The other day I was reading a book on marketing which was fascinating for all the wrong reasons. There was a section on utilising trending topics on social media to make your content travel further, which being our bag rather, I hastily turned to.
The author used the example of a marketing manager in charge of Valentine’s Day product leveraging the #KissAGingerDay hashtag. Being one of nature’s redheads, I was particularly interested in this trend when it first emerged but sadly, no one I asked seemed enthusiastic to take it offline. No conviction you see, the internet generation, but hey ho, such is life. Anyway, I digress.
But it was at this point I threw down the book. Any fool peddling Valentine’s Day products could jump on a hashtag like that. After all, there’s quite a strong connection between Valentine’s Day and kissing, even for gingers.
What the book failed to explain, and what the vast majority of others I have read do too, is what to do when absolutely nothing relevant to your industry is trending. And let’s be honest, for a lot of businesses that is most days.
But recently I saw an example of a brand I particularly like doing that well. I am presently addicted to Yeo Valley’s lemon curd yoghurt, it is the nectar of the gods. And with the recent promotion to win a Landrover Discovery Sport with every pot it’s becoming a problem. So in the grip of my addiction, I decided to check out the company’s website and social media offering to see how they fared, and, as a PR man, I fell in love a little bit more. In a single tweet, the west country milkers gave a master class in how to piggy-back a trend and make it relevant to their brand values.
The trend they leveraged was Pokemon – a ludicrous but admittedly effective campaign that has turned adults into children and which has nothing to do with their dairy-based treats – combined with a hashtag which has little relevance to the industry they are in, to point to content that is neither salesy nor their own, but that gives their followers genuine activity ideas aligned with their own brand values. It also supports the need for kids to be active and promotes the countryside as a great place to do that. By my counting that’s lots of birds, one stone.
Of course, this kind of approach needs to be used sparingly. Do it every day and your followers will soon see through it. And if you struggle to turn a trending topic to you favour then leave it for another day. Yeo Valley’s tweet was authentic; it fed into their brand values and offered followers valuable content. Posting for the sake of it, when you’ve nothing of value to say, will soon have your followers leaving in droves.
But used well, aligning your brand intelligently to a trending topic can make your content go further and reach a new audience. So keep your eyes out for opportunities and think of creative ways of leveraging them.
If you need a little help injecting some Yeo Valley-style goodness into your social media, drop us a line. You’ll find us on all the best social media site but we also answer phones calls and emails too, just in case you prefer!