Whether its pasta chips, ‘go best friend,’ or pandemic bread baking, trends dominate the social media landscape… but they also disappear just as fast. Jumping on a trend and riding the wave of attention that comes with it can help you reach a whole new population of customers, but it can also damage your brand and alienate your audience. How do you know whether to follow a trend, or leave it be? We’ve got a few approaches that can help you consider whether or not jumping on the next new trend is right for your business.
Trends can be useful; they show that your brand is up to date and aware of what’s going on (that is- as long as you hop on the trend while it’s still hot). They are also incredibly valuable for audience research. Following trends and using them wisely helps you engage your target audience (as long as the trend is relevant to your target audience). When you are following trends, and watching your audience, it’s easier to pick up on and leverage any trending topics.
Three questions to help you determine whether or not a trend is good for your brand:
First, is it currently trending, or has it already peaked? An easy way to check that is through searchable hashtags and keywords. The best time to jump on a trend is when it’s trending upwards or peaking, not as it’s losing stamina.
Second, do you know the origin and aim of the trend? Recently, thousands of people jumped on a dance trend without first listening to the song’s lyrics. Tons of families, young children, and businesses had danced their way to the top of the algorithm to an extremely provocative song, and the vast majority did not even know it. Some skated by unharmed, but many people and businesses took hits to their reputation when the lyrics when viral. Knowing where the trend comes from and its aim can help you assess relevance and ensure that the trend aligns with your ethics.
Third, is it relevant to your target audience? If there’s a dance trend aiming to get kids outside, it’s probably not the best trend for a plumbing service to jump on. If it’s something that’s trending throughout your target audience, and you know your customers are already engaging with it, jump on it! However, make sure that you tweak it so that it aligns with your business’s goals and products while still staying within the trend’s framework.
Bottom Line: Will jumping on this trend help your audience better understand who you are and/or what you offer?
There are many reasons people, and businesses, choose not to gear their social media toward trends. Some dislike the high turnover, others feel they can be impersonal, and sometimes they just don’t know enough to know what’s trending and what it means. However, one very strong reason to avoid hopping on every trend is brand awareness.
Constantly using trends as your main source of content can quickly lead to weak brand awareness and a clouded perception of your brand identity. Trends are often focused on something outside of your brand or product whether that be a song, a dance move, or any other number of things. This leads to potential customers struggling to connect who your brand is with its product, further decreasing their likelihood to make a purchase.
One of the most valued things on social media today is authenticity. Consistent use of quick, fleeting trends can seem impersonal and inauthentic. There is no substitute for quality content that helps your audience engage with who you are and what you do.
Even if you don’t hop on trends every time they pop up on your timeline, it’s still important to be aware of them. Being aware of what is trending, especially what is relevant to your audience and within your industry, will give you useful insight into your customers.
Understanding how to leverage trends, run social ads, produce content, and stay up to date on all the current social happenings, on top of running your business can seem like too much. Don’t get overwhelmed, give us a call and let us create a social media strategy to help your business thrive. (936) 637-7593