Social media and the internet as a whole have ushered in a time when we can find a practically endless amount of information at our fingertips, and keep up with current events as they happen.
Of course, because of that, social media moves extremely fast. That means social media marketers need to move fast too. When social media marketers promote their brands on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, they need to keep the NOW in mind when creating content.
Sometimes, the news is to their advantage, while other situations raise the need for delicacy. In either case, it’s important for marketers to stay on top of the latest news and trends to spot anything that could be relevant to their brand.
Of course, incorporating trending topics is always a great way to boost engagement. Whether it’s #MerryChristmas or #ThrowbackThursday, joining the conversations people are having online can be very helpful. However, keeping your brand relevant isn’t only about spreading good wishes. Sometimes, marketers need to watch the top news stories to learn what NOT to talk about.
A perfect example of this would be when Amazon advertised a bowl decorated with the words “Cereal Killer” on their Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, this update was published right after the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando. As you could imagine, the feedback was… not so great.
It was a case of writing the wrong post at the wrong time—surely a mistake, but it still serves as a lesson to all marketers. We have a responsibility to our readers and brand to steer clear of sore subjects and stay aware of what’s happening in the world.
As many marketers use scheduling tools to stay ahead of the game, we need to keep in mind what we have ready to sent out. If something happens that may put certain content in a negative light, you better “stop the presses.”
As always, be sure to steer clear of anything political, religious, or controversial, unless you’re ready to start a firestorm online. For some brands, this is the desired outcome. For most, however, it’s best to steer clear of sensitive subjects that could alienate parts of their audience.
While “keep things light” is a nice mantra to stick to, sometimes even the smallest comment could cause problems. If this kind of situation does happen, don’t ignore it. Offer a public apology and see to it that it doesn’t happen again.
As you can see, staying on top of current trends is extremely important for marketers. Not only is it the best way to identify current trends and conversations that your brand could add to, but it’s also how you detect potential threats and avoid them.