Is your business Trend Savvy? Wait, I have a better question.
Should your business be Trend Savvy?
One of the biggest challenges founders face in building a brand on social media is staying relevant. And trying to keep up with the cool kids on social can easily lead to jumping on every single trend you can.
But should you?
Let’s talk about the dos and don’ts of trends for business owners so we can settle the great debate: Are trends great for businesses, or are they nothing more than a big distraction?
In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:
- The fine line between trendy, tacky, and cringe
- The origin of trends in 2023
- Benefits of trends for business owners
- Where trending content belongs in your funnel
- How trends can hurt your business
- My JUMP rules for trends
- Trend Backlash
- How to be Trend Savvy
This Episode Was Made Possible By:
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- “It's kind of an interesting phenomenon because, you know, prior to this version of social media, it was not a good thing to copy someone else, right? Like we had a sense of uniqueness that was praised almost. And while uniqueness is still an accomplishment, copying someone else and being in on the joke, and jumping in on a trend makes us feel like the other person understands us. It makes us feel seen and heard, and it makes us feel relevant.” – Andréa Jones
- “Whether you are a personal brand or not, having a bold personality as a brand, something that's distinct and individual and unique, especially when compared to your competitors, is a pure advantage.” – Andréa Jones
- “Virality is not the goal here. It's not where we're trying to go. But it can give you a boost enough so that people can see that you are something that they wanna align with.” – Andréa Jones
- “The last thing with trends is that they can be a distraction, like a massive distraction.” – Andréa Jones
- “So if you're looking at a trend and you can't figure it out within five minutes how it's relevant, skip that one and move on because you can spend a lot of time analyzing trends.” – Andréa Jones
- “I think if you're gonna do a trend, it's gotta be lighthearted. It's very hard to take the trend and then directly sell something, right? It's very hard to try to take one post to make it do all of the things in your sales funnel.” – Andréa Jones
- “For our clients where we post trending content, we maybe post one or two trends a month. So out of 30 posts, one or two of them are trends. I'll let that sink in. Out of 30 posts, one or two of them are trends. And it can be very challenging if you scale that number up because then you become a trend or meme account.” – Andréa Jones
Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:01):
You know how you log into social media and suddenly everyone's posting the same thing. You may have noticed this recently with things like the Barbie movie that's coming out, or Pedro Pascal memes. It just seems like we all collectively have decided that this is the thing that we're gonna talk about right now. So in this episode, I wanna talk about trends, how to use them for your business, how not to use them for your business, and how to even keep up to date with all of the things happening on social media. Let's get into it.
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:58):
Now, in the world that we live in this wild, beautiful online space, there is a fine line between being trendy and being tacky and being cringe, as the kids would say, and being on point on fleek. Y'all, I should really stop trying to use Gen Z terminology because I don't understand half of it. And that's fax, no printer. But <laugh>, being trendy can also be a good thing when used correctly in your business. In fact, I recommend jumping in on some trends occasionally. So I wanna dive into why that's the thing, how that's the thing, and how you can do this for your business. But let's start off with like, what is the definition of a trend? And I actually Googled this before this episode, and there's not really like a hard and fast rule but it seems like the consensus is time timeliness.
So something that's trendy has a time constraint to it. And typically it is an intangible collective experience that's amplified through inside jokes. So things that are very insular. And on platforms like TikTok, for instance, the inside joke can become an inside joke of an inside joke. You have to kind of know where the trend started to even hop in on the trend or to even fully understand that trend. Now, right now, this is, I'm recording this in July of 2023. Trends are started primarily on TikTok, though we are seeing some trends start on Instagram as well. Most of modern trends, current trends are starting as TikTok trends. Okay? So we're seeing people create content on TikTok that's being then echoed in the platform. And the very nature of TikTok is to copy what someone else is doing. So if someone is using a particular sound or audio or style of video, you take that sound or audio or style of video and create it as your own element.
It's kind of an interesting phenomenon because, you know, prior to this version of social media, it was not a good thing to copy someone else, right? Like we had a sense of uniqueness that was praised almost. And while uniqueness is still a accomplishment, copying someone else and being in on the joke and jumping in on a trend makes us feel like the other person understands us. It makes us feel seen and heard, and it makes us feel relevant. So let's talk about all of these benefits of trends as they relate to business owners, because you don't have to jump in on every single trend. In fact, I don't recommend that. But you can see benefits from trends. So number one, increase visibility and reach, increased visibility and reach, meaning you're reaching more people, people are discovering your brand. This is the entry point, this is the gateway drug into what you do.
