For decades, pop stars have wowed fans with titillating lyrics, sensational outfits, electrifying performances and phenomenal stage shows. Most stars thank their fans and show appreciation by taking selfies with them or running interactive online contests. Then, there is Taylor Swift. Yes, like many hugely popular artists, she sells out massive, multiday tour venues, earns some serious bucks and receives a seemingly endless stream of Grammys, nominations and other awards. However, Swift doesn’t simply thank and interact with her fans online — fans who are so loyal they proudly wear the label “Swifties.” Instead, one of pop music’s most successful artists of all time thoughtfully and meticulously cultivates relationships with her fans. She also protects them like a mama bear guarding her cubs. Let’s explore how and why Taylor Swift is the GOAT for creating unparalleled fan experiences.

Taylor Swift Writes from the Heart

Many pop artists have landed a hit or two or ten with catchy lyrics and recognizable melodies, but Swift’s songs read more like a diary. She writes openly about personal events and her emotions, sharing sorrows, struggles and triumphs with her fans. This willingness to allow fans into her inner world enables them to relate to her more meaningfully than most other artists. She’s also willing to mock herself in her songs, revealing that she recognizes her mistakes and flaws. Unlike many pop stars who rely on professional songwriters for help, Swift also earns trust by writing all her lyrics. Furthermore, instead of sulking or retreating when criticized, she writes songs that punch back, often becoming her biggest hits. Swifties’ intense loyalty runs deep because Swift’s lyrics and music speak to them with uncharacteristic intimacy — and despite her massive fame, she remains relatable and authentic.

Taylor Swift Is a Social Media Genius

Swift is young, even for a pop music artist, winning her first Grammy nomination in 2008 at 17 and her first Grammy award at 20 for the 2010 “Album of the Year” — as well as dozens of other nominations and awards before she was old enough to order a drink in a bar. However, her youth wasn’t the only thing her mostly younger fan base related to. Remember how we said earlier she actively cultivates relationships with her Swifties? The megastar engages with her social media followers in far more personal ways than most celebrities. For example, she responds directly to fans’ comments, offers them advice or support, reposts their tweets on her Twitter feed and openly “stalks” fans on social media — a practice so well-known that it has a name: “Taylurking!” She frequently shares personal tidbits of relatable, everyday annoyances, goofy pictures and memes of herself, pictures of her cats, plus news about album releases, performances, etc. Swift also uses her social media channels for advocacy, supporting or opposing issues vital to her.

Taylor Swift Surprises and Delights Fans Like None Other

It’s not uncommon for celebrities to make guest appearances, donate to causes, run contests or give away tickets and backstage passes, but Taylor Swift takes it more than one step further — she goes 1000 steps further. You can find almost countless instances over the past decade or so where she has surprised her Swifties, from releasing digital music earlier than predicted to photobombing fans, visiting hospitalized fans, sending handwritten notes, gifts and flowers, making surprise appearances at their homes and donating money (without being asked) to pay individual fans’ college tuition, medical expenses, student loans and more.

Taylor Swift Fights Back — and Wins

Taylor Swift has gone head-to-head with entertainment giants like Spotify, Apple Music, Ticketmaster and Big Machine Records, her former record label — and come out on top. Swift removed her music from Spotify in 2014 because she felt that the streaming service undervalued — in other words, underpaid artists for their work. (Spotify has since made some changes, and Swift’s music is available again.) A year later, she wrote an open note to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking why Apple failed to pay artists whose songs listeners played during their three-month free trial period (now Apple pays). Next, she battled Big Machine Records for the rights to her first six albums’ master recordings. When it refused, she started re-recording and releasing the albums in 2021 (with some bonus tracks thrown in) and labeled them “Taylor’s Version.” Fans can still buy and hear the original recordings, but most Swifties are far too loyal to do that and willingly pay for the re-recordings.

Last but certainly not least, Swift openly criticized Ticketmaster in 2022 when it bumbled the advance ticket sales of her 2023 Eras Tour, preventing verified fans (legitimate fans with presale codes) from being able to buy the most coveted tickets in Ticketmaster’s history. At Swift’s insistence, the ticketing giant found a way to allow some verified fans a chance to purchase tickets, further cementing Swifties’ loyalty to their queen. In addition, the music industry is notorious for taking advantage of artists, especially young or up-and-coming ones like Swift once was. Fans admire Swift for her willingness to speak up for herself and other artists, yet another reason why fans feel her desire to entertain them is authentic. Many established and burgeoning artists (and even brands) watch Swift closely as they understand she is far more than a celebrated pop star — she is one the world’s most powerful women in music and pop culture.