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Amy Farr

Include Trending Topics in Your Social Strategy

Amy Farr
Include Trending Topics in Your Social Strategy

With the recent hype over the latest Star Wars movie, I got to thinking about the ways brands get involved with real-time news on social media. Here’s just a few examples of how some brands incorporated Star Wars into their social media strategy.

Coco-Cola perfectly places Luke Skywalker in one of their iconic glass bottles.

coca cola

Top Knot shows us how to get the perfect Princess Leia hairstyle.

top knot

Forever 21 simply adds a Star Wars inspired notebook to their Stocking Stuffers Album.

forever 21

We get so busy with our everyday social media strategy that it’s easy to forget to interact with followers or get involved with real-time news. Which is pretty ironic when we think about the reason for social media.

Why Relavent News and Social Media Are a Great Fit

The reason we love social media is because it fulfills our need to receive updates as soon as possible. It’s so popular, that our generation is demanding an even faster experience such as live streaming and/or a two-screen experience. Social media strategies are important but it’s more important than ever to include relevant news. How can you plan for relevant news? You don’t. You plan to take time out of your day to research what’s happening in the world. You will then be able to choose the best way to include it in your already established strategy.

Thinking of ignoring the most trending topics or not including them in your strategy? That’s not the best idea. Many people only use Twitter when they want to search for certain hashtags during an event such as a sporting game, the presidential debate or the premiere of a TV show.

As I scrolled through my Twitter feed during the most recent presidential debates, I would skip over about half of the tweets. Why? Because they were irrelevant and I was particularly looking for things about the debate. I soon only searched for tweets including #GOPDebate. Everything else seemed disconnected. I can’t be the only one who skipped over these tweets. Which is unfortunate for brands trying to gain traction on social media.

So don’t let your messages go unnoticed. Consider sending the message out after the trending topic has cooled down a bit or incorporate the topic in your message. It’s difficult to change your strategy at the drop of a dime, but don’t forget why your followers get on social media in the first place. So let’s get back to the basics, remain flexible and stay relevant with the messages we choose to include in our social media strategies.

Amy Farr is the owner of Better Marketing by Farr (bettermarketingbyfarr.com) which is based in Kansas City, Missouri. Her company offers simple and fast online solutions for small businesses in the United States. Amy is passionate about giving small businesses a chance to receive quality website design, social media management and online advertising.

Amy Farr is the owner of Better Marketing by Farr (bettermarketingbyfarr.com) which is based in Kansas City, Missouri. Her company offers simple and fast online solutions for small businesses in the United States. Amy is passionate about giving small businesses a chance to receive quality website design, social media management and online advertising.

Comments

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Antonio Fernandez Alonso
Antonio Fernandez Alonso
I'm not sure about the convenience of linking the social strategy with trending topics. Many trending topics last just a few hours, too few to plan and consolidate an effective action, and it would be pretty easy to misstep. I don't think it is worh the risk.
For more long-term, clearly predictable, trending topics, and at a set time (as Star Wars premiere or even a presidential debate), brands have time enought to plan an adequate action.
Amy Farr
Antonio Fernandez Alonso
Hi Antonio! I agree that some trending hashtags don't make it easy to jump in with quality content. On the other hand, some larger brands do have the capacity to make such a connection very quickly. In this article, I am more referring to the trends which last longer than a few hours. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Kathleen Burns
Antonio Fernandez Alonso
Every trend has a source. Maybe the best bet for brands would be to find out why this is a trending topic and see if it aligns with their audience before using it in their social strategy.

You make a great point that misstepping is easy and it can cause a huge backlash as we've seen with Digiorno's mistake with a trending hashtag.
Gary Wiles
Gary Wiles
Hi Amy, great blog post! I agree that brands can often create great content by engaging with trending topics on social media, but some thought has to be given to the synergy between the brand and the #. This week in the UK one of the biggest trending topics was #Drummondpuddlewatch, in which hundreds of thousands of bored British office workers watched pedestrians trying to cross a puddle of stagnant water on a road in the north of England. Yes, how very British!

Within minutes of the # beginning to trend, brands quickly tried to hop on the bandwagon and try to monetise the puddle. But some just appeared lame & more likely to damage their brand, if the humour behind the content was not sharp enough or what they were trying to sell had little or no relevance to the trending topic.

See some of the examples here:
http://mashable.com/2016/01/06...

I will leave you to judge how successful they are!
Amy Farr
Gary Wiles
Hi Gary! Thanks for sharing the #DrummondPuddleWatch article. How funny! I agree that some of those brands missed the mark. On the other hand, the @CatsProtection tweet really made me laugh. It worked because it related to the trending hashtag, related to the brand and the copy was on point. If it doesn't have all three of those qualities, it's not worth it. So yes, including trending topics is important. Including ALL trending topics? Not so much.
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