The world once had the internet at its fingertips, now the internet has taken the world into the palm of its hands. It’s created a new online world of distant communication. It determines how we live our lives. As social media marketers our job is to take that power back, by using the online world to our advantage to connect with your customers and get ahead of the content being produced and consumed by the world.
Spotting the latest trends and opportunities early and using reactive marketing as a strategy will draw attention to your business, allowing it to thrive. Even though your brand may be purely online, its involvement in real-life events will show customers that your company knows how to stay relevant and engage in the craze of the moment.
As silly as it may sound, memes could be an effective strategy to campaign for a new product. A clear example of this is how multiple beverage companies such as Pepsi and Heineken used the success of Netflix's 'Squid Game', which is currently #1 in 90 countries, to release clever ad campaigns with recognisable symbols from the show. This reactive marketing tactic shows their social media audiences that they are up to date with current trends. They have demonstrated a shared interest with the consumer which creates a sense of connection between them and the brand.
Here are 3 ways your business could use current events to boost engagement with your brand online.
Having a dedicated social media manager for your company enables you to not only increase your reach by building brand awareness, it can also strengthen the relationship with your customers and how they engage with your brand. A skilled social media manager will be able to analyse your brand, create on brand content to fit your target audience and use a content management system to always be ahead of the game. By scheduling your monthly calendar in advance enables the team to then devote their complete attention to keeping up with the latest trends and create reactive marketing campaigns built for going viral. As reactive marketing opportunities have a limited time frame for maximum impact, it’s important that a member of your marketing team is constantly tracking trends and actively consuming social media content to spot opportunities and be able to put all hands on deck to turn around quality content quickly.
There is a broad scope of tools online that can aid you in monitoring the latest trending topics for your business to use in your social media marketing strategy.
A free tool that we recommend for all businesses to use is Google Trends. It is a feature of Google that has a search engine where you can enter any term or topic. It will provide data on the interest in the subject over time, even as recently as the past hour. You can refine the data into categories, web search and location, which will help you with targeted marketing in a particular area.
If you have an e-commerce business, Pinterest trends is an invaluable source of information to discover what people are looking for and the surging trends week-by-week. However, if you are looking for more industry specific trends, there are many websites you can invest in to receive data relevant to your business. We would also always recommend to keep an eye on the industry leaders as well as the key influencers within your market so that you can notice when the trend starts happening if all else fails with your research.
Despite reactive marketing focusing mainly on unpredictable events and trends that pop up during the year, it is also beneficial to plan by making a calendar of public holidays.
We know there are the standard yearly holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter that your business should plan for in social media content production. Still, other events can be used to boost social engagement throughout the year, from royal weddings to sporting events such as The Olympics and The World Cup. Being able to plan in advance will give you an advantage as social media will be truly saturated when it comes to these events so you want to make sure that enough thinking and planning has gone into creating the campaign for it to be bold enough to stand out. Think about the John Lewis Christmas ads, they spend the entire year working up to that one campaign and that is why they are always so powerful.
Planning in advance also gives you the time to actually support a cause fully. For example, for breast cancer awareness this month, e-commerce brand Lounge Underwear created an online influencer marketing campaign raising awareness for Breast Cancer whilst simultaneously advertising their product, boosting the reputation of their brand. Noting occasions like this will improve your social media engagement and allow you to display your brand's duty of care for your customers and causes important and aligned to your brand values.