Most companies today have digital marketing or social marketing departments. But with the viral and somewhat uncontrollable nature of social media, the key messages or even the brand image could be damaged by negative assertions or feedback. In short, this has meant bad publicity that companies could barely comprehend and control.
Trends are like the waves of the ocean that surfers catch and ride. Experienced surfers know the right timing and the right techniques to ride the wave as it makes its way back to shore. Brands and businesses can also ride trends on social media to get exposure and engagement. The trending topic can be anything – usually it’s a hashtag, event, meme, or new slang term. It can be difficult to decide the right moment to chime in on a trend- too early and not enough people will understand it, but too late and you’ll be grouped in with the “overdone” category. You also risk being an unwanted or inorganic voice in the conversation.
How to Find a Trend?
Thankfully, there are tools out there to help you to identify key trends. Trends can be also identified in some Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter.
The easiest way to find a trend is to check a few tools. Twitter has a trending topics section on their timeline’s sidebar and Google Trends is a free tool to see what people are searching. Twitter will sometimes compile a group of tweets on a particular trending topic to give users a rundown.
Three T’s in Taking Advantage Social Media Trend
Take into consideration the topic of the trend. The last thing you want to be seen as is heartless and manipulative. The trend must align with your brand’s values. This doesn’t mean that the trend has to be clearly or directly related to your brand. If you can make a connection that is extremely humorous or clever, just make sure that the post doesn’t seem forced and your brand keeps its voice. You might just strike gold and grab the attention of some new followers.
To ensure maximum engagement timing is critical. Carried out too early or too late, and your audience might not be as interested in the topic. The trickiest part is figuring out what life cycle stage the trend is currently at. You want to participate while the topic is still relevant, preferably right before it peaks. After this, your tweet will seem tired.
If your target market sees your trend-hopping as too hard-selling, they will not engage, so you must ensure that you tread lightly. Your digital marketing strategy is all about building trust and relationships. It’s best to comment on trending topics sparingly. If your account is constantly churning out low-quality tweets, you will lose followers or annoy them. If the tweet will not add value to your brand or encourage people to interact with you in a positive manner, don’t press send.
3 Trends to Avoid Completely
1. Death, Tragedy, and Serious Events
2. Problematic Hashtags
3. Easily Misinterpreted Hashtags
Real-time engagement is the key to social media marketing. Remember that engagement is a two-way street, so when customers and prospects reach out to your business, they expect a reply in order to keep the conversations going. Social media is moving fast, with the response time shrinking.
I’ve only scratched the surface. There’s so much you can/should be doing to take advantage of seasonality and trends. Feel free to check Venture and Grow and talk to one of our social media experts about your fluid social media marketing strategy.