Social media marketing trends are just old week’s news for brands that don’t act on them. Social media rewards active brands, those that spot the major trends and make the most of them. Doing that isn’t as hard as you may think. You don’t even need a social media team to monitor trends all the time.
Social Media Marketing Trends and the Tech Hype Cycle
You may have heard of the tech hype cycle before. It’s a concept that can be applied to social media, too. Simply put, the tech hype cycle explains the adoption of a new product or technology. Before it can get into the hands of a large audience, that product first has to be embraced by innovators and early adopters.
• 2.5% of the people who start using the technology are the innovators, the ones that are often closely associated to it.
• 13.5% are early adopters, who spread the word about it and often make it appealing to a wider audience.
• 34% make up the early majority that adopt it.
• 34% make up the late majority.
• 16% are the late adopters.
Now let’s translate this to social media.
Trendsetters are the ones who influence social media marketing trends. They can be celebrities or popular figures in their industries. But they can also be app builders, developers, marketing companies, and so on. They have ideas, or they bring others’ ideas to the forefront.
Or they just do something that makes everyone react, like Donald Trump with his now (in)famous tweet:
It got the whole social media talking. What could the president have meant? Many didn’t settle for the easy explanation of a typo and invented all manner of definitions for “covfefe,” which became a buzz word. You could call these people the early adopters, the ones who enlightened the world about “covfefe,” or tried to.
But what’s the role that social media content marketing plays in this order of things?
Marketers aren’t trendsetters. Nor are they among the early adopters. Marketers pick up a social trend once enough people are interested in it (usually late adopters). After all, what’s the point of marketing something nobody cares about? This means that marketers have to understand the trend themselves, and in a sense, become part of it.
The Value of Trends
Social marketing trends aren’t all equal. Take “covfefe”. The interest in it didn’t last too long, and people soon moved on to other things. While some marketers used it as a way to draw attention to themselves, most brands didn’t have that much to gain from it. Marketers, business owners, and business managers all need to approach social media marketing trends selectively.
So, what makes a good social media trend? Most popular trends make it in the news section of Google. This is one signal. Another signal is a tag or hashtag that keeps popping out on social media in the content feed or in the tweets or Facebook posts published by people in your industry. If you’re active on social media, it’s hard not to notice big social media trends. They just find you before you find them.
Choosing the Right Social Media Marketing Trends
The real challenge is not finding trends, but choosing those that can really increase your online visibility and generate likes, shares, and comments. Here’s a strategy that can help you figure that out.
• Make sure the trend is relevant to your industry. If it is, it will be so much easier to make creative content for social media networks based on it.
• Give it at least 24 hours. While it’s important to act fast on a hot new trend, short-lived trends lose momentum really fast. If late adopters are already forgetting about it, then it may not be worth bothering about it.
• Check out who’s talking about it. The trends that have a powerful impact on your industry are the ones that make it past the knowing few and into the social feeds of your average user. If only the pros are writing about it, it won’t have a great marketing value, unless of course you’re selling products or services for the pros. Use keyword or hashtag searches to get an idea about the popularity of the trend. Ideally, you want people with a healthy follower count — but not too high — to talk about it.
• Analyze hashtags. Don’t be daunted by the sound of that. Today, the availability of social media marketing tools means that even small businesses can do hashtag analysis.
Start Your Own Trend
You can do it. Well, maybe not on a Trump-scale, but in your industry. The best types of content for social media trendsetting are jokes, funny statements, or catchy remarks. Images and videos work great for this.
But average social media content can’t do that. Average content is good for engaging users, and good for SEO, too. But what you really need to kick-start a trend in your market is creative content for social media.
This is the content that catches the eye and invites shares. It’s the equivalent of a really good job or a witty remark made in the office, which everybody keeps talking about days after it was made.
It’s easier to take advantage of existing trends than start your own. Trying very hard to start a trend won’t work. Trump himself didn’t try too hard with “covfefe”. It just happened that way. Scouting for trends remains the best way to quickly pick on new trends with potential. And then you can use creative content for social media to attract more traffic and sales.
In the end, it’s important to factor in trends into your social media content marketing strategy. Because trends move fast, you need to keep an eye on them. If you don’t have the time for that, consider using social media content marketing services. You can scale them down to your needs and take advantage of organic SEO.