Being Smart When Using Current Trends

By September 17, 2015Uncategorized

Use Your Head Before Jumping on That Trend

We see a lot of great ideas in the content marketing world. From sending Snapchat valentines to inviting social media influencers to help with your promoting, there are some incredible campaigns out there that leverage relevant content.

Unfortunately, we also see some terrible ones.

A great way to run a successful campaign is to use trending content to your advantage. If you come up with a great, quick post at the right time, you can ride a trend all the way to its peak while providing your audience with a humorous, insightful, or witty remark.

Oreo has a great example of this. Capitalizing on the blackout during the 2013 Superbowl, they quickly put together a post that got some buzz going.

It’s relevant, funny, and was dropped at just the right time to take off. Textbook content marketing.

Here’s another example. Using the rising popularity of the hit TV show The Walking Dead, Marketwatch wrote an article on “7 Management Lessons of the Walking Dead.” It’s a fun read that finds a way to think about a trending topic in a completely unique way, while staying in line with their company goals.

However, riding the wrong trend can be disastrous. Take, for example, this Tweet sent out (and subsequently removed) by Gap during Hurricane Sandy:

gap twitter

Well wishing posts from companies regarding major disasters are welcome, but attaching a cheap line about shopping at your store with a check-in is about as insensitive as you can get.

Unfortunately, we see this problem all the time. Companies offer welcome sympathies, only to blunder by including an inappropriate hashtag or a last minute plug for their own services. While many of these are easily cleared up (the infamous K-Mart hashtag #Fab15Toys used in a tweet about the Newtown shooting was to notify the current Twitter party that they were halting), others seem almost willfully ignorant of human empathy.

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The bottom line is that you have to think before jumping on current trends. As a content marketer that has access to hundreds and thousands of followers, you have a responsibility to send the right message. There’s a right and a wrong time to use a trend for the benefit of your company. Be smart about when and what you’re posting. If you’re unsure if you should be sending out that next Tweet, get a third party opinion to make sure what you’re saying can’t be taken the wrong way.

Riding trends can be a great boon for your business, but it can also be a PR nightmare if you aren’t thinking properly. If you need help with your next post, feel free to contact us and we’ll be glad to help you out.