‘That’s so last year.’ As a social media manager, does this phrase keep you up at night? Phrases like this one, as well as ‘everyone else is doing it,’ or ‘that seems like a fun idea,’ can have you quaking in your boots. When it comes to social media trends, it might seem like there is always something new coming around the bend, and it can be downright exhausting to try and keep up. Before saying yes to every new social trend, consider these three important questions to ask. (They just might help save your sanity!)
One of the first questions social media managers should ask themselves when facing a new trend is: Will this meet our overall brand goals? This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in a new trend and totally forget to consider if you should explore at all. If acquiring new customers is one of your big goals for the year, then creating a better customer experience through social media might be a trend that’s right up your organization’s alley.
Examining brand goals really aids in determining the ‘why’ behind an action, giving social media managers direction in taking on a new trend -- instead of wandering aimlessly around just because someone above you thought TikTok or [insert social channel here] might be fun. Looking at the big picture helps you navigate trends big and small and in return, make them work for you in terms of boosting traffic and even attracting new customers .
The second question that should come up when deciding to take on a new social media trend deals with internal resources. In other words: Does our team have the time, money, and personnel resources to pull off a trend in a professional and timely manner? One of the worst mistakes you can make with social trends is starting something and then realizing you don’t have the bandwidth to finish it .
It’s estimated that by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content . If you’re looking to fully embrace the video trend on your social outlets, that might mean acquiring editing software and training, updated video equipment, and extra time built into your schedule to accommodate the shooting and editing that goes into video for social. Not every social media team will be able to handle these needs, so evaluation of resources is key!
Take a beat before you get to the point of no return, and be realistic about what your team can handle. A team of just a few (or even one person) might not be able to handle the rigors of the 1-4 videos a day the TikTok algorithm advises , but might be able to create a video per day on Instagram Reels .
As social media marketers, we spend a lot of time analyzing our audiences across platforms, so use that information when it comes to embracing and adopting a new trend. Taking on something new can refresh your audiences’ attitude toward your brand , but if they don’t see value in the content or platform you’re creating on, then precious resources could be lost in the process. In 2021, people-first social media is a big trend (with no end in sight), leading social media marketers to pivot heavily toward two-way communication on organic social. This trend allows for further insights into your social media audiences, helping to break down their wants and needs (whether that be employees, consumers, or influencers). Sometimes, going back to the basics (like listening to your audience) is the best step toward creating something new.
While it might be enticing to be the first to adopt a new trend, remember that just because something looks like the latest and greatest, doesn’t always mean it’s a right fit for your brand. As a social media manager, it’s our job to be the first line of defense for our network feeds. But also keep in mind that social media, at its core, is meant to be fun . Adopting new trends when they fit your brand goals, having resources and personnel to see them to fruition, and making sure these actions are in line with what your audience is craving can have big (and exciting) results.
What social media trends have you embraced lately? We want to know!