Newsjacking, or creating social media posts that draw on current events and trends, can be a great way to boost engagement.
When done well, newsjacking can help you to draw in observers, spark conversation, and improve SEO.
It can also help your brand to maintain a modern, up-to-date persona. While newsjacking should never take up the majority of your social media presence (unless you’re a news organization), it can be a great way to add variety and vitality to your posts.
These tips will help you to keep your newsjacking posts tasteful and successful.
The key to newsjacking is to participate in a conversation about a recent event while it’s still happening.
These days, buzz about the latest trend or event rises quickly and falls equally fast. If you want your post to generate attention, you have to chime in while the topic is still hot. This means that you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the news. Keep an eye on the trending topics or hashtags of your favorite social media platforms, and don’t forget about traditional media outlets either.
For some big events, you can plan newsjacking posts ahead of time. Events such as big sports events, awards ceremonies like the Oscars, and national elections always draw a lot of attention. Planning posts related to these ahead of time lets you craft polished posts that will still leverage conversation in the moment.
Charmin created a great post for the Oscars. Planning ahead enabled them to create a high-quality image.
Stay True to Your Brand
Every day, there are dozens of stories that people care about. However, not all of these are going to make sense for you to comment on.
While crafting posts quickly is important, it’s even more important to make sure that those posts stay true to your brand and that fit within your target audience’s interests. Look for events that relate to the work you do. Or are you in a position to offer some unique insight into a popular topic? If your brand has a casual identity, you may be in a good position to make jokes about lighthearted news topics. The best newsjacking posts don’t just have something to say about a trending topic; they contribute to the public conversation in a way that no other brand could.
Pay Attention to Tone
When creating a newsjacking post, make sure that you’re always staying sensitive to the tone of a story. Any serious current event, such as a natural disaster that has lead to a loss of life, should be off-limits for most brands (exceptions being non-profits that are raising funds or promoting safety). Brands that have attempted to make light of serious situations have drawn a lot of backlash, and you definitely don’t want that kind of attention.
Kenneth Cole’s now infamous tweet trivialized a serious situation in Egypt to promote its clothes.
Written by content manager Meghan Woolley
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