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How to Incorporate Trending Topics into your Content Calendar

Ever since the first cat video showed up on YouTube (2005, if you’re interested), people have clamored for viral social media content. While some trends seem here to stay (”What kind of breakfast food are you?”), others have fallen to the wayside (clickbait couldn’t have died fast enough). Producing engaging content can be one of the most difficult parts of content marketing. By sharing topics that are already trending, social media managers can leverage a higher ROI without investing in additional manpower. As a social media manager, finding the right recipe for what’s trending versus what’s stale can be a difficult mix, but you can succeed without stirring the pot too much. Here are five ways to incorporate trending topics into your content calendar, as well as a few pitfalls to avoid.

How to Incorporate Trending Topics into your Content Calendar

Make it timely.

Possibly the biggest key to sharing trending topics is sharing them in a timely manner. Because news moves quickly online, what’s trending in the morning might not be trending by that night.

For the sake of a content calendar, the best way to “make it timely” is to leave a few openings for truly trending topics, while planning ahead for holiday or big event topics. Sharing a mixture of the two will show viewers that the brand is socially aware and in the know.

Stick to brand voice.

Don’t try to create copy that fits the topic. Instead, focus on copy that highlights brand voice, while also addressing the post itself. Keep in mind, brand voice is one of the things that sets your brand apart from others. A distinguished voice can draw an audience better than one that sounds more generic, and will make your brand recognizable above the crowd.

Incorporate snappy copy.

With topics that are already trending, brands will compete against others posting the same stories. It’s important to stick to brand voice, but equally important to share copy that will stand out against others who are sharing the same topics.

Tight, concise copy with memorable phrasing stands out. Remember: word economy matters. Make each word count.

Know when not to post.

Sharing trending topics should be timely, but be wary of sharing posts that can be polarizing and/or sensitive to readers, or that involve local or national tragedies (unless sharing this information fits into your brand dialogue). It may seem like a good idea to show readers that the brand has a voice in these topics, but sharing sensitive posts can also come across as exploitative and tone-deaf.

Have fun!

Trending topics can be informative, engaging, and entertaining. People want to share information they connect with. This means that as long as it fits within a brand’s strategy, there is no reason to avoid posts that are both trending and fun. Again, be sure to share posts that make sense within the scope of your digital strategy, but as long as it is tangentially related, social media managers should feel free to have fun.

How to Incorporate Trending Topics into your Content Calendar

Ultimately, not all brands need to incorporate trending topics into their content calendars, but sharing posts that are already trending is an incredible tool for many. One of the key tasks of a social media manager is deciding what is appropriate for the brand audience, and utilizing every tool available to grow that audience. By focusing on posts that are timely, within brand voice, utilize smart copy, avoid stepping over any lines, and are fun for the audience, a brand can grow its social media presence without investing in additional website content. If your brand needs help building a content calendar or growing its online presence, contact Social Factor today.