Everyday, millions of people take to social media to let out what’s on their mind, see what their acquaintances or random users around the world are saying, catch up on news, follow celebrity drama, and much more. There are countless ways people use social media platforms and endless networks of people to accustom themselves with. Through these networks and platforms certain ideas, styles of participation, or topics can become popularized rapidly and are furthermore known as what we like to call trends. According to Merriam-Webster a trend is defined as, “a general direction of change : a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common.” Applying this to social media can be tricky as trends on social media come and go within days. Also, there are various types of trends. There are both long and short term trends. The long term trends usually are a style of action on a social media, for example, it is very popular right now to post music through Soundcloud and then further publicize this music on different media sites. Another few trends, mostly found on Twitter and Facebook, are memes and parody accounts which typically poke fun at either celebrities or recent news stories. The short term trends are usually found in the form of hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes even reaching into the realm of Instagram. Of course there are some of these trends that linger on throughout the span of a week or month, however, these trends typically derive from an occurrence at a popular event, or a news story so they vanish rather quickly. Using trends within your own social media account can often result in almost instant publicity, and when big name people and companies use trends, their post typically blows up and becomes known and usually encountered by most users of the social media platform they use. This blog will research how businesses and celebrities feed off of trends in social media to gain publicity and popularity, as it is becoming a major part of marketing and self-branding within the world today. Like waves, trends rise and crash as new ones always emerge, and I like to call this action of following the trends and using them for publicity advantages “riding the trend wave”.
The first example we will indulge into is that of MLB superstar Noah Syndergaard. The pitcher for the New York Mets has become a household name both on the mound and off as he has become a Twitter and Instagram phenom as of lately. His posts are generally comedic and are very timely with trends. Whether it is making memes of himself or making fun of a teammate or current event, you can always find him active on Twitter with a lot of fan support. His most recent post that blew up was an Instagram of himself at the Cincinnati Zoo, in front of the gorilla statue, wearing a fashionable tie-dye “RIP Harambe” shirt.
If you don’t comprehend anything that was just stated you probably haven’t been on social media within the past two months, but Harambe was a gorilla that was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in late-May and has caused an uproar on social media. Through these posts, Syndegaard has quickly become a fan favorite as a celebrity, not just an MLB player. He has recently cracked the top ten in jersey sales showing his popularity, and a race horse was even named after him for the upcoming Kentucky Derby and is actually the favorite to win it all. He has clearly built a name for himself through social media as he now has hundreds of thousands of followers, and will continue to rise in popularity over time. This is one example of the many people and companies who promote themselves in various ways on social media and “ride the trend wave.”
- Here are some of Syndergaard’s recently popular tweets
Feel free to leave feedback through comments and subscribe if you want more stories about this topic!