And we did this recently with one of our clients. We posted a south park clip of a show related to their topic. They talk about digital currencies and the new economy of money. And so we related it to Bitcoin or something like that. And got a million views as an a Facebook reel. A Facebook reel, y'all a million views. We instantly saw their follower number more than double. And we've been monitoring that as well to make sure those followers stay on and most of them have. And so those people would've never heard of this brand before had we not been relatable and connected with them right away with something that was trending. Okay? So trending topic, a meme. So it gives you that increased visibility and reach, it boosts your engagement. So all of these people liking, commenting, sharing your content, it feels relevant because people are seeing that you as a business are joining into their current conversation.
You're understanding your audience, right? You can say without a doubt, Hey, we understand you, we know you were speaking the same language. And then you can be creative with it. Like, as a business, as a brand, is that like unique opportunity to show the personality behind the brand? And it's something that we're leaning into with all of our clients right now. Whether you are a personal brand or not, having a bold personality as a brand, something that's distinct and individual and, and unique, especially when compared to your competitors, is a pure advantage. Like I mentioned with this previous example, it creates the potential for virality. Though virality is not the goal here. It's not where we're trying to go. But it can give you a boost enough so that people can see that you are something that they wanna align with.
And then now they can go down your social media sales funnel. So trending content has a very specific place in your marketing. If you post only trending content, you won't have the substance. So people may not move down the funnel and move towards action, but if you post all the meat and potatoes all the time, it may be harder for new people to conceptualize or to understand your, your concepts, enough to trust you and move down your social media sales funnel. Now, like I mentioned, there are some downsides into jumping in on trends. Number one, not all trends work for all people. Okay? So <laugh> the Barbie trend that's happening right now, by the way, Barbie movie, their marketing is absolutely fantastic. I'm just loving every piece of it. But am I hopping on the Barbie trend? No, not at this moment. Doesn't really fit with my brand.
It doesn't, I can't find a way to tie it into the work that I do other than commentary on how fantastic their marketing department is. So I'm not hopping on that trend. Also there is a point where trend becomes tacky. And I think that that moment happens when you try to force it. So if it doesn't, if it feels like a brand is trying to be trendy, it usually feels forced. And at that, that's usually after the trend happens. So this happens a lot with people who manage social media for other people, myself included, where you see a trend, but you've already got your content calendar done for the next two weeks or a month or whatever. So you try to do, add it to the end of the content calendar, that doesn't work, okay? So with our clients, we actually move stuff around for trends.
So if something's trending today, we're gonna try to post it tomorrow or the next day. Like, let's get on it soon, not a month from now when it's, it's gone, it's bye bye-bye. The other risk of trending content is it's so fleeting, <laugh>, it's so fleeting. Like you put a lot of effort into something that doesn't, it won't make sense a year from now, right? Like, I remember the Bernie Sanders, like in his little mittens meme trend that I jumped on when it was happening, like, what, three, four years ago. If I posted that right now, it's not something I can repurpose. It just, it doesn't make sense, right? So it's just like a moment in time that collectively we all were like, oh, this is funny, and then we moved on, right? So that's kind of a downside trend is like, it's not evergreen repurposable content, and depending on how much effort you put into it may not be the right moment to hop in that trend.
The last thing with trends is that they can be a distraction, like a massive distraction. Number one, sometimes trends take research. So if you're researching into trends, you know, is this a trend that you even wanna jump on? Is it something that, you know, maybe it's polarizing, you'll get backlash. Maybe it's old and stale. You know, maybe the audience has seen too many trends. Like it's, it's a lot of lift. And it can be distracting to your audience too. If you post too many trends, you become a trend account. And then they're like, what are you selling? What are you doing here? Right? So those are some of the downside of trends. All right, we're gonna take a quick break and then when I get back, I'm gonna talk about when to take advantage of trends, when not to take advantage of trends and some tips on how to properly layer trends into your current strategy. We'll get back soon.
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And we're back. So here's how to determine when to jump in on a trend. And we're going to use the word JUMP as our anagram for this section of the podcast. So J, judge the relevancy to your account. So when we're thinking about a trend, before we even hop on it, does it make sense for your business look at things like, is it harmful to the business? Is it, you know, a clip from a show? Is it promoting something you unintentionally don't understand? Or even is it relevant? Like how can you tie it into the current conversation that your clients are having? If you can't do that, skip, pass. And I like to do this relatively quickly, okay? So if you're looking at a trend and you can't figure it out within five minutes how it's relevant, skip that one and move on because you can spend a lot of time analyzing trends.
