We all know the saying from Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” The same is true for creating your business’ social media presence. Except that, building it can start to feel like a never-ending process — especially when it comes to social media trends.
Much like your business, your social media channels require maintenance, strategy and refreshed creative direction.
Tapping into social media trends is a great way to boost your business and reach new audiences.
Once you get a taste for picking up on social media trends, you can strengthen your foresight and be a trend maker. Take a tip from Star Trek and “go boldly where no one has gone before.”
The 5 social media trends with big payoffs now
While you’re working on your skills to spot the next big thing, here are five social media trends you can tap into today to increase your return-on-investment (ROI). These trends will also show you how to have more fun with creative content and nurture relationships with your customers.
Trend #1: Nostalgia marketing for the win
The global pandemic has created a universal shared experience and while no two experiences are identical, commonalities such as loss, hope and resiliency extend from coast-to-coast to unite us.
We’re summoning bits of nostalgia, longing for those pop culture infused golden days. We’ve seen General Mills dip into the 80s with their cereal branding in an effort to attract purchases from first-wave millennials.
For many Canadians, Saturday morning cartoons were not complete without syrupy sweet cereals. By targeting ‘remember when’ moments, you can relate to the experiences of your target audience which are ripe with sentimentality and full of raw emotion.
There are countless examples of nostalgia marketing and many surfaced during Super Bowl ads. Arguably, this is one of the main reasons why Canadians watch the Super Bowl — closely followed by the half-time show and the game, of course. Seeing Canadian-American actor Mike Myers revive his Wayne’s World role for Uber Eats was, to say the least, excellent.
Trend #2: People first, data second
Data is beautiful. It’s full of transformative insights. When you know how to interpret your data, you can pivot your strategies so you’re not wasting time chasing the wrong people with the wrong messages. As beautiful as data is, it also comes with one critical flaw: it can be all-consuming.
Take a step back from being data-focused and become people-focused. Start a conversation with your followers and get to know them.
Behind those numbers are living, breathing, engaged people with their own unique wants and needs.
Customer identity matters; the more that people receive relevant content that’s served to them, the more likely they are to engage with your business. Think of how Netflix suggests the right kind movies suited to your interests.
When you sustain critical connections, you sustain the well-spring of support from your customers and your community. In turn, this creates a foundation from which to grow.
Trend #3: Winning streaks with gamification
If you have budget, and it aligns with your brand, it may be worth incorporating gamification into your strategy. Games are social, and they are also a form of media. Through games, you can:
- Heighten engagement
- Make it extremely fun
- Incorporate rewards and leader boards
- Introduce challenges
All the while, you’ll be enhancing your business’ visibility on multiple platforms.
To get started on your gamification journey, check out local or national marketing, branding and design agencies that specialize in this arena. Technology is swiftly changing, so be sure to partner with a company that has the bandwidth to change with the industry.
Trend #4: Social responsibility is wearing your heart on your sleeve
The lowest price isn’t always the best price. More and more, consumers are making ethically informed decisions about their purchases.
Take a look at your business, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my products environmental-friendly and sustainable?
- Are my products ethically sourced?
- Is my staff diverse?
- What does my company believe in?
- How do I give back to my community through volunteerism?
- Is my company’s culture inclusive and focused on health and wellness?
The Government of Canada’s spotlight on social responsibility will guide your business through topics such as responsible business practices, social innovation, clean tech and much more.
Trend #5: Make way for memes
If your team transitioned to remote work, there’s a good chance your staff are communicating via memes, emojis or GIFs. Memes quickly communicate a feeling or a reaction to a moment that happened. They instantly pull at the heartstrings or insight laughter. A cheeky meme can make you feel good.
While we think of memes as fun and games, they can also be used for marketing. If you’re the face of your company and are an influencer, you can use memes and trending challenges on TikTok to get involved in a subculture conversation. Just look at how Jagmeet Singh is using TikTok to bring attention to the NDP’s platform.
Pro Tip: Sarcasm could qualify as one of Canada’s official languages. And, as well-meaning as your sarcastic meme may be, your audience may be offended and lash out on social media. While it may take the fun out of using memes, holding an informal focus group amongst your team about your social content acts as a checkpoint to ensure that it resonates with your brand.
Refresher: Social media trends
The social media trends listed above can enrich your social content and potentially boost business by creating a buzz. They also share core commonalities that focus on:
- Depth and heart
- Meaningful content
Businesses are being asked to demonstrate why they matter and how their products make the world a better place.
With this framework, you can holistically look at your business and assess the messages you’re communicating with your audience. Companies that actively communicate what they believe and how they contribute to society are gaining new business due to core value alignment. It’s not enough to say that your company does good work; people want to see results. Give it to them.