Chime in on a trending and timely topic! Trends typically have short lifespans, so speed and creativity are crucial to success. The trend itself need not be of your organization’s making, but you can incorporate a trending topic that aligns with your message in your posts. Many of us recall the recent online debate surrounding the “The Dress.” The debate related to the online posting of a photo where the public disputed the true color of a piece of apparel: what color was this dress? Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder, so a heated debate ensued over the correct color of the dress, often using the hashtag, “#TheDress.”
Savvy social marketers – and many from large name brands – jumped on “#TheDress” trend, capturing the national social conversation and drawing attention to their own brands and products in the process. And while the trend was short-lived, it was a hot topic that garnered surprisingly massive attention. We cannot predict what the next “#TheDress” trend will be, but we, as event marketers, can be observant of cultural trends and mindful of opportunities to associate these trends with our programs.
Like many things in life, chemistry and timing play key roles in marketing success! Take note of popular social marketing initiatives inside and outside your space. Another common denominator in both campaigns is that they focused on positive and light topics: follow their lead with your posts. Be mindful of the types of messages that your followers are more likely to share: has a particular hashtag been more popular than others, or did a certain video garner more likes and shares than prior clips? Is there a specific hot button topic in your industry that you can marry with a fun, inspiring message, or a competitive challenge?
Don’t be discouraged if your initial efforts do not launch your organization into the annals of viral social media campaigns! Identify and recruit industry leaders who can help spread your message virally. If your space is devoid of personalities with large social followings, consider buying social ads to help promote your campaign. Few posts will gain the visibility – or notoriety – of the campaigns featured here; however, viral success within your niche community is a great accomplishment indeed.