Music Business

Taylor Swift Schools Madonna: Contrasting Approaches To Social Media

Hope_for_Haiti_Madonna_and_Taylor_Swift-s_PerformancesTaylor Swift struck again over the holidays, pulling the heartstrings of fans and America by and large with the release of a video documenting her most recent random act of kindness fans are lovingly referring to as "Swiftmas". Madonna, on the contrary, has taken a staunch self-aggrandizing approach to the promotion of her new album "Rebel Hearts" where she shared photos of Martin Luther King Jr.Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley in what she claims were "fan-altered" photos. The two superstars have starkly contrasting approaches to social media: Taylor Swift projecting generosity & sincerity, Madonna projecting controversy. 

B6XE_itCcAAsn6rOn January 2nd, Madonna shared the altered images on her Instagram account, as what seemed like a salute to herself. Her less than admirable pass off was a bit reminiscent of primary school blame games. She responded with an apology of sorts saying, "I'm sorry. I'm not comparing myself to anyone. I'm admiring and acknowledging their Rebel Hearts. Am I saying I am them, NO.  I'm saying they are Rebel Hearts too. And I didn't do it, my fans did. And I just re-posted those photos."

Taylor Swift, taking a completely different approach to fan engagement, took to her home in New York to create a personalized Christmas "Swifties" would never forget. She secret Santa shopped for unsuspecting fans who would receive a Santa emoji on one of their social media channels to be followed by a FedEx or personal delivery from Taylor Swift herself. Their reactions were documented in Swift's video released five days ago on her YouTube channel. 

Madonna indeed exemplifies a rebel heart – it's a trademark of sorts for her career. Unfortunately for her, her latest rebel yell wasn't so well received – especially not when her fans became the scapegoat. While Madonna portrays herself as a leader to her followers, Taylor Swift, continues her open armed policy, aligning herself with her fans, suggesting she's one of them. Swift has remained a class act throughout the promotion of her hit album 1989 – further prove that grace and humility never go out of style. 

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  1. taylor – no personality – swift? do you want us to remain stupid and follow some idiot who gives her fans a pencil holder every year? fuck off! give me politically incorrect and opinionated & hilarious madonna over that sheep any day!

  2. While I’m no Taylor fan, millions of other are.
    And I used to think Madonna had it going on, but now I think she tries too hard. As Prince said (about himself), ‘After you’ve been photographed naked, you need to back off going for shock value.” (paraphrase)

  3. People are really dumb. Yes, Taylor is such a role model, graciously giving her fans some cheap and stupid gifts. And all of thise was incidentially filmed for youtube. And Madonna, the evil cow, opened a pediatric intensive care unit she financed in one of the poorest countries on earth. And it was hardly published anywhere. Racist, white supremacist bitch Madonna.

  4. Actually, I’m amazed at this Lady’s grace and gratitude. I saw the gift giving video the other day and like most people went to cynicism; what’s this gimmick?
    But there’s something about her that feels real and authentic. I’ve seen her ( on videos ) interact with her fans and friends and she’s just present, having fun. Could it be that she just gets how much incredible good fortune she’s had and how lucky she is to have this acclaim and admiration.

  5. The Taylor Swift approach is what Gary Vaynerchuck was talking about in his book ‘The Thank-You Economy’. Know and and talk to your audience directly. Don’t just talk to them and say ‘thanks’ embrace them and and say ‘thank you so much’.

  6. Yeah madonna only adopts two children from the brink of death and opens schools I n Africa but taylor showing fan appreciation by giving a gift on you tube is the most. Bug eye roll. Can you say witch hunt?

  7. I don’t want an artist to be “one of us” any more than I want our political leader to be “one of us”.
    I want both to be extraordinary persons.
    So I’m not a fan of either of these musicians, but I’m with Madonna on this one. Shoot high. Buying fans gifts is bribery and just promotes more consumerism. Put that generosity and depth into your music, Ms. Swift, instead of writing dysfunctional lyrics like “Got a long list of ex-lovers
    They’ll tell you I’m insane”
    Give us something more, musicians, before you call yourself “artists”.

  8. I’m also against the direct engagement practice. Artists should not have to do this. It takes time away from developing their art. It’s also demeaning and detracts from the mystique of the work.
    Or is the concept of artistic development too old-fashioned now?

  9. Sasha? I know this is you, Bruno Mars! You always use this name to cover your tracks.

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