Silence as Strategy for a Beverly Hills Social Media Company
Thursday marked the release of the first single off of Taylor Swift’s forthcoming album. This in turn marked the end of an unusual stunt that had been organized by her public relations team or some Beverly Hills social media company.
Although the song itself has apparently received mixed-to-negative reaction1, no one can doubt that it’s being widely discussed. And that’s attributable not just to Swift’s fame and the nature of her music but also to the efforts of the above-mentioned social media company.
This certainly isn’t newsworthy in and of itself; but what makes it newsworthy is the specific nature of the social media stunt. It didn’t consist of a new type of content but rather a complete absence of content. Swift disappeared completely from Twitter and Instagram the previous week and temporarily removed all her posts, in order to spur conversation and set the stage for a personal re-branding with the new album.
Engadget2 discussed this in an article that also mentioned other celebrities who have disappeared for other reasons. It ends by saying it’s inevitable that these patterns will repeat. Of course, what works for A-list celebrities won’t necessarily work for other people who use the services of a Beverly Hills social media company. But the larger take away from the Swift story and others like it is that a social media company can help shape the conversation not only through what it’s saying but also through what it isn’t saying.