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How to Hop on Trends

    Are you ready to ride the wave of the latest social media trends without sinking your brand? Trends are a way to boost your brand’s visibility, while showing off your business’s creativity and personality. Social media is all about showing the real you and building a community, and trends are a great place to start! Though trends emerge, spread, and eventually fade away, they can build loyalty among followers and help your brand stand out from competitors. 

    TREND TIMELINES

    The four types of trends are short-lived trends, medium-term trends, long-lasting trends, and evergreen trends. Think back to 2014 when people were dumping a bucket of ice on their heads and tagging their friends, challenging them to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This trend was extremely popular throughout the summer of 2014. You couldn’t open Facebook or Instagram without seeing a video of a friend or brand participating in this challenge. But like most trends, it eventually faded away, making it a perfect example of a medium-term trend. Now think back to when every Thursday people took to social media to post their #ThrowbackThursday pictures. This trend has passed its prime, but it’s still well-known and will occasionally show up on your feed. #ThrowbackThursday is an example of an evergreen trend — trends that never truly go away, and instead become part of the fabric of social media culture. Evergreen trends may resurface periodically or evolve in response to current events or shifts in popular culture. Trends can come at different paces, so make sure it’s still relevant and people are still participating.

    RESEARCH THE TREND

    Before you hop on a trend, it’s important to do your research and fully understand the trend. Find where the trend originated from and follow it from there. See what posts have done well for a certain trend and note on what made them successful by reading the comments and paying attention to the quality of the post. Note the keywords and hashtags that are used, maybe a specific song is associated with the trend you’re researching. After you’re confident that you understand the root of the trend and how it’s evolved, you need to determine if the trend is right for your business. It needs to add value to your brand or contribute something unique to the trend. Hopping on trends that aren’t right for your brand can damage the brand you’re working to build, so ask your team if there’s any potential for negative feedback, legal or ethical concerns, or societal sensitivities. The goal is to paint your business in a good light or to be relatable when trying out a new trend. 

    FOLLOW THE TREND

    Once you determine a trend is a good fit for your brand, it’s time to get to work! Make sure you have the time, resources, and budget to create high-quality content that fits the trend. Use high-quality images, graphics, or videos. Be authentic when participating in a trend and find a way to make it relevant to your brand. People want to see your creativity and authenticity, so have fun! Social media is all about showing the real you, and trends help you show off your brand’s personality while aligning with trends that followers are interested in. 

    QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HOPPING ON A TREND

    • Where did the trend start and how has it evolved?
    • Does this trend appeal to your target audience or an audience you’re trying to reach?
    • Does this trend align with your brand’s marketing goals?
    • Will there be negative feedback by hopping on this trend?
    • What resources (time, budget, personnel) are required to effectively engage with this trend?
    • Are you equipped to create high-quality content that stands out within this trend?
    • Is there potential for your brand to add value or contribute something unique to this trend?

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