It is estimated that by 2019, there will be approximately 2.77 billion social media users around the world. Today, 71 per cent of internet users are already part of a social network, with a huge number of consumers now holding active online profiles. Digital platforms have become a valuable way for businesses to maximise their brand exposure and connect with their target audience.
A great way to reach consumers is through trending topics and events, where companies can discover what’s capturing the public interest, and capitalise on the current conversation with interesting, timely content.
WHAT IS A TRENDING TOPIC?
A trending topic is a subject that receives a surge of popularity, such as a national awareness day, public holiday or an interesting/spontaneous event, for example, the recent circulation of #snowday. By including a hashtag in your social media post, whenever anyone searches for the term, your message will appear within a thread of messages regarding the topic/event.
Hashtags (#) provide a simple and effective way for users to participate in these discussions and reach the right audience, with an average of 125 million hashtags used on Twitter alone every day. If you are unsure on how to use current trends and hashtags to benefit your business, read our top tips:
DO YOUR RESEARCH
To make the most of your social media account, it is useful to compile a calendar of upcoming awareness days and public holidays which are likely to trend around that time, such as #Easter, #ValentinesDay or #InternationalWomensDay. By researching in advance, you can maximise your reach on social media and offer posts relevant to popular conversation.
USE ANALYSIS TOOLS
As more companies turn to social media for promoting material, websites such as Hashtagify (http://hashtagify.me/) and Ritetag (https://ritetag.com/) can help you choose hashtags to amplify your reach the right audience. These tools also recommend similar hashtags you can use to increase the likelihood of your posts being seen over time, to ensure you deliver effective marketing campaigns and sustain visibility over a longer period.
Use special hashtags at special times to get your audience EGGcited!
Hashtagify allows you to search for different hashtags and provides an analysis of the term across Twitter and Instagram. For example #Easter rates highly as a hashtag, but, obviously, it’s only beneficial in posts online during that time.
ORGANISE AN EVENT
Organising an event is a great way to create more content to use across social media and cultivate engagement with your target audience. To promote the event, you can create a unique hashtag to enhance your reach and encourage audience participation, alongside trending hashtags already in place to help spread the word. Facebook is a particularly useful platform for advertising an event, with paid post ‘boosts’ available to target consumers by age, location, interests, gender, salary, and family-status.
USE DIFFERENT SOCIAL NETWORKS
Promoting your brand over several social media platforms is a great way to ensure you reach as many people as possible, and gives you the opportunity to trial hashtags on different sites to see which has the best impact. Although hashtags are most effective on Twitter and Instagram, it is still worth trialling hashtags on Facebook to see how effective this can be for your campaign. It is also worth adding location hashtags to posts, as users can then discover what’s happening in their local area.
Although the content you provide in your social media posts are a priority, the amount of impressions you gain relies a lot on timing. When scheduling a time for your posts to go live, it is important to think about when your target audience is likely to be online to gain as much exposure as possible. Popular times to posts to reach consumers would likely be commuting times, during a work lunch break and later in the evening whereas the best time to post to reach businesses will be during the working day.
As social media continues to thrive as a vibrant space for engagement and interaction, the different platforms offer a great way to increase your brand identity and target the right audiences with relevant, stimulating content. By taking advantage of trending topics and events, you can fully maximise your reach, stay up to date with the latest discussions and ensure your campaigns are as effective as possible.