Trendjacking is not about Speed, it’s about Accuracy
Marketing, Social, Trends

With almost 5M active social media users in Singapore, spending an average of 2h 17m scrolling through the cluttered social space daily, brands face the challenge in building their social platforms with content that resonates, while battling the platform’s algorithm in reaching their consumers.

While trendjacking (aka newsjacking) is not new, we have seen many brands jumping on the bandwagon in recent times. In a closely connected digital world, there are no boundaries to how and what information brands can leverage on. From the likes of Marina Bay Sands in Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, to South Korea’s dystopian drama Squid Game, and even Helen and Ivan in our local context, it is certainly tempting to jump on these trending topics. Here are some suggestions to consider when such opportunities arise.

You don’t have to be the fastest.

The clock is ticking and the pressure is mounting. Researches have shown that the optimum time frame to trendjack is 6 hours, but there are also many successful cases that were done within 24 hours. So, here’s what you can do when you decide to trendjack: Pause, take a breath, and analyze the situation.

Ask yourself these questions: Is the trend related to you (as a brand)? Study the environment, and check how many chatters are there currently? Who else is talking about it? Will you be able to curate the content within a specific time frame? Once you have analyzed the situation, it gives you a clearer angle on how to approach this. Take for instance on the Squid Game craze, not everyone may understand the topic on hand as watching the Netflix series requires time. Letting other brands talk about it first may help set the stage right before you embark on the trendjack. What about being ahead of your competitors? There are certainly advantages for being first, but not being the first mover will also allow you to differentiate from them and score that extra brownie points with your consumers. Do you have to be the first to hop on the trend? The answer is “No”, but certainly not till the cows come home.

There will be hits & misses. You can’t satisfy everyone.

Not every trendjack will be successful, or rather achieve the results you desire. The general rule of thumb is to be extra cautious in jumping onto a negative trend which may result in backlash and negative sentiments. This may happen when we get too entrenched in working out that trending content, that we get “blindsided” by the potential consequences. In the event that this unfortunate situation arises, apologise and move on, or if possible, make use of the crisis to create a positive turnaround.

Now, suppose your trendjack content worked well, and that splendid piece of work goes viral, raking in the reactions, comments and shares you were anticipating. With a wider reach, expect varied responses. Naysayers will criticise your content and it may get disheartening at times, but such comments may offer an alternative view of a consumer’s mindset. Sieve out the ones which you can learn from, and remember, you can’t satisfy everyone.

It takes 2 hands to create the sparks.

Trendjacking is a collaborative effort. If you have worked on a trendjacking content before, you have probably realised how difficult it was, and there are few ways to validate your content before clicking that publish button. In an agency-client relationship where both parties work hand in hand, contributing ideas and building them together often ends with fascinating results. Just like other forms of relationships in our lives, a one-sided affair or one with misaligned expectations will not be ideal for the long run.

Needless to say, not many of us have the privilege of a team or subscription to tools. We just have to make use of what we have around us. Understand your consumers, engage them often and find out the type of content that resonates with them, or even the tone of voice that speaks well with them. Can the content be written from a different perspective? Or can we get the consumer to contribute or co-create that content?

Before you embark on trendjacking (or you probably already have), ask yourself what is your purpose of doing so. Is it just to capitalise on the existing trends to engage your consumers, or is it a longer-term objective of building brand affinity? Once you have nailed down your purpose, keep this in mind the next time you trendjack and that may give you a clearer direction to curate the content that accurately speaks and resonates with your audience.

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