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Going once, Going twice, Gone! : Chasing Social Media Trends

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From “pawri ho rahi hai” to the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” the viral fever of staying on top of the consumer’s mind has always been a tricky challenge. Brands have done their best with short-lived performances, leveraging trending memes and buzzing reels to stay relevant and connected with their consumers. But is it worth the chase to be memorable in the long run?

The Fast and the Fleeting: Decoding Short-Lived Trends

Let’s define short-lived trends in the context of social media. These are the fads and topical phenomena that sweep across platforms like wildfire. Think of the Ice Bucket Challenge, planking, or even the ‘Yanny or Laurel’ auditory illusion. They capture the collective consciousness for a brief moment and then vanish, leaving behind a trail of digital footprint from countless shares and engagement.

When brands started using social media, it caused a ripple effect, leading to the decline of strict trend predictions and the traditional idea of a ‘trend.’ As soon as brands established their presence, the prevailing notion became: ‘If we participate in these discussions, we become relevant, hence sales follow.’ Whether this notion has been effectively proven or supported remains uncertain, but it often persists as a collective hypothesis.

Consequently, brands began obsessing over the ‘trending’ story of the day, hashtags, memes, or prevailing aesthetics, often seeking guidance from expert providers of social media marketing services.

Chasing a moment alone could be risky

While it’s not dangerous for brands to take a leap and be brave, diving headfirst into a new trend that may not align with your brand story may be risky. It may appear to be a hard attempt to appear cool and force-fit a connection with your audience.

Effective marketing isn’t just about following trends; it’s about consistent storytelling and engagement that inspires loyalty and interest among people. This means staying true to your brand’s original philosophy – its values, tone of voice, and guidelines. Over the years, what makes a brand a legacy brand is all about how truthfully you’ve been able to share its benefits and fit the brand into a customer’s life. Therefore, memorability does not depend on a short-lived trend, promising resonance for only 24 hours.

While it’s brave to experiment with various ways to showcase your brand to potential customers, keeping your brand’s fundamental philosophy intact is also important. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, consistency can lead to a 23% increase in revenue and a 20% boost in customer loyalty, along with other positive results like:

1. Attracting the right customers: When you stay true to your brand’s values and messaging, you will attract customers who truly connect with what your brand is all about. For instance, Apple’s focus on innovation and simplicity attracts people who seek premium technology that’s equally easy.

2. Building customer loyalty: Brands that stick to their messaging and values often create strong customer loyalty. Think about Nike. A brand that’s known to empower every individual who can move – hence, if you can move, you’re an athlete – thus, truly going beyond the field of just sports. 

3. Offering consistent experience: A consistent brand is one that offers a great experience to customers every time. Safe, reliable, benefit-oriented, and hence, it fulfills the initial brand promise made. For instance, Starbucks is one such brand that fulfills its promise of delivering the same coffee wherever you go – a cuppa that recognises your soul.

4. Setting clear expectations: Consistency helps customers know what to expect. When you think of McDonald’s, you expect quick service and deliciously prepared items that conquer hunger pangs in a familiar way. Their consistency of service and food items never fails to hit below excellence.

5. Building trust: Trust is a key part of successful branding. Brands like Coca-Cola have built trust over decades by literally opening cans of happiness and hence refreshing a customer with a defined taste and quality. 

Therefore, while chasing short-lived social media trends can bring temporary brand awareness, brands must consider the long-term impact on their relationship with customers and build greater focus on the actual performance of their product. When a suitable trend comes along, surely, it can be a great way to participate and engage with users, but hopping on trends persistently shouldn’t be the benchmark of true brand connection. As we navigate this dynamic social media landscape, let’s not lose sight of the importance of brand authenticity and consistency. Instead of asking “How can a brand fit into the latest trend?”, perhaps brands should be asking “How can this trend fit into the enduring brand story?” Still confused about where to start with the trends? Visit Eridium and get answers to all your queries from our experts.

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