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What Holding Taylor Swift's Hand Taught Me About Social Media

Have you ever had thousands of teenage girls turn around and look at you with absolute jealousy? This was me last year as my wife and I were being handed vip wristbands by one of Taylor Swift's dancers. As I stood leaning against the stage all I could think about was "Why couldn't I have had these seats when I saw Coldplay in the same arena a year earlier!". Though as the show went on I was impressed at this young ladies ability to entertain and connect with the crowd in front of her. This was not just your ordinary pop star.

Half way through the show it got really interesting. She had been playing a set of songs from the back of the arena. A staple with her shows. As she was returning to the front she would hug and shake people's hands.

Connecting with as many people as possible.

As Taylor climbed the stairs back onto the stage I figured I would join in and go for a high five. To my surprise she instead grabbed my hand and held it even as I went to let go.

So what does holding Taylor Swift's hand have to do with Social Media? Not a lot though it started to give me some insight into why she has been able to connect with such a large audience. There is an influence Taylor Swift has that goes beyond simple pop celebrity. A way about her that shows she is not messing around and has worked quite deliberately to get to where she is. As I have watched her career I have picked up a few things that I feel are important for any of us leading out on social media. Yes we can learn a thing or two from this pop star :)

Be Aware Of Your Influence

I definitely think about a million people when I'm getting dressed in the morning and thats just part of my life now. -Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is very aware of her influence. She knows she is a leader and takes that responsibility seriously. She is different then most 20 something celebrities whose actions clearly reflect their selfish desires. While I may only have a little over 1,000 Twitter followers, compared to her 23million, I still have influence and my actions will shape what others think in some way. In communicating on social media we must keep those we are communicating with in mind. As leaders and influencers, yes if you have Facebook or Twitter you are one in some way, are we simply communicating whatever we feel and desire? Or do we care, out of love, about the implications our actions could have on those that are listening? That is what I as a Christian am called to. I am called to both love others and make disciples.

Make Your Words Count

Every singer out there with songs on the radio is raising the next generation, so make your words count. -Taylor Swift

Now that we know we have influence, like Taylor Swift does, we need to make sure we are making our words count. One thing I have noticed about Taylor Swift on social media is that she does not post very often. This is wisdom. In Proverbs 10:19 it says "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.". With an increased influence this needs to become even more important. Instead of focussing on the quantity of communication we need to focus on the quality of it. Social media will never have the quality of face to face communication. So be careful with your words online, limit them and make them count. The

real influence comes face to face, like when Taylor Swift circles her audience looking them in the eyes

, hugging them and sometimes even holding their hands.

ps. Watch this short excerpt from her 60 minutes interview.