If you somehow missed it in your holidaze of turkey and boxed wine, Adele’s “25” set a record. And no – it’s not for how many times you’ve now cried and had to clean your winged eyeliner after listening to ‘Hello.’ In a little over three days, “25” sold 2.43 million copies, crushing *NSYC’s 2000 record of 2.4 million copies in the first week for “No Strings Attached.”
I could discuss everything I love about Adele – a magical songstress whose voice could bring peace to the world and Thanksgiving tables everywhere. But I’ll save the discussion about how she’s exactly the smoky voiced songstress our generation needs for another time.
What I really want to address is how brands can utilize buzz surrounding trending events to bring their name into the conversation, engage with a new audience and show some creativity and a sense of humor.
Coca Cola put out my personal favorite tweet using #25 (which was trending along with #Adele25).
Here are some quick Do’s and Don’ts to consider when deciding how (and if you should) contribute to the conversation.
1. Make it relevant
Not every trending hashtag or news event is the right opportunity for your brand to chime in. The goal is to provide relevant content that elicits an appropriate reaction and prompts your audience to engage and share your content. While major events mark a great opportunity to reach out to a new audience, don’t stretch the opportunity so far where the reaction becomes more “huh?” than “haha” or “Hallelujah.” Take the Coca Cola example, here they reworked their logo while subtly highlighting their “Share a Coke” message. Add in the reference to condensation (instead of tears), now I’ll I’m thinking about it drinking an ice cold Coke…while listening to Adele.
2. Be creative
No one wants to share a piece of boring content. Do you know what people love? To laugh. And gifs of puppies. And clearly, Adele. You don’t have to create a blockbuster film to ensure your content will be shared. Often, the simplest approach can provide the maximum impact. Back to Coca Cola again – it’s a fun, simple, sharable piece of graphic content. When I saw it, my first thought was it’s so simple, yet so smart. My immediate follow-up reaction was to retweet, and then send it to my friends. This is not to say simplicity it easy. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult things to achieve. So be sure to gather around your creative types for a brainstorm session, and then edit, edit, edit.
3. Be timely
With social media, everything happens at an accelerated rate. Sometimes it can feel like you unplug to get a coffee, you’ll miss the discovery of alien lifeforms. Do you need to respond within seconds to be timely? No. But be sure to add to the conversation while the conversation is still actually happening.
1. Ignore hashtags
If a tweet goes out without a hashtag, was it actually ever tweeted at all? This may be back to basics for some, but for others who need a refresher – think of hashtags as your subject. They mark a way for people following the conversation to find you online. Don’t get left out of the mix just because you forgot to include the relevant hashtag.
2. Beg for forgiveness
The concept of “I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission” does not apply here. Be sure to research the meaning behind a hashtag and why everyone is suddenly talking about it. There’s nothing worse than the roller-coaster of emotions that will happen if you discover the witty tweet you were so jazzed about has offended an entire country. Rather than basking in the glow of your creativity, you’re now doing unnecessary damage control.
3. Be inauthentic
This goes along with being relevant, but it bears worth repeating. Do not put something out there inauthentic to your brand. If your voice is more serious, it’s going to seem off the mark if all the sudden you start sharing cat memes. In the end, think about who you are trying to reach and what will resonate with them.
In conclusion, engaging in conversation around exciting events is a great way to reach a new audience and have a bit of fun.
Photo Credit: Billboard.