Taylor Swift Teaches Us All a Valuable Social Media Lesson

OK, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. Yes, this is the second post I have written about Taylor Swift in a little over a month. I promise, while I do find some of her tunes catchy, I am not a super fan—she just keeps making news related to content marketing!


Without going into too much detail, Swift made news this past week when she reacted to a tweet by hip hop artist Nicki Minaj. The pop singer thought the tweet was aimed at her and quickly fired back a civil, yet pointed rebuttal. The problem, however, was that Swift was not the intended target of the original tweet. After a quick back-and-forth squabble, Swift apologized on Twitter, which seems to have resolved the feud, at least for now.

The lesson here is simple, yet worth repeating, as it seems many brands still struggle with the concept—think hard before you hit “send” on any social media site. For all intents and purposes, any individual or company with even a few thousand followers should consider any social media post they make to live for eternity. Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos and content on other social sites can be deleted, but generally, if they are controversial in any way, somebody has already taken a screen shot or captured the message some other way by the time it is taken down.

Fortunately for Swift, her misstep was minor. Although she did jump the gun on her response, she did not use profane language or sling personal insults at Minaj, which makes it a lot easier to move past a social snafu. Still, marketers who use social media as a tool should go through a mental checklist of questions before posting, such as:

  • Is this post consistent with your brand’s values and messaging?
  • Is there any way this post could be construed as inappropriate, offensive or insensitive?
  • Are you offering any value, even if it’s just a quick laugh, by posting this content?
  • If you are responding to a customer complaint, are you showing empathy and restraint?

All of this is not to say that you shouldn’t have fun and be creative on social media; social sites are a great medium for content marketers and abandoning them out of fear of a slip up is a mistake. Rather, you should simply think strategically and take a little extra care before you post. Because a social media mistake can be difficult to shake off.

eric-e1412094737376Known around the office as the unofficial (or official if you ask him) “Content Boost Mayor,” Eric Lebowitz is one of Content Boost’s Digital Content Editors. Before joining the team, Eric worked in development at the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut in Stamford, Connecticut, and “Golf Digest Magazine.” With experience in account management and content creation, Eric has helped dozens of clients bolster their Web traffic and customer acquisition.  When he’s not cracking jokes in the cubes, you can find him on the golf course working on his handicap. He’s also a recent newlywed. Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Journalism from Purchase College in Purchase, New York.