was the first hedgehog I owned. After her passing, I briefly housed a male hedgie named Oliver, and I now have another female hedgehog named Lorelai. (Any Gilmore Girls fans?)
Don’t let the title confuse you – I love hedgehogs. They aren’t always what people imagine them as though. Here are some reasons a hedgehog may not be the pet of your dreams:

1. You want a cheap pet. Hedgehogs aren’t as cheap as other small animals, like hamsters. To adopt a hedgehog normally costs around a couple hundred dollars (though rescue hedgies can be cheaper). You also must buy a house for it, a liner/bedding, food dish, water dish/bottle, a wheel, toys, something to hide in, food, veterinary care, etc. Any pet comes with the responsibility to take care of it as best you can.

2. You aren’t sure if owning a hedgehog is legal where you live. Even among the U.S.A., different states have different laws in regards to exotic pets. Some states allow hedgehogs as pets and other states do not. Since laws can change, I would recommend looking into the laws where you live to see if owning a prickly baby could be in the cards for you.

3. You’re looking for a good pet for your kids. Now, I’m not going to say that hedgehogs are a bad pet for children, but a lot depends on the child. Hedgehogs do have quills for protection, which they will get incredibly sharp when scared or angry. You should think about how patient/gentle your child would be with the animal – both for the safety of the kid and the safety of the hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are also naturally nocturnal animals, so if you/your kid wants a fun animal to watch play all day… it may not be the best choice. They can be taken out later in the evening, but constantly waking up an animal in the middle of it’s sleep isn’t healthy and will result in a grumpy hog.

4. You don’t have much time to spend with the animal. Hedgehogs need to be socialized. As stated earlier, they have a defense mechanism. Hedgies will curl into a tight ball with their sharp quills sticking out around them. This makes it impossible to hold them without getting little stabs from the quills (unless you try really think gloves or oven mitts, as I have in the past).
To get them better used to people, breeders suggest that you socialize your hedgehog for around an hour a day. Socialization requires interacting with the animal – holding him/her, letting them explore under close supervision, talking to them, petting them, etc. You need to gain their trust and let them know that you are safe.

This is a base starting point to address some things that people often don’t realize about hedgehogs. If you’re still considering getting a pet hedgie, or if you just want to learn more, there’s many helpful resources out there such as the video below. Good luck!