Four Tips For Jumping On Social Media Trends
Jaime Hunt is vice president and chief marketing officer for Old Dominion University.
When Myspace—arguably the first widely adopted social platform—launched in 2003, few organizations could have predicted how important social media would be as a marketing tool. However, over the last two decades, social media has become an essential tool for brands looking to connect with their audience and build a solid online presence. With over 4 billion active social media users worldwide, social media offers a unique opportunity for brands to engage with their customers and potential customers on a more personal level. But in 2023, standing out in the crowded social media marketplace can be a challenge. One way to potentially grow your following and build engagement is by taking advantage of trends.
Responding to trends on social media can improve engagement by fostering a sense of community and loyalty among your followers. They also offer an opportunity to show off your creativity and personality. By putting a unique spin on a trending topic or creating content that aligns with a popular meme or challenge, you can demonstrate your brand’s personality and stand out from the competition.
However, it’s essential to remember that not every trend will be a good fit for your brand or audience. It’s important to consider whether participating in a trend aligns with your brand’s values and overall social media strategy before jumping on the bandwagon.
If you’ve decided to incorporate social media trends into your social strategy, here are some tips to do so in a way that is most effective:
1. Understand the trend.
Before you jump on a trend, make sure you understand what it’s all about. Read up on the trend, see examples of how others are participating and consider how it fits your brand’s voice and values. It’s easy to make a misstep and jump onto a trend with a deeper meaning you don’t understand. Be sure you know all the nuances before you jump in with both feet.
2. Be authentic.
Your response to a trend should be genuine and true to your brand’s personality. Don’t force yourself to participate in a trend that doesn’t feel authentic to you. Being trendy for trendy’s sake can lead to disaster. While Wendy’s, for example, has a reputation for an edgy tone, if your organization is more conservative, a sudden shift can be jarring to consumers. When in doubt, opt out.
3. Be timely.
Social media trends move quickly, so it’s essential to respond promptly. If a trend is already on its way out, it may not be worth investing time and effort into a response. Jumping on a bandwagon that left the station weeks ago can make your brand seem out of touch.
4. Have fun.
Participating in social media trends can be a great way to show off your brand’s personality and have fun with your audience. So don’t be afraid to let loose and get creative. Just ensure that whatever you tackle is in alignment with your overall brand tone and voice.
Again, remember that not every trend will be appropriate for your brand or audience. Use your best judgment and consider how each trend fits with your overall social media strategy before responding.