And if you don't have an idea right away, that's a good sign that you're forcing it and it will come off too cringey or too forced. Okay? Okay, so that's J then the U is understanding your audience as well. So understanding j relevancy to your brand, but you understanding your audience's interests as well. So will your audience understand the joke <laugh>, right? So for instance, I'm a huge RuPaul's Drag Race fan. Huge. I will use memes of Drag Race all the time. But if I'm gonna get so specific that my audience doesn't understand something, the reference, then it doesn't make sense to use that trend, okay? So you kind of have to either have something that's self-explanatory or your audience needs to be in on the joke, in on the reference so that’s J, judge the relevancy of your brand. You understand your audience's interests.
M measure, okay? Measure. And so we wanna measure the longevity of the trend itself, okay? How is this trend crucial here now and today? For example when the Met Gala is happening there, the next day, the very next day, there's like a ton of trending content from the Met Gala that trends longevity. Longevity maybe is one or two days after the Met Gala. So if you know that this is relevant to your brand and your audience will eagerly eat up that content, then you have to be prepared to, to jump on that trend one or two days after the Met Gala. This really isn't an opportunity to like wait a month and post about it. It's too late, even a week later, too late, okay? However, there are some trends that can be a little bit longer lasting. I mentioned the Barbie trend, for instance, the Barbie movie is coming out soon at the time of recording this.
And so it, when, from the time the movie was first announced to now the trend has a bit of longevity. And then once people are watching the movie, I'm quite certain there will be more moments from that movie that will become trends. Okay? So that trend actually is quite a bit of longevity. So if it's something that works with your business, that may be a trend to study or jump on a little bit more than something like the Met Gala, which is a day or two, okay? And the last letter in our jump anagram is P, which is Predict or Potential <laugh>. We can predict the potential of the return on our investment. So when we're looking at a trend, it's important to look at the context of the campaigns that you're running and find a way to tie that in so that there is an ROI.
Okay? So we, the Barbie trend keeps coming to mind cuz it's something that a lot of people are talking about at the moment of that I'm releasing this episode. And if you can't tie it into your current campaigns, it, even if it's relevant to your brand and your audience and it's something that's ongoing, if you can't tie it even a kernel of the idea to the content that you regularly talk about, then it can be very challenging to get a return on that investment. So an example is one of the people I follow recently did this like cute husband, wife, daughter video that took off like million plus views easily, it doesn't relate to their business at all, <laugh>. And so while they saw a lot of views, they didn't get a lot of followers, it was just kind of for funsies and their business is the same as it was prior to that viral moment.
So it didn't tie into their business enough to actually have an impact on their roi. Now if you had a, if they had like a parenting business or even something related to relationships, children families, then that video would make sense and we could tie it in somehow. But if there isn't a tie-in, even a light tie-in, it could be something for fun and may not have the ROI that you want it to. So for example, I recently did a Get Ready With Me video. So the Get Ready With Me is a trend, right? It's a trending style of content that is a long, it's a long trend. So I actually could do one today, post it a month from now and it still would be relevant. However, in that video, I'm not talking about my makeup, I'm not talking about my hair, I'm not talking about my clothes because that's not what my audience is there for.
I'm talking about getting ready for a Zoom call because I have a meeting that's the core content that my audience is interested in. And that video did really well for me because I'm using something that's topical, something that's different, but it has a direct r o i on my business because now I'm getting more people in. It's showing a casual side of me showing a different angle and it's giving still valuable information. Like at the end of that, that Get Ready with me, I showed how to like turn up the glamor on Zoom a little bit. A lot of people thank me for that one cuz I am on Zoom all day <laugh>. So that to me has a stronger ROI than just to get ready with me where I'm talking about my makeup and it's not connected at all to what I talk about online.
Okay? So that's how you can decide when to hop on a trend using the Anagram jump, judge the relevancy to your brand, understand your audience's interests, measure the longevity of that trend, and predict the potential of the roi, okay? When to not hop on a trend. So there are trends that are basically the opposite of the anagram. You know, it's not matched with your brand, your audience doesn't care, it's maybe even overused. There's no ROI. So those are all examples of when not to hop on a trend, but here's what happens when you hop on a trend. That is all of those things. So I recently posted a gif from Love Is Blind, I'm just, I love trash reality tv, it's my thing. Okay? So Love is Blind. I posted Jeff of one of the characters from the show and the contacts, I tied it in to what I was talking about based on this music expression.
