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Learning how to keep up with social media trends is an essential skill for anybody in the social media marketing business and if you do it well, you can keep ahead of the curve.
Social media trends often blow up overnight, so industry professionals need to have their fingers on the pulse to be able to properly capitalize on the latest big thing.
As of 2022, there are at least 4.59 billion social media users globally and 90% of those users follow a minimum of one brand. Read more for our top tips on how to keep your followers engaged with trending content and achieve social media success.
What Are Social Media Trends?
Social media trends can be defined as waves of content that rise and fall in popularity across a variety of social media platforms. This can be anything from a widely shared pop culture moment, a new meme format, or the latest TikTok dance routine.
You need to know how to keep up with social media trends as they usually rise to prominence quickly and then fall out of fashion when the next big thing comes along.
What Influences and Shapes Social Media Trends?
Understanding what inspires social media users can help you learn how to keep up with social media trends, including what users post and how. Social trends can be shaped by a variety of outside influences—sometimes from surprising sources.
Below are just a few examples of highly influential events:
- Global news events can have a significant impact on social media trends. The most notable one of late is the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to a huge uptick in social media use, particularly short-form video content, where users could share how they were spending their lockdowns. Banana bread anyone?
- Pop culture events generate lots of artist and fan content. Taylor Swift has made over $300 Million from her Eras tour so far with an average of 54,000 fans in attendance at each show. This has led to an increase in fan videos, concert fashion content, and her tracks being used in TikToks, Instagram Reels, and YouTube videos. Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour has led to a boom in sales of silver clothing on Etsy.
- Political events cannot be underestimated when trend forecasting for social media. Social media content for LGBTQ+ events like Pride Parades and protest movements like Black Lives Matter receive enormous engagement. Aligning yourself politically can be a risky move for a brand, but nowadays people are expecting more and more authenticity from the brands they support.
Why Should Social Media Strategists Keep Up With Trends?
Knowing how to keep up with social media trends is so important to social media marketing because the turnover of social trends is so rapid. It is crucial to strike while the iron is hot to avoid seeming passé.
If you are up to date with the latest high-engagement content, learning how to incorporate those trends into your social media marketing strategy can help drive some traffic your way and use the algorithms to your advantage.
8 Best Ways to Stay on Top of Social Trends
1. Spend Time on Social Media Every Day
While this may seem like an obvious piece of advice, having expert-level knowledge of social media is the key to your success. Engage with other social media users, download the latest app, and see how it works. Also, watch what is happening on X (formerly Twitter) and discover the biggest Twitch streamers and social media influencers.
2. Look at Google Trends
Google Trends is an excellent tool to incorporate into your social media marketing strategy. You can use it to track what people are searching for at any given moment. Taking advantage of already available data will save you lots of time and make your trend forecasting more accurate.
3. Make a Twitter (X) List of Influencers in the Industry
Social media influencers have had a meteoric rise to prominence in social media marketing. Twitter (X) lists help you to keep track of all the influencers relevant to your brand by allowing you to curate a personalized area where you only see content from the accounts you choose.
4. Set Up Google Alerts on Terms and Influencers
Google Alerts is another handy tool as you get personalized alerts straight to your email inbox. You can create an alert using search terms and each time new content containing your keywords hits the internet, you get a notification. You can also choose the frequency of alerts. We recommend setting it to once a day so you don’t get bombarded!
5. Join Groups on LinkedIn
6. Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts can be a great source of inspiration and information for your social media marketing strategy. There are tons of industry professionals putting out regular episodes with the latest tips, tricks, and advice for how to keep up with social media trends and more.
7. Keep an Eye on the Competition
While it is important to create your own unique brand and voice, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. You may be able to glean some knowledge about a platform or program you should be using or make note of some of their most effective hashtags.
You can also read their comments and reviews to see what customers are asking for, what other brands could be doing better, and see if you can reach that niche with your own business.
8. See What’s Trending on YouTube
Despite the current popularity of short-form video content, YouTube remains a titan of social media with 122 Million users visiting the site every day. While your homepage is usually curated using data from your past searches, the YouTube Trending tab is an excellent place to tap into what’s popular right now.
Tools for Tracking Social Media Trends
If you’re more of an automation fan, you might want to explore social media trend-tracking tools.
Social media trend-tracking tools monitor and analyze online conversations and activities to identify emerging topics, trends, and sentiments, helping businesses stay informed and adapt their strategies accordingly.
Here’s a bunch of tools that could be useful for you:
- Top-Hashtags (monitors hashtags that are trending on Instagram and TikTok)
- TubeBuddy (trend monitoring for YouTube)
- Feedly (aggregates news and curates content and trending topics from across the web).
Let’s Wrap Up
When it comes to social media marketing, you don’t need to gaze into a crystal ball to find out how to keep up with the social media trends. You only need to utilize the tools at your disposal. Stay up-to-date using multiple approaches and be ready to adapt quickly—time is the most valuable asset when it comes to following a trend.
We at Gain understand the value of time, which is why it’s our business to streamline your content approval process and allow your social media content to get out there before the latest trend blows over.
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