Social media is, at the best of times, a confusing and frustrating maze… especially if you are a business using the platform to market yourself and engage with your customers. One of the biggest benefits for businesses on social media is the ability to take advantage of current social media trends and grow an audience and although any business can do it, it can be quite difficult to execute correctly.
Finding Current Social Media Trends
There are so many different tools and methods you can use to catch social media trends. Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, amongst others, there is a dedicated “Trending” section of the site that should always be your first port of call.
These sections are great at finding out what users of each platform are talking about in real-time. For example, here’s what is trending in the UK and U.S. on Twitter at the time of writing this blog post—
There are also tools such as Google Trends and Buzzsumo that allow you to find information such as the most shared topics in a specific location. Also, don’t forget about the classic #hashtags—you should always be keeping an eye on any that relate to your business.
Taking Advantage of Social Media Trends
It is really easy to take advantage of social media trends. It is a skill that you build up over time and there’s a lot of trial and error involved but stick with it!
1. Know when you shouldn’t target a trend
Not every single trending topic is useful for your business. Aside from sensitive topics—e.g. natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and political events—there are others that you should avoid simply because they do not relate to your business, product, or service. There are some businesses that have tried using sensitive trending topics in their marketing and it backfired spectacularly. It is insensitive, inappropriate, and can offend a whole group of people.
2. Use trending terms in market research and marketing
Google Trends, the tool we mentioned earlier, lets you search for popular keywords that relate to a specific topic. This can be very useful if you want to produce a social media post about a certain topic or area and want to find out what’s generating the most noise around it.
Targeting keywords in your marketing that are related to a trending social media topic and are being used by people interested in that topic means that you are more likely to be discovered.
It is very easy to forget to interact with your customers and generally be social on your social media platforms. If you don’t nurture your following and interact with people, they may forget about you or unlike your page.
Try to get involved in conversations in ways that aren’t salesy. This comes across as more genuine and shows that you care about your customers, not just their money.
4. Be patient and don’t force things
Don’t try to tag onto trends for the sake of it—this only works if your trend-related marketing is natural and relevant. Just because a trend is a hot topic does not mean you should be trying to take advantage of it.
Think about what will work with your target market. If something doesn’t or is not likely to, avoid it.
5. Think about targeted advertising
If there’s a social media trend that is super-relevant to your business, then you may want to spend a bit of money on targeted advertising. This will promote your business to people who are actively participating in a trend by sharing posts and using certain hashtags, for example.
Instead of blowing your entire month’s marketing budget on more target market research or boosting your old posts, you can easily engage your brain and use a trending topic to your advantage. This will give you direct access to an entirely new market and help build up engagement levels within your existing target audience. People who are taking part in social media trends are already highly-engaged anyway and are more likely to be persuaded by a good ad.