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Keeping Up With Social Media Trends: Little Miss Do I Have To?

Every day, it seems there are new trends flooding our Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter feeds. If not every day, then certainly every week. While some trends are particularly hilarious or disturbingly accurate in the commentary they offer, none of them last all that long. Collectively, it seems like our attention span for a hot topic is pretty short—a week or two tops of true relevance.

So, what does this mean for you and your brand in terms of staying relevant online? Are you meant to be on top of every single social media trend, and are you missing out on business if you don’t participate in the latest niche meme?

Obviously you want to be as relevant as possible to your dream clients and potential new followers. That should go without saying, but if it doesn’t, well…now we said it.

Relevance doesn’t necessarily equate with jumping on the latest social media bandwagon, though. True relevance also incorporates authenticity. If a hot new trend is all over your Instagram feed, but it wouldn’t make sense for your brand to capitalize on it, then steer clear. 

Otherwise, you risk falling off the brand guidelines and brand strategy you’ve set up for yourself.

WHEN DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO PARTICIPATE IN SOCIAL MEDIA TREND?

We’ve been paying attention to recent social media trends, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that most brands and businesses will play along with the latest trends. After all, it kind of feels like, “Why not?” They’re usually really fun—that’s why they’ve caught on. Still, just because something has a fleeting degree of fun doesn’t mean you need to participate in it in order to be successful. 

If the trend is something that you can easily work your brand or product/service into, then go for it! Make the trend happen for your business. 

Put your niche spin on it, and record any changes that you notice. How many social media impressions Did you attract new followers? Were you able to convert any “likes” to business leads? If you gain business or can make sales from participating in a trend, this will give you insight into future growth.

HOW QUICK DO I NEED TO BE TO GET ON TREND?

Ask yourself if the general voice of the social media trend matches the voice of your brand. If you feel the voices are aligned, then we absolutely support you jumping into the trend. 

Be mindful that the approach you take should be original and brand-aligned; you don’t want to throw something up on your Instagram, for example, just to have something. Put some thought into it, and be creative. 
Also, relax—you don’t need to have something ready in five minutes. Consult with your team. Take an hour or two if that’s what you need to come up with something clever. Ain’t no shame in thinking about what you post. In fact, please, please, please—think about what you post before posting it. It’s better to be late than to post something that doesn’t hit.

WHAT IF I MISSED THE TREND?

We’re going to be honest with you, there’s a fat chance you’ll miss many of the social media trends. It’s not a reflection of you or your ingenuity. It’s more accurately a sign of the times—trends have a shelf life of approximately four seconds. OK, longer than that, but honestly not very long at all.

If you’re late to the game but the trend truly makes sense for you to incorporate to your social media presence, just roll with it. Don’t overdo it. Take a bit of time to come up with 1-3 solid social media posts that include the trend, and share them when you’re ready. Work them into your content plan where it feels natural. Make a story that incorporates the trend somehow.

On the other hand, if you’ve simply missed the trend entirely, don’t sweat it. Genuinely, there’s nothing to worry about. There will be plenty more new trends. In fact, we can guarantee there already are new trends happening while you’re sitting there pondering your existence and feeling wholly irrelevant. (You’re not, we promise.)

You’ll be ready next time. The key is to pay attention and to work with people who balance your own skills. Flow as a team to keep up with the trends, and use them when it makes sense for your brand and business.

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