How to Decide When a Social Media Trend is Right for Your Brand

FLM Harvest

Did your favorite social media app look different when you logged in this morning? Or, without warning, a new meme took over your explore page? Social media is notorious for its ever-changing landscape. New platforms, features and fads pop up every day. How do you know when a new opportunity is right for your brand? Here are some tips to help you take a strategic approach. 

Joining Additional Platforms
Every social media platform was the new kid on the block at one point or another, and newer kids are moving to the neighborhood all the time. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat: There are so many platforms out there. How do you know which are worth your time? 

Start by asking a couple of questions: Will my target audience use this platform, and do we have the resources to maintain this platform? If the answer to both is yes, claim your brand’s username and start brainstorming how to optimize your content.

It’s crucial to note that jumping on a new social platform is like starting from zero. You’ll need to work hard to build your follower base, so it’s important to fully understand what content is successful on this new channel and whether or not they have an ad platform to help you get your message in front of your target audience. 

Looking for some inspiration to get started on a new platform? Here are 18 brands that are creating great TikTok content in 2021

Incorporating New Features
For every platform that emerges there are endless new features added to existing platforms. Some more recent examples include Instagram Reels, Facebook premier and even LinkedIn has stories now. If you already have an audience on the platform, these new features are a great place to test the waters without spending too much time or budget. 

Start small by utilizing your upcoming content. Have a video that’s 15 seconds or less? Try using it in a story on Instagram Reels. Have a longer instructional or brand video? Schedule your video using Facebook premier. Then pay close attention to how these posts perform compared to how you would normally publish them. If you’re seeing close to equal or higher rates of engagement, think about how you can continue to optimize these features to make them really stand out in your audience’s news feed. If they’re not performing well, reconsider using them or try using them in a different way.

When jumping into new social features, make sure you’re not being redundant with your content. Check out these brands that did a fantastic job jumping into Instagram Reels. 

Leveraging Trends
Speaking of standing out in news feeds, we’ve all seen the sassy replies on Twitter and the incredibly timely memes shared by brands with engaging personalities, but how do you know when to share or create trendy content yourself? 

First, consider whether it aligns with your brand values. Just because something is funny or trending does not mean it works for everyone. 

Next, consider whether it will resonate with your audiences. Will your target audiences laugh along with you or could it rub them the wrong way? If you decide this content works well for your brand and audience, fantastic! Now, make sure it’s executed well to avoid coming across as misinformed or pandering. 

Finally, make sure your content or response is executed in a timely manner. The only thing worse than a poorly done meme is a meme published after the trend has passed. Keep tabs on current trends and maintain open communication with your team so you can execute quickly and effectively. You never know when exciting social trends are going to emerge. 

The landscape of social media is constantly changing and may seem difficult to keep up with, but by taking it one trend at a time, you are sure to set yourself and your brand up for success. 

Since we’ve thrown a lot at you, here’s a decision tree to help make your next social media trend decision a little easier.

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