It seems that just about every other day there is a new trend happening on social media. Most of us discover these fun posts while casually scrolling through social posts. But did you know that it’s actually imperative to pay attention to these branding trends for your business?
Social trends are a great way to get your small business discovered. However, staying on top of branding trends takes a little bit more effort than most people realize.
It’s more than just randomly coming across the #dollypartonchallenge or a spontaneous Tik Tok video. You should be pre-actively searching for these trends in order to get their first. Ultimately, this will help your content be seen sooner and by a larger audience.
Is it really that important to stay on top of trends?
The answer is yes. Whether you’re a real estate agent, an investor, or an influencer, getting in on the trends will help boost your content while simultaneously providing a fun way to engage with your audience.
Don’t think of trend surfing as yet another chore you have to do in order to keep your personal brand relevant. These are meant to be fun and inspiring!
So, in order to help you stay on top of your brand, I’ve written down a few methods that will help you be alert to your industry’s trends. I also included some free tools that essentially bring this information directly to your screen!
RELATED: WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA BRANDING?
Customize Your Notifications
Step number one in staying on top of trends is customizing your notifications.
You can see what is trending on social media by customizing your notification preferences. Twitter is always the best place to be if you want to hear breaking news. You can easily search the “trending” tab to see if anything is relevant enough for you to jump in on.
Set Up Twitter Alerts
Twitter is also pretty good at picking up what you’re interested in based on your retweets, likes, overall engagement. On the desktop version on the right-hand side of your homepage, there will be a section that says “Trends For You.” Pretty convenient, right?
On your mobile Twitter app, you can click on the gear button on the top right-hand corner. If you press the arrow button, it will take you back to your Twitter settings. From there, you can tap on notifications and select when you want to have custom push notifications. Make sure that the tabs for “Popular in Your Network” and “News” are turned on.
By customizing your Twitter notifications, it will be that much easier to see what’s new!
How To Turn On Instagram Notifications
You can set up the same notifications on Instagram. I suggest turning on post notifications from popular influencers in your industry. You can also do this with popular news outlets.
For example, if you are a real estate agent, you may want to see what posts are being made by realtor.com or Realtor Magazine. These are the types of accounts that will probably be even more alert to what is trending in your industry. By setting up notifications for their Instagram feed, you can be sure that you will be quick to hop on trends for your brand.
To do this, all you have to do is go to the account you want alerts for. Tap on the button that says “Following” and click on “Notifications”. From there, you can choose to receive notifications every time this account makes a feed post, Instagram story, IGTV video, or any time the user goes live.
You definitely want to do this in moderation— especially for those accounts that are posting every day, multiple times a day. Trust me, I know that too many notifications can be overwhelming and annoying. So be sure to do your research and only set notifications for accounts that are staying on top of trends.
Read the Latest News For Branding Trends
This one may seem obvious but reading the latest news in your industry can help you stay on top of trends. Make sure you subscribe to a handful of industry-related emails and newsletters in order to get this pertinent information.
Again, well-known publications within your industry would be a good start. You can also subscribe to your colleagues’ newsletter. However, I think a better method would be for you to create your own email newsletters or blogs to send out to your clients with important market information. This content helps your clients, while simultaneously keeping you informed on your niche trends! Eventually, your consistent information will lead people to come to you for branding trends.
Understandably, setting up these emails might take too much time out of your day. Instead, what I suggest is reading at least 1-2 news articles per day. This will be really easy if you already have your social media alerts set up or you’re subscribed to newsletters. Reading up on your industry’s latest market information will be beneficial to you in more ways than one.
Engage on Social Media
Social media engagement is crucial for entrepreneurs nowadays. However, most people don’t realize the personal benefits that come with engaging with others.
Social media engagement takes time, but it’s well worth it. The act of engaging on social media means scrolling through the Explore Page to see what posts are “popular”. Like Twitter, Instagram will be able to pick up on what your interests are or what your niche is. That’s why your Explore page is custom-tailored to your personal preferences. You can start by engaging in these popular posts to drive up a conversation with the original poster or with the other commentators. This will truly help you get a feel for the type of content and information people like.
Pay Attention to the Comments and the Content
You should already have engagement worked in your social marketing strategy. Leaving comments is a way to elicit a natural conversation with colleagues or potential clients. By doing this every day, you can see what others are talking about in your industry.
