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Pop-Culture Potential: A Brand Guide

Pop-culture is a quick moving, not-so-well-oiled machine, it can be actually quite chaotic, but that’s the world we live in and you better be ready for the ride!

Keeping up to date with the latest trends is a job in itself and who really wants more work hours? However, with Gen Z as the up-and-coming generation of well, everything, it’s important to note what they enjoy in relation to social media content from brands. So, that’s who we’ll focus on for this lesson specifically. Let’s get into it…

First Things First: Pop-Culture – The Lesson

Whether you’re still in school or in the working world, welcome to Pop-Culture 101. Learning what pop-culture actually means is the first chapter in this lesson.

What is ‘Pop-Culture’?

Pop-culture includes an array of current trends, it’s everything from what’s the latest in music, celebrity appearances, TV shows, movies, trends on social media, memes and GIFs, you name it. If it’s current, popular, and trending on any socials, it falls under the category of pop-culture.  

Still not quite getting the full picture? Let us provide some examples.

  • Did you see Harry Styles got his lion ring back that he lost at Coachella?
  • Did you hear Taylor Swift received an Honorary Doctorate from NYU?
  • Did you see Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker got married? AND had three weddings?!
  • Anyone else excited to see Part Two of Stranger Things 4?
  • Three words: Maverick, Mustaches, and Great Balls of Fire (Guess the movie?)
  • Read any copy with the following emojis lately? ✨ 👀 🤧 🙌

Each of these represent a piece of pop-culture (mainly at the time we’re writing this). You see a plethora of pop-culture references if you scroll through any social media site, but what about this could be important to brands?

Why Should Brands Care?

Take it from us, it does NOT have to be all business, ALL the time. Social media gives anyone and everyone, including brands, free range to express themselves.

As a brand, especially with a younger target audience, adaptability and relatability are two important factors that play a part in connecting with your audience. Yes, displaying your products, services, whatever it may be is a large part of what you do on social media. That doesn’t have to go away, but an additional layer can come into play here.

Being relatable to your audience ropes them in and keeps them wanting more, but more importantly builds a trust and connection with your audience. Seeing brands in the loop of the latest trends shows users you’re listening, you care, and you want to be the best brand you can be for them.

Building a trustworthy, relatable brand persona is just as important as the high-quality products or services you offer to them. It really does come down to “knowing your audience.”

Let’s Talk Twitter

Twitter is a platform that users come to for entertainment, updates, and conversation. These users are not afraid to be genuinely themselves, including some unfiltered comments (that may or may not hurt your feelings).

According to Twitter, “nearly half of all Tweets sent over the course of the year in the US came from Twitter users aged 16 to 24.” Let me rephrase that, nearly HALF of ALL Tweets in ONE year from the US came from JUST Gen Z users on Twitter. Not only do they contribute to the majority, but they’re the ones starting the trends and continuing the momentum.

So, when you’re scheduling next month’s content and you click the little blue bird, channel your inner Gen Z (or grab the nearest one). Is this content going to appeal to them? Will this start conversation? Can we continue the conversation with them once it begins?

For a more visual representation, let’s check out some of these brands that took pop-culture into consideration in their social media strategy on Twitter:

McDonald’s:

Short, sweet, simple, yet relatable! McDonald’s took their brand and put a pop-culture twist to relate to their audience. The phrase “didn’t have to go that hard,” was popular for quite some time between several social media sites. Round of applause, Dons.

Oreo:

Oreo really brought astrology into it… Heard of an astrology girl? Oreo sure has. Astrological conversation has been on the rise and obviously being noticed. We wonder what Random’s Oreoscope would be… Mission accomplished.

DiGiorno:

DiGiorno, a brand we all know and love in the grocery aisle and at home. DiGirono takes their Twitter to the next level with a constant humorous tone. They consistently reply to Tweets that may relate to their business and keep their audience entertained while drawing them into their account persona.

Now, after seeing how brands put this thought into action, it may make sense, it may not. But the main takeaway here refers back to knowing your audience and how to scale your brand on each platform.

It’s important to note – Twitter is just ONE platform of many that brands need to consider when it comes to trends and being relatable to their audience. If we were to outline each platform, this would be a novel, not a blog post.

The Latter

You may be asking yourself, “how in the world am I going to keep up with these trends?” Yes, trends change like Cher from Clueless, but there are few things you can do to try and keep up with the latest trends:

  • Explore Pages: Both Twitter and Instagram have what are called “Explore Pages.” These pages show relevant posts to the user and what’s trending. These pages are great ways to see what users on the platform are currently talking about and will spark some ideas for your next post.
  • TikTok: Click “create account,” (if you haven’t already) and start scrolling the For You Page. It’ll be full of the latest trends, sounds, effects, influencers, and more. This is a great way to see what your audience is creating and ignite your next TikTok brainstorm.
  • Follow Accounts: There’s a plethora of agencies and companies in the marketing business that love to help others learn the latest of social media. By following these accounts, your home page will be filled with the newest information. Next to that, follow accounts that might update you in a specific niche of pop-culture. There are news stations, social media start-ups, foodie accounts, even influencers themselves. By following accounts like these, you’ll keep in the know while having entertaining content on your own feed.
  • Hashtags: Notice hashtags, explore trending hashtags, USE HASHTAGS. Hashtags are key to getting noticed and staying relevant.

That’s a Wrap

Well, we’ve come to the end of Pop-Culture 101 *Insert disappointed ‘awww’ audio*. We know, we know, no one wants to leave quite yet. But we have a lot of work to do! We look forward to what the future holds when it comes to brands and their pop-culture references.

We’ll leave you with some inspiration: Harry’s House is off the charts, #JusticeForJohnny, Obi Wan has made its way to Disney+, find us on TellerTok, and we kissed Pete Davidson goodbye from SNL.

With that, you know you love us, XOXO Random (Your first pop-culture reference test 😉)