In the social media industry, we understand that trends move quickly. No matter how much we love to create our content calendars in advance, things are subject to change at any moment.
But what happens when things change overnight?
It might be something as simple as a meme that gains popularity quickly, or it might be as urgent as almost every Instagram user sharing a black square on #BlackOutTuesday. No matter the scenario, brands must be willing to stay updated and move quickly, or else they will get left behind- or worse: seem insensitive.
Late afternoon on June 1, it began to spread through social media that #BlackOutTuesday would occur on June 2. This trending news encouraged posting a black square to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and allow the voices of others to be amplified. By 7 p.m. on June 1, the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag had 5,000 posts. At the end of the day on June 2, the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag had more than 25 million posts.
Notice anything unusual? The sponsored ads stand out in stark contrast to the many black squares posted that day. In today’s social media climate, ads look similar to organic content so it blends in and is attractive to consumers. However, in a situation like this, an ad can appear insensitive and attract negative attention.
Because of this, we created the following list.
5 steps you can take as an agency or a brand to stay timely on social media:
- Be proactive. Make it a habit of checking in on social media platforms at least 1-2 times a day. This helps you stay updated on timely news and trends.
- Check in on your content calendars. Cross-referencing the content you planned last week with the current state of the world can help you ensure that your posts are still timely and appropriate.
- Make a plan. Whether you are an agency or a brand, make a plan for who to contact when something urgent happens.
- Act quickly. When something out of the ordinary happens, such as waking up to see your entire Instagram feed is black, don’t hesitate. The faster you address a concern, the more likely you are to avoid an issue later on.
- Be thorough. Remembering to check your upcoming posts is only the beginning. Take time to check any other scheduled content such as subscription emails, current promotions, blogs, social media advertisements, influencer activations, and more.