Staying Trendy on Social without Sabotaging Your Brand

[Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes]

#NationalDonutDay and #CrosswordPuzzleDay have come and gone, and then the next national-day-of-something is right around the corner. On days like these, it seems like anyone and everyone is posting and engaging with this content. you feel like your brand is missing out on likes, comments, and relevancy. Soon, you’re sure a coworker will pop into your office to ask if you plan on posting something. It’s a severe case of FOMO that any social media manager can relate to.

Don’t scramble. Don’t post a GIF of a dancing donut. Pause and think strategically.

National days and viral content alike ebb and flow in and out of our social media feeds. When they happen, there’s a lot of chatter on social media feeds. If you aren’t prepared to contribute to the conversation, the risk is that (1) your brand drowns in the noise or (2) you trade brief social relevancy for longer-term brand irrelevancy.

Before digging around for content and a connection, ask yourself (and your team!):

  • Does this trend relate to our company’s values? Many random national days and trends are just that—random. Unless you’re a donut shop on National Donut Day, the chances that your company directly correlates to a trendy day is slim. Think about how the trend relates to your brand. It should fit into your greater social media strategy, and customers should see a quick, easy connection that remains on brand with your previous content. If it’s too far-fetched and is missing any ties to your brand, it’s best to sit this one out. Bonus: Find a fun way to put your own spin on it. If you typically post Employee Spotlights on Fridays, and it happens to correlate with #NationalTellAJokeDay, by all means, show a bit of personality and make your audience LOL.
  • How will participating in this trend benefit our company and help us meet our goals? Estimate your ROI right off the bat. If it will take you more time and effort to make a connection to the trend (and find a visual, and write copy, and schedule it…) than it’s worth for one social post, skip it. Additionally, consider your audience. If one of your goals is to grow your followers by a certain number each month, think how this content will translate. On one hand, you might get a few likes and gain some followers who find you through your #NationalCookForYourPetsDay post. On the other, you may lose loyal social followers, supporters, and potential customers who are confused by your off-brand content. Tying it back to goals will help you keep a clear mind when your feeds are a-buzz.
  • Is the next trend a better fit for us? As ambiguous and trivial as “national” days and trends can seem, the constant is that they’ll continue to happen. After all, they’re fun, they spark conversation, and they entertain. So, take advantage of the next one! Do your research for upcoming days, stay current on what’s trending, and looks for those connections to your brand. If you find a fit, integrate it into your content calendar and think about how your brand can leverage it to meet your goals.

Catching the next wave of social media trends is on your horizon, so make sure you’re prepped and ready to make your brand stand out—of course, only if the timing and content are right. Relate it to your company values, stack it up against your greater social media strategy and company goals, and have fun! You’ll find the best opportunity to jump into next.

Challenge: International Random Acts of Kindness Day is on February 17. Use this as a starting point to connect your brand to a larger movement. Get creative and think about how you can show your company values and tie it into social media. After all, anyone can be kind.

Continue the conversation with me on Twitter at @lyns_harris or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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