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5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Using Social Media Trends in 2024

Brands can generate a lot of engagement from leveraging social media trends, but it’s important to approach this social media marketing technique in the right way. This means targeting the right kind of trends, publishing content promptly, and keeping an eye on the trend’s popularity cycle to get out at the right time.

If you’re going to be leveraging social media trends for the first time, or you’re wondering if your previous trend-oriented campaigns have been as effective as possible, here are five common pitfalls to avoid when you’re using social media trends in 2024.

1. Jumping On Trends Without Considering Their Relevance

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media, you’ll know that trends can become huge cultural phenomena overnight but fizzle out just as quickly. While this makes it important to act quickly, one mistake you don’t want to make is trying to force content where there’s no real relevance to your brand identity.

Though there are creative ways to adapt hot trends to a topic your audience expects you to post about, if you make it too much of a stretch it will only succeed in feeling awkward, forced, and insincere. Often, the time you spend trying to “fit a square peg in a round hole” can be better spent developing your content calendar and coming up with ideas that are more original and relevant to your audience’s interests, even if these topics aren’t super on-trend at the moment.

Be sure to keep on top of your competitor research and regularly check on what’s working and what’s not when you’re thinking about targeting a particular trend in your social media content. If no one else in your industry is taking part, or they’ve made attempts that are showing poor engagement, then it’s usually a good sign to leave it be.

2. Failing to Consider the Potential for Controversy

Though trends can be as simple as a funny and adaptable meme format, sometimes topics gain traction due to a more serious kind of engagement. While this doesn’t disqualify these trends from being a good vessel for trend-based social media marketing, it’s important to approach these with caution to avoid damaging the image of your brand.

There have been countless incidents of brands trying to capitalize on hot cultural topics and having it backfire. One famous example of this was the ill-advised “Live for Now” campaign by Pepsi, which was widely accused of trivializing the issue of police brutality and social justice movements.

Using your branded profiles to engage in serious topics can have great results, but it’s crucial to give these kinds of trends due diligence and make sure your content is going to be sincere, relevant, and not seen as cynical or offensive to your audience.

Before you go ahead with using any trend in your social media strategy, be sure to carry out a thorough risk assessment from a cultural and ethical standpoint. This may mean pushing content live slightly later than you’d planned. However, the alternative of neglecting these kinds of risks can be far worse.

3. Not Aligning It To Your Long-Term Goals

Leveraging trends on social media is an inherently short-term marketing technique. However, it’s still important to consider the long-term goals of your social media strategy before you engage in this kind of activity.

When you’re planning to target social media trends in 2024, it’s very important to start from a place that considers your long-range marketing goals, and how well your content is going to serve these.

Imagine, for example, that one of the core goals of your social media strategy is generating leads and stimulating growth in your sales pipeline through social media. An insightful or unique take on an industry news story might serve a separate goal of developing your brand equity. However, if you’re not linking this to a tangible feature or benefit of your product or service, it’s not going to do much to help your goal of generating leads and sales.

Though it may not be immediately obvious, there’s usually a way for you to channel the traction behind a certain trend into the broader goals of your social media strategy. If this isn’t possible, it may be worth considering if there are other trends or topics that will better serve your strategy and are more worth your time.

4. Failing to Monitor and Adapt

Like everything on social media, trends move fast and can change trajectory with very little notice. One of the most common mistakes when it comes to brands capitalizing on social media trends in 2024 is neglecting to monitor both the trend itself and the performance of their content in order to stay ahead of the curve.

If you’re not equipped with robust social media analytics for keeping track of trends and engagement, you could run the risk of continuing to post content focusing on a particular topic after it’s peaked and is getting into its downward slope. This will not only waste your marketers’ time, but could make your brand come off as out-of-touch in the eyes of your audience.

Whenever you’re using social media trends in your content schedule, it’s essential to leverage your analytics tools to constantly track engagement signals and audience feedback. This will allow you to make incremental changes to your strategy when needed, and help you avoid falling into irrelevance by riding a trend for too long.

5. Letting the Trend Drive Your Content

As we mentioned earlier, capitalizing on a trend means your content has to be relevant to the topic to gain real traction. However, if you’re letting the trend drive your content too much, and neglecting to make room for your brand’s own unique signature, your campaign could end up blending into the background noise and falling flat in terms of its impact.

Some of the best practices you can use to ensure your content is markedly on-brand include:

  • Creating a detailed style guide which can be used as a checklist to ensure your draft content is on-brand.
  • Using a collaborative workspace to streamline drafts and approvals, where marketers who are closely involved with your branding sign off on content.
  • Offering authentic, unique takes on trending topics which haven’t been explored by your competitors yet.
  • Using distinctive visuals that are likely to grab users’ attention and stop them scrolling.

By taking these steps and more, you can ensure the content you’re scheduling isn’t lost in the buzz around a certain trend, and creates genuine engagement through your unique brand voice.

Using Social Media Trends in 2024

Aligning your content calendar with hot social media trends in 2024 can be a major boon to your content engagement, but it’s crucial to approach this tactic carefully and take the appropriate steps to avoid the common mistakes that may undermine your results.

To get a better view of emerging trends in your industry, and monitor how well your content is performing in the face of user trends, sign up to Highperformr for free today!

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