Likewise, by actively communicating with influencers in your niche, you will be able to analyze what type of content gets the most response out of your target audience. It’s just a great way to get ideas for things you can post. Keep in mind that you should never steal ideas. But gauging other groundbreakers that inspire you can be a springboard for your creativity.
You can practice social engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. Besides paying attention to the Explore page, influencers, and consumer comments, you can always search for relevant hashtags to see branding trends.
Using a real state agent again as an example, you should occasionally sift through #realestatelife or #realtor. The top posts will be able to show you what’s going on in your market. You can customize this even further by including your location in the hashtag (i.e. #larealtor). Make sure you are “Following” these hashtags on Instagram, as well.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but being on top of important information within your industry helps to establish your authority. If you’re always on top of groundbreaking news, it shows your audience that you’re knowledgeable and trustworthy. This will ultimately persuade them to go to you when they have question, thus, creating a warm lead for your business!
This is why I offer engagement as a part of Stratus Branding’s personal branding services. Depending on which platforms you want to utilize, we stay active on your social media so that we’re also staying on top of your industry’s market information and trends. That way, all you have to do is read a few articles from time to time and network!
Discover Branding Trends by Networking
Networking is big, especially if you’re looking for niche market information. That’s why giants like Apple have their Worldwide Developer Conference every year. It helps developers, tech startups, and even your every day social media user to stay up-to-date with the latest technology.
Attending large industry events like this will keep you one step ahead of the game. This can help earn you leverage to create your own content that can land on the Trending page. The fresh advice and news that comes out of these conferences are unparalleled in comparison to staying on top of trends on social media. If you want the inside scoop on your industry’s latest developments, find tickets to the next big event. I promise you that it’s worth the investment.
In fact, this is one of the reasons I’m going to the Alt Summit in Palm Springs this March! Well, besides the fact that I’m one of the speakers. However, I think my history of attending these types of events in conjunction with speaking at local industry meetups is what helped me land this speaking gig. I’m now in a position to deliver branding trends to large conference audiences because I’ve networked in the past (and because I have my Instagram alerts turned on)!
Where You Can Network
If these big networking events seem too daunting for you, start by attending local meetups. You can find these on Facebook or on websites like meetup.com. I recommend going to at least one networking event every month in order to share ideas and trends with your colleagues.
Once you familiarize yourself with the local groups, you may even want to start hosting your own networking groups! Being a host gives you the unique opportunity to alert your colleagues or potential clients to the latest trends. Plus, it establishes you as a leader in your niche. Who knows, one day you might be a keynote speaker at one of your industry’s nationwide conferences.
Groups on social media is another way in which you can network. I would do some heavy research before joining in on these groups. Anyone can put together a Facebook group, and not all of them are heavily moderated. You want to join groups that have experienced professionals within your trade. Use these groups to ask questions, give advice, and essentially as a way to assert yourself into the trending conversation.
Free Tools You Can Use To Easily View Branding Trends
Lucky for you, the internet offers a ton of free tools that you can use to stay on top of trends. Going to local networking groups, reading industry blogs, and engaging on social media are all active ways to make yourself aware of branding trends. However, these tools will send relevant market information to you so that you don’t have to do any more digging.
Here are your options:
TweetDeck is a desktop feature that takes all the chaos out of using Twitter. Twitter is notorious for its lack of direction and organization. That’s why it’s easy to miss tweets by your favorite influencers or publications.
However, TweetDeck not only lets you schedule your tweets, but they make it easy to search and retweet trending topics. You can also make sure your trending tab is open at all times so you can see what people are buzzing about worldwide.
This sector of Google literally shows you what is trending. For example, if I look up “personal branding” on Google Trends right now, it tells me that this is what people have been recently typing into Google:
- What is personal branding?
- Personal branding photography
- Examples of personal branding statement
- Personal branding examples
Now I know to make content such as blogs, Instagram posts, or newsletters based around these topics because this is what my target audience wants to know right now.
You can search for branding trends by region, time, YouTube search, and more. It also tells you how the interest has ebbs and flows over time. It even gives you an idea of the interest by subregion!
And finally, we have SEM Rush. SEM Rush allows you to connect your website and social media channels to their database which works to analyze your content. Their on-page SEO checker gauges which of your blogs perform the best. They’ll be able to give you future content suggestions based on this. They also suggest keywords for you to optimize (on your website or on social) based on the current volume (i.e. what’s trending). This, in turn, should get you more web traffic and more leads for your business.