How to Strategically Use Social Media Trends to Boost Your Brand

Social media moves fast. Trends come and go in the blink of an eye. As a social media marketer, it can be tempting to jump on every viral trend in hopes of riding that wave of engagement. However, not all trends are created equal when it comes to brand marketing.

In this video, Community Managers AnnE Ford and Dervon Thompson will explore how to identify relevant trends for your brand, when to join in on viral trend conversations, and tips for putting your unique spin on trending topics.

If you’d rather read along, we’ve also summarized the discussion in the article below.

Choosing Trends That Align With Your Brand Goals

The key to successfully using trends for your brand is relevance. Ask yourself:

  • Does this trend align with our target audience?
  • Can we authentically connect it back to our brand mission and values?
  • Will joining this conversation help us achieve our current social media goals?

If the answer is no to any of those questions, it’s best to sit that trend out.

For example, the “Little Miss” trend was hugely popular on TikTok and Instagram, with brands creating their own “Little Miss” personas. But a B2B software company likely wouldn’t have an authentic way to engage with that meme.

Focus on trends within your industry’s niche communities. Even if a trend seems big, it may only exist within certain circles that your brand doesn’t reach.

Putting a Unique Brand Spin on Viral Trends

Once you’ve identified a relevant trend, get creative with ways to make it your own!

Rather than directly copying a trending meme or sound, look for ways to subtly nod to what’s popular while keeping it on-brand:

  • Use trending copy/phrases: Entenmann’s riffed on the “beige flag” trend by posting “My boyfriend takes multiple bites of a Pop’ems which is his beige flag.”
  • Re-create trending sounds: Mike & Ike remade the popular “this is a vibe” TikTok sound using their own voice and wording.
  • Find related UGC: The OBX account leveraged user-generated whale content to connect to the “My Roman Empire” trend.

These examples breathe new life into viral trends while furthering the brand’s messaging and personality.

Best Practices for On-Trend Brand Content

Here are a few tips for creating trend-based content that feels fresh:

  • Keep it simple: Don’t overproduce. Use quick one-take videos or images that match the casual vibe of trending social content.
  • Use engaging editing: Jump cuts, text overlays, music, and tight cropping help grab viewers’ attention.
  • Stay on-brand: Use relevant language, messaging, and visuals to ensure the trend content aligns with your brand identity.
  • Engage with your audience: Comment on trending posts from your niche to organically connect with users interested in that topic.
  • Monitor results: Use engagement metrics and listen to social conversations to see if your trend content resonates. Adjust your approach accordingly.

Trends to Keep on Your Radar

While every platform has its own rapidly changing trends, a few formats remain evergreen:

  • Transitions: Quick cuts between short video clips set to music.
  • Highlight reels: Montages of product/brand shots set to upbeat music.
  • Behind-the-scenes: Raw, candid brand content is hugely popular on TikTok and Instagram Reels.

Staying on top of the latest viral memes and conversations while mixing in evergreen trend formats will keep your social content feeling fresh, engaging, and on-brand.

At Ignite Social Media, our team is obsessed with all things social media marketing. We’re always on the lookout for new ways brands can strategically leverage trends and pop culture. Need help with leveraging trends, or any other social media marketing support? Just complete the form below and we’ll get in touch quickly to start the conversation.

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