Using Social Media Trends in Your Marketing Strategy

February 14, 2020

How to find and implement current Social Media trends

We all know how New Year’s resolutions go around here. You tell yourself you’re going to start going to the gym, or meditate before bed, or maybe not binge eat your favorite candy so much. But let’s be realistic – you’re going to sit in your bed watching reruns of some show with your favorite snack after thinking really hard about going to the gym and then not go. Don’t let that be how you approach trends for your social media strategy! 

New trends are always surfacing, and as marketing on social media is constantly changing, you must be on top of the trends and also working them into your strategy as useful to you. Hopefully, we’ll convince you after this blog to not only implement the trends we’ll discuss, but go get those abs you’ve always wanted. 

 

FINDING THE TRENDS

So how do you recognize these trends, and put them into use? There are so many ways to discover trending content, both paid and free. The first, most obvious way, is to use google. Lots of blogs and marketing web pages almost always have content on what’s trending in social media or what to expect to be trending. Another way that’s free just takes some patience and hard digging on your part. Pick an industry leader or competitor’s page on the platform you’re looking for trends and analyze their account. Find out what their average likes or engagement rate is and then see what posts are performing above that average. If you want to confirm that that could be a trending topic or trend, compare it to another competitors page and see if they have similar posts that are doing better than the rest of their posts. 

The second way to find trends online is through trending content search engines or platforms. Some of these offer free accounts that do some of the work, and then offer paid accounts that allow you to access all their features. If this is in your budget, then great! A good example of this is BuzzSumo, which offers free and paid services to help you find trends and trending content. We also suggest reading through the free reports on social media trends some marketing services offer as gated content, such as this one offered by Hootsuite. There’s a plethora of free PDF’s offering research on this topic, so really scour the internet and gather those resources and then pick the trends that line up best with what your goals on your platforms. 

 

PLUGGING IT INTO YOUR STRATEGY

So here’s where things get subjective. The way you use trends depends on how you want it to benefit it, or how you can use it based on what the trend actually is. A basic example is hashtag trends on Twitter obviously might not work as much on Facebook or on Instagram, or how TikTok dance trends or sound bite trends really only lend themselves to that app. A good example of trends that lend themselves to all platforms are your basic viral memes that can be used on almost all platforms (by almost we mean you, LinkedIn). With that aside, let’s dive into three of the biggest current marketing trends with some how-tos on what you can do with them. 

 

VIDEO CONTENT 

This is probably nothing new to your ears. Video content is taking over social platforms everywhere, from stories to 1-minute video posts to entire apps based on video content alone. Video content is great because it’s engaging, and people will keep watching if it’s interesting. It’s way more popular than a regular post and image. So how do you use that on your platforms? 

STORIES: Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all have the option of adding stories. They’re increasing 15 times faster than your feed, and the use and creation of stories has increased by 842 percent since 2016. More and more people are discovering and becoming interested in brands through stories alone- about 62% of them. Stories are one of the biggest social media marketing trends going on and everyone is hopping on the train. Stories can be used for anything, especially story highlights. Here’s how: 

  • Showcasing specific products 
  • Highlighting employees more than just a photo 
  • Offering insight on what the company is like behind the scenes 
  • Going live during an event 

 

Any of these are good to use for implementing stories, but we suggest also using highlights on Instagram (if you’re using it) to organize the stories you post and allow for people to go back to it. 

IGTV: IGTV allows for consistent, related video content that’s longer than a story allows. Use it to do anything between creating a funny office series to filming weekly help and advice videos to how to’s and product usage content. Whatever you can use to make it more towards your advantage, go for it. They allow the option to create a mini-series that’s catered towards being all about your brand, so why wouldn’t you hop on it? 

 

INFLUENCER MARKETING 

Influencer marketing has lots of mixed emotions surrounding it. With lots of big influencers being paid to represent brands they don’t like or brands who are dishonest about their products, it can be hard to want to give your brand over to a person with a thousand or million something followers, just to have your money wasted and not see any ROI. However, we’re here to tell you that Influencer marketing is definitely here to stay, and you need to figure out how you can work with it. In fact, Influencer Hub came out saying that for every $1 marketers spent on influencer marketing, they got $5.20 back on it. 

The key to this one is the micro-influencer. Micro-influencers are those with a following count that starts at 1,000 and ends somewhere around 1,000,000. Micro-influencers are more relatable to the average consumer, which makes them more valuable to brands both big and small. You’re more likely to trust your best friend about a product she’s raving about then a pretty or popular stranger whose saying “try it out.” A few ways you can tap into this trend: 

  • If you’re a local business, reach out to micro-influencers who are local to you and offer them a deal to post about your brand. 
  • Collaborate with businesses in your industry or area to put on an influencer exclusive event that they have to post about in return, as well as you. (check out our case study on en event like this we did!) 
  • Reach out to micro-influencers who have something in common with your brand to work with them (i.e. a food blog influencer and cookware brand) 

 

ALTERNATIVE PLATFORMS 

There’s a reason we didn’t mention TikTok in our section about video content, because it deserves it’s own little section here. If your brand has a young base, encompassing teens all the way up to mid to late ’20s, then you should try to figure out how to be on TikTok. However, even if you have more of an adult base, don’t worry; there’s a growing number of adults joining the platform. In October of 2017, there were 2.6 million adults- now, there’s 14.3 million. With 500 million monthly active users, a growing adult portion, and a heavy younger consumer base, TikTok is becoming a marketers unicorn. A lot of memes and social trends you see on other platforms (in video content form, of course) have most likely been generated on TikTok. We did a whole blog on why TikTok is a platform to watch, so if you need more convincing, check it out. 

The easiest way to implement TikTok into your strategy is by coming up with a few quick and planned video ideas that are related to the trending hashtags and video trends already on the app. Here’s an example:

Say LBMG was to tap into the whole “check” trend (relationship check, best friend check, my best friends rich check, to name a few). We’d probably make a video called “Fort Lauderdale native check” and showcase everything we love about Fort Lauderdale. 

Or maybe we tap into the trend of pointing on the screen to different text boxes, allowing us to offer some marketing advice. The possibilities are endless, so get on TikTok, and start creating. (we promise this isn’t an ad for TikTok, we just love it ~that~ much.)

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