I think the post got six likes, <laugh>, it was bad. W w so that trend did not work for me. Number one, I think it's too specific. I know a lot of people watch Love is Blind, but a lot of people don't. And these aren't celebrities. So even though the guy's expression was expressive <laugh> he is not instantly recognizable. So I think that was part of the challenge with this trend is it wasn't, it didn't, it wasn't relevant to my audience. I also think I tried too hard to make it relevant to my brand by tying in some sort of emotion with the caption and then promoting something. It just didn't work. I think if you're gonna do a trend, it's gotta be lighthearted. It's very hard to take the trend and then directly sell something, right? It's very hard to try to take one post to make it do all of the things in your sales funnel.
That's very challenging. Usually the social media sales funnel, each post has a specifically designed outcome and people usually have to go through the whole funnel to get to that outcome, right? Usually there are exceptions, obviously. But usually that, that's not the case, right? Another thing that is tough with trending content or even topical content is the backlash, like negative backlash. So an example would be, this wasn't necessarily a trend, but it's more of a topical case. I talked about this in a recent podcast episode. Dylan on TikTok is a trans non-binary person, and they were, they did an ad for Bud Light. And even though the ad itself was quite trendy and topical, there was a negative backlash from Bud Light's demographic, which happens to be a lot of men, specifically white men. So there is sometimes a dark side of posting trends are trending content or being relevant or being topical that you have to consider as you're building your business.
Now, there's some things that I'll post anyways, I don't care what the backlash is, right? Like you, you stand in your values in those moments, but if you don't have a set of values, it can be very challenging to decide what those trends are. So start with your values, decide and use the jump to decide if you're going to hop in on that trend. Now, I wanna talk a little bit about layering trends into your strategy as well, because not every post is a trend. And in fact, you should rarely post trend. So for our clients where we post trending content, we maybe post one or two trends a month. So out of 30 posts, one or two of them are trends. I'll let that sink in. Out of 30 posts, one or two of them are trends. And it can be very challenging if you scale that number up because then you become a trend or meme account.
And I consult with people all the time who have actually just did this. Someone went viral on TikTok, 3 million plus followers, like their videos are hot they're good, they're light. Okay? So people aren't necessarily following through because everything is a trend and it's just a ton of free entertaining content. Why would you want to go down the sales funnel? Because everything is there on TikTok and it's fun, right? So when we think about trending content, lightly layer it into your strategy. And y'all, we actually do this at the Savvy Social School. So I gotta give our own product a shout out for just a second because we have an offer called Trend Savvy, which you can get separately or you can buy in the School. I'll put the link, it's included in the School. I'll put the links in the show notes. But right at the top, we call it the internet trend report for business owners,
but right at the top we say, while we see the value in trends, we by no means recommend posting all trends all the time. Your content will have to have more substance and layering and trending content is a great way to stay relevant and create content the algorithm likes. Okay? So we love trends. In fact, trend hunting is something that my team just loves to do. We do it for our clients, we do it for our members in the School. And so we love looking at trends. It's a, it's a lot of fun and there is a time and a place for trending content. It can give a boost, help you reach new people and appease the algorithm. But do it with caution. Proceed with caution. Okay, I wanna wrap up this podcast episode by talking about success metrics. Y'all know, I can't just say do this without measuring the success.
So there are a few types of things to look at to see if your post was successful. And I talk about this a lot when I'm talking about metrics because the metrics you measure should match the intent of the post. So the metrics you measure should match the intent of the post. And if we're posting trending content, we're looking at metrics like reach. Okay? So how many people saw this? We're looking at metrics like impressions. How many times was this content viewed? We're looking at video views, we're looking at video duration. So did people stop watching after three or four seconds or did they watch the whole video? We're looking at engagement likes and comments. We're looking at shares maybe, but it's mostly impressions, reach and engagement. Okay? So the outcomes that you're measuring on this post are not necessarily website visits. It's not necessarily link in bio clicks.
It's not necessarily people in your DM saying, can I buy this? It's the top of your sales funnel. Okay? So it's the very top awareness section of your sales funnel. You're just reaching more people. Then the rest of your posts will encourage them to take action towards your offer. You'll have posts that build trust, you'll have posts that encourage conversions. You'll have posts that create advocates. Okay? So moving them down, the social media sales funnel. Awesome. y'all are great. For those of you in the School, check out Trends Savvy. It is an amazing resource for y'all. We study and collect trends and post them every single week so that you don't have to do all of the heavy lifting. And as we post them, we give you little tips and hints on how you can leverage this trend for your business, not just for funsies. And we give examples as well. So check that out if you're in the School. And if you're not, I'll put links in the show notes to where you can check out Trend Savvy or join the School as well. Thank you so much for another episode. I'll see you soon. Bye for now.