Me after watching TikTok for an hour at work: “I’m researching trends.” No, but really. I think consuming content is one of the best ways to seek out trends. There’s more to it than just scrolling through your For You Page (FYP). This is just the gateway to creating trendy content, although you have to be consuming in the right places. For example, when looking for trends relevant to a spa, I won’t be scrolling through the explore page on a furniture company’s profile because of ~you know what~ (the algorithm). What I mean by this is that as you use separate accounts, the algorithm begins to learn your behavior. When you’re consistently using niche hashtags and liking content from within your industry, the platform learns this behavior. It will continue to serve you content within the niches you engage most in. This is super important to remember because this means that when you start using one account to look for content in industries that aren’t connected to you, things can get quite messy. The opportunity to use the platform for research can be lost because of this lack of focus on the target industry. The moral of the story is to protect your algorithm and interact within the niches that your profile is in!
Now of course there are mainstream, extremely viral trends that can apply to anyone. I’m looking at you, Corn Boy (S/O to @recess_therapy) but there are also industry trends. When I am looking for inspiration in popular types of content within a specific niche, I consume content from that profile on the Explore or For You pages, industry hashtags, or through their target audience. Instagram is unique in the world of trends though. We already know that all social platforms feed off of each other, but Instagram might take the cake on lack of originality. (Sorry IG, love you still!)
For years, we’ve seen screenshots of tweets go viral throughout IG months after they were posted on Twitter, now we watch TikTok trends mold IG reels weeks after going viral on our FYPs. Keeping this in mind, I can scroll through my TikTok and watch what sounds and trends I’m seeing over and over again. Just as I’m getting tired of them, that’s when it’s time to take it over to IG. There was just a TikTok trend a couple of weeks ago talking about how late reels are to trends. (What is going on in the house of commons?)
Once I find the perfect trend, I take the Reel or TikTok sound and brainstorm ways that I can apply them to the specific account I was researching for. Is this an opportunity to educate? Or entertain? In reality, there are tons of ways to follow IG trends. You can read articles and newsletters and even follow trend forecasters, but my hot take is to consume. Now, all that isn’t to say that I don’t still read what our industry is talking about (S/O to you Hootsuite) I think this consumption method is all-encompassing, from articles to the Explore/For You Page, social media requires you to be immersed in all aspects.
~ Lauren Mason, TWS Social Media Manager