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Because trends come and go, trend tracking may not always seem worthwhile to your brand strategy. But trends represent opportunities – to connect with your audience, and more. Let’s look at two recent events to illustrate our point.

The Grammys

Given the current climate of the entertainment industry, in light of the #TimesUp movement, it’s not a surprise the Grammys would be criticized for an overabundance of male nominees and winners. (#GrammysSoMale)

Our Grammys Live Pulse revealed a number of emerging topics – among them “calls for,” “resignation” and “female executives.”

These conversations are a direct response to Recording Academy President Neil Portnow suggesting women “step up” if they want the industry to be more balanced.

CNN’s tweet reporting on Portnow’s statement got the most impressions in the days following the broadcast.

There are two lessons to take away here:

  1. It’s important to track conversational trends with popular events like the Grammys – if for no other reason, it’s a great way to understand your audience on another level.
  2. Trend tracking doesn’t stop. CNN’s tweet happened nearly a week after the show aired, getting more than 39 million impressions. This topic is still alive – i.e., bigger than the event that inspired it. That’s crucial intel.

Put another way, though the Grammys may not have a direct connection to your brand, there’s an opportunity here to understand the rising tide of viewer emotion – and use it to build a deeper relationship with your audience.

This is something our client UMG Nashville does well. Because they represent a diverse group of artists, they need to track and understand several audiences, and the segments within each.

They use NetBase social listening tools to find out what their audiences know about their artists, what they believe, and then use that information to fill in the gaps. At the same time, they use trend tracking to go beyond the artist-fan relationship, and understand what drives their followers overall.

It’s not just Carrie Underwood’s music her fans love, for example – it’s her commitment to fitness and her workout clothing brand. That made sharing her fitness playlist on Spotify the perfect idea to connect to her audience in a new and authentic way.

Super Bowl LII

At press time, the Super Bowl was still a couple days away, but part of tracking trends is predicting where they’re headed. And there was plenty worth exploring on social media leading up to the big game.

Not surprisingly, Philadelphia was a major geographical hotspot on our Super Bowl Live Pulse – making now a great time to connect with this part of the country, especially if you’re rooting for the Eagles.

Jumping over to our Instant Search tool we see a number of hashtags worth diving into as well.

The larger conversations are about the two teams playing the game, the game itself, and the host city – but there’s also talk of Justin Timberlake’s half-time show, and the post-Super Bowl episode of This Is Us, where fans of the show will get the answer to a long-time question.

Given that most of the conversation on the topic of the Super Bowl is generated by men (65%), it’s worth looking at the conversation surrounding JT and This Is Us to see if those are inroads to engaging the women in your audience.

Brands monitoring trends during the game want to be sure they understand everything viewers are interested in – from the game itself, to the half-time show, commercials, and post-game coverage.

And remember, the conversation doesn’t stop when the game ends. Stay alert to expansions of these topics, and the ways they continue through the days following the game. Don’t let yourself miss an opportunity to engage your followers on these popular topics if they let it be known they care.

Care enough to celebrate or commiserate with them. And keep tracking trends so you know what’s next.

Want your own Live Pulse to tracks trends for your brand? Reach out and we’ll show you how it works!

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