As curated from my friends Jeffbullas’s blogJeff Bullas
You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t make the most of social media’s promotional power to grow your business…
But social media marketing can get pretty impersonal when you’re purely using it to drive traffic, collect leads and convert users into sales.
A timeline full of flat out promotion leads to low engagement.
So it’s important to share posts that engage and delight your fans and followers. Trends and special events are a great way to reach your audience on an emotional level, appealing to their desire to share information, feel like part of a group, and provide value to their own audience.
Here are some inspiring ideas to implement trends and special events into your content calendar, so you have a consistently positive impact on your audience, and maybe send a post or two viral.
Bonus: For a bit of extra reading on this topic, I recommend you download this practical e-book about holiday posts and their potential to go viral on social media
1. Every day can be a holiday
The major holidays should always get some love, but every day can be a holiday.
With all the negativity floating around in the social sphere, an uplifting post about National Donut Day, or World Peace Day, can be just what your audience needs.
Also, don’t forget to use local events such as festivals and significant days in your city or town to spice up your social media strategy.
You can even make up your own holiday, like many brands have done. IHOP for example started National Pancake Day, and the inventor of cake pops invented National Cake Pop Day.
People like these “made up” holidays because they’re shareable, fun and interesting. And, days like National Cheeseburger Day or National Donut Day give people an excuse to break their diets, or to meet a friend for lunch to catch up.
But you don’t have to come up with your own day, because there are plenty of social holidays out there you can use to engage your audience.
For example, PromoRepublic creates templates for these holidays every single day.
You can check it out for free and save yourself hours of searching for these viral events.
2. Don’t be afraid of healthy, positive gossip
Psychology Today says that it could actually be a good thing to care about celebrity news.
They support a claim that our preference to pay attention to gossip is a byproduct of the social intelligence our prehistoric ancestors had to develop in order to survive and thrive within their communities. These people paid more attention to what other people were doing, which allowed them to predict behavior and even influence others.
Fast forward to today, and the phenomenon of celebrity news, combined with the power of social media, make celebrities socially important to humans. We can’t help ourselves.
So that means that sports news, celebrity birthdays and other pseudo-gossipy posts feed a primitive need in our mind. As long as you keep it respectful and mostly non-confrontational, you can expect engagement from these posts.
3. Take the opportunity to do something good
People are inspired by special days that are designed to spread goodwill and help a group in need.
One of the core reasons why people share on social media is to support a cause and do good. In fact, CoSchedule tells us that 84% of users share socially to support issues they care about.
So when you post about things like World Charity Month, Fire Prevention Month, and National Stop Bullying Day (just a few examples), you show your fans and followers that you care.
Since social is all about relationships, a great way to nurture these relationships is with socially aware posts that can raise awareness about different issues.
Letting people know that your brand is socially responsible can boost your reputation, increase positive customer sentiment, and is frankly, good karma.
4. It’s never bad to make people smile
There’s a reason why funny TV commercials are so popular. They make a brand more accessible and make people smile in the process.
Social media works in much the same way. A great meme or funny visual post can elevate someone’s day. And when that happens, they’re likely to share it with their own social audience.
The team at Social Media Examiner shared some great tips on using humor in your social posts:
Dirty or distasteful humor doesn’t fly
Find humor in everyday situations
Wittiness and puns are appreciated
It’s OK to have a sense of humor about your brand
Here’s one example of everyday humor being used to engage an audience:
If you follow these rules and make sure you do some A/B testing, you’re sure to be a hit.
5. It’s all about the visuals
People’s brains are attracted to visual content. So as you post your trends and special events, make sure they have a great visual component.
For example, on Facebook visual posts get 37% more engagement than text posts. Tweets with images get 150% more retweets than standard posts, and other social media channels like Pinterest are pretty much all visual. Even LinkedIn posts perform better with a strong visual component.
Just make sure you choose the right visuals for the right social network.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a graphic designer to create great visual posts. Tools like PromoRepublic and Canva can give you all the visual oomph you need to create a compelling visual post in little time, and for a lot less money than hiring a designer.
6. Knowledge really is power
People love to learn new things, especially in a way that makes it easy for them to share that knowledge.
You can do this through a link to an informative blog post that you have written yourself. Or you can do it by curating content from other credible sources.
Sharing knowledge is an important aspect to social media marketing, but you have to space it out with other types of posts.
Luckily, link posts aren’t the only means of sharing information. Infographics are an extremely powerful visual tool that usually spark engagement and shares. How-to posts, quizzes, polls and inspirational quotes all scratch that inquisitive itch too.
It’s important to understand what your audience cares about, in order to understand what sort of information they want to consume.
Tying a knowledge-heavy post into a current event, trend or holiday can be especially powerful, because it provides context. You aren’t just posting random information and hoping it hits the mark.
7. No matter what, context matters
The key to pitch-perfect social media is context.
It’s all well and good to come up with a visual social media post that is simply stunning, but if it’s written in a way or delivered in a way that doesn’t resonate with your audience, it falls flat.
Posting the right content, to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time, is the very definition of contextual social marketing.
As I said earlier, current events, trends and special events help you laser focus your posts to reach your audience with the most impact.