What Stans and Swifties Can Teach Brands About Making an Impact

Music lovers are more than fans--they start conversations

If there are 115 rainbow emojis, seven palm trees and five holes in the fence, what day of the week should the ‎#Swifties expect a new album?

Are these clues or just coincidences? ‎#Swifties like ‎@tanya1992x have theories and share them on Twitter. And when the release moment arrives, word spreads fast.

On Twitter, people are more than fans. They’re stans—a term of endearment that’s a mash-up of stalker and fan—who come together to geek out about their favorite boy bands, K-pop groups and pop divas. They’re the ones who pick the ‎#SongOfTheSummer that quickly becomes inescapable. And they’re highly influential. According to a Twitter-commissioned study, 42% of Twitter music listeners say their friends look to them for advice on what to listen to.

Stans are the first to encourage their followers to try something new or stream an artist’s newest song until it’s crushing the charts. And since 45% of Twitter music listeners say that they could afford to spend more money on music than they currently do, these recommendations carry weight.

They’re the ‎#Beliebers. The ‎#Arianators. The ‎#BeyHive. The ‎#LittleMonsters. The ‎#Smilers, ‎#Sheerios and ‎#Selenanators. They shape what we stream and anoint breakthrough artists. So, when you want to make an impact where it matters, start with the stans.

What are the stans talking about?

Stans go deep. According to Nielsen, almost half (48%) of music listeners on Twitter follow and stay informed about musicians. But the most active fans divide into subgroups devoted to one particular artist.

They come together on ‎#NewMusicFriday to live-Tweet their first impressions of a new album and spark conversations around when a single drop, the name of the next one and which cities will be included in an upcoming tour.

And if that celebrity is involved in some kind of beef, the fan armies are known to take things into their own hands. They’re quick to comment on drama and even quicker to rally the army to defend anyone who dares drag their idol down.

Share the love

But there’s also a lot of love.

Savvy artists reciprocate the feels. Brazilian rapper Thaide (‎@thaideoficial) is known for updating his fans minute by minute, letting them know where they can come meet him in person. Hip-hop artist Blackbear (‎@iamblackbear) is in constant conversation with people on Twitter. He tweets deeply personal thoughts and direct-messages his followers to chat.

Other artists are coyer. They drop Easter eggs about songs, shows and videos. The ‎#Swifties, in particular, live for it. They share theories and dissect clues. They retweet other stans and share custom merchandise. When one ‎#Swiftie stan gets invited to a secret session or meetup, they all feel invited.

The sense of community runs deep.

Stan Twitter leans into new, authentic content and recommendations. They’re influencing the airwaves and shaping what we all listen to. That attitude makes them the perfect audience for brands to engage early on in a campaign.

E.J. Samson is the lead content strategy manager for Twitter’s Global Business Marketing team. Follow him on Twitter @ejsamson.