What’s in a trend? And why are “trends” so important to businesses – aren’t they just for teenagers and influencers?
Social media trends are not just fodder filling up post space. Trends are a brief popular topic that a wide audience universally relates to, understands, wants to converse about, or takes part in. Trends on social media can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
What’s important about trends is hitting them while they’re hot – not waiting for the perfect staff meeting, not holding off on putting together the perfect caption or video. The best way to capitalize on your social media profile is to embrace trends, work swiftly, and be in on the joke before the joke passes by.
We break down a step-by-step guide for understanding trends, knowing how to join a trend, and common pitfalls to avoid when using your business’s social media to gain traction and building branding.
What is a Social Media Trend?
First things first – a social media trend is a popular topic or behavior that garners significant attention and engagement on social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Trends can be a hashtag, challenge, meme, or any viral content that spreads quickly among users. Trends are influenced by current events, pop culture, user-generated content, and more. They can be short-lived or enduring, localized or global.
Businesses and individuals often utilize trends to increase visibility and connect with their audience, but it’s important to align with the brand’s values and target audience for authenticity.
How Do You Know if a Trend Fits Your Business Values?
Early on, your social media management team should have assembled a character for your brand. Keywords, traits, and tones that align with your values and how you want to be seen by your audience. These keywords are vital for helping discern if a trend will fit not only with your business but with the audience you’ve cultivated or wish to attract.
Make no mistake – misusing a trend can go awry but it doesn’t mean you should steer clear of them out of fear of a social media mishap. How a business handles these pitfalls is just as critical to getting in front of new eyes. There is no social media management without risk.
To determine if a trend is a good fit for your company’s brand and social media platform, ask yourself:
- Does this trend speak to me, my company, or our public values?
- Am I able to showcase my products, services, or other company values using this trend?
- Will this trend attract the audiences we wish to engage with?
- Will this trend alienate our followers or offend them?
- Are we able to make this relatable for our followers?
- Is the tone of the trend consistent with the direction our company is headed?
- Do we have the resources to partake in this trend before it’s no longer popular?
- Will it be a positive thing if my company is related to this trend?
- Can I partake with an authentic interest or will it come off as fake to followers?
Partaking in a Social Media Trend and Making It Your Own
Step 1: Understand the Social Media Trend and Its Simplicity
Nothing is worse than taking a simple idea and overdoing it. Look at the heart of the trend, what makes it popular, and how other businesses are adapting the trend to fit their values or theme. You want to embrace the simple things and not overdo it. Make sure you understand where the trend comes from and what audiences it’s most popular with before partaking.
Step 2: Incorporate Your Company While Being Authentic
The trend is useless to you and your company if it doesn’t work for you and isn’t executed well. To achieve this, decide if the trend is going to highlight your company’s values or personality, services and products, team members, origin story, or hype around what’s coming soon. Use brand colors, signage, and more to ensure the message isn’t missed. Stay true to your tone to keep the messaging genuine and human.
Step 3: Assemble a Team, Time, and Schedule
Don’t wait too long – in order to make a trend work for you and have the best chance of going viral, you want to get the best team assembled ASAP and get all the resources together you may need. This can include finding the right location, choosing the right team members, partnering with other influencers, or having enough time to edit together all of the pieces. This is where a dedicated social media team is critical to optimizing timeliness.
Step 4: Put Your Own Spin On It
Without going over the top, put your own spin on the trend that sticks to the heart of the message but is distinctly yours. If you copy-paste the same formula everyone is doing, you’ll get lost in the mix. Be different by incorporating your unique caption, location, outfits, or simply a different perspective that resonates with audiences.
Step 5: Post With Hashtags and Music
Posting is where you make or break your chance at being seen – be sure you’ve included the relevant hashtags, selected the proper trending music track if your trend is a video, and you’ve tagged any relevant content creators that could boost you. Have a creative caption and make the content accessible with captions on videos or alt text on images.
Step 6: Engage, Engage, Engage
You’re not done now! Monitor the post after it goes live by engaging with comments, posting on other similar videos, and showing activity on your account. Stay positive, in character, and have fun with it!
Step 7: Monitor, Assess, and Keep Going
If one trend fails, another is right behind. Never hesitate to take part in the next trend. Always monitor what went well and what went sideways on your previous attempts. Viral content is almost entirely happenstance and luck, but your dedicated audience will look forward to more content from you, so always pay attention to what loyal followers are engaging with.
Breaking Down Social Media Trend Myths
In order to be successful online with social media marketing, your company needs to understand what’s a myth and what isn’t when it comes to posting online and making content for your followers.
We’ve broken down some of the common myths we encounter to help you tailor your approach to be the most successful online.