6 Reasons to Use Pop Culture in Your Social Media Strategy

Brianne Fleming
5 min readFeb 29, 2020

Let’s go back to one of my favorite eras: the late ‘90s.

Imagine you’re surfing Internet Explorer on your dial-up connection, minding your own business as you research fansites, games, and chatrooms. Life is good.

Then suddenly, you’re assaulted by a flurry of pop-up ads coming from every corner of your screen, flashing sales and discounts for who-knows-what in your face.

You quickly try to click the X, but the stupid ad thinks it’s funny and moves across the screen as you hover.

I’m glad those days are over, but I’m afraid history is starting to repeat itself.

In the age of social media, many brands still have trouble adapting to the type of content their audiences expect and actually want.

With traditional media, like brochures, radio spots, billboards, or commercials, brands had one shot to get their message across. Their time, space, and budget was limited, so their marketing was straightforward and promotional. Its only goal was to make sure your audience knew about your company, products, and services.

This is pretty much the complete opposite of how social media works. We’ve said it time and time again — social media is not the place to plaster your digital fliers. It’s a place to be social.

Remember, social media started as a place for people to connect with friends and family. If you want your audience to add your brand to their feeds and social circles, you have to fit in and be a brand worth following. You won’t accomplish this if all of your content is promotional.

Instead, your audience seeks a brand personality that is entertaining, helpful, and relatable.

Popular Culture = Trending Topics

So if brands shouldn’t constantly talk about themselves, what else is there to say?

That’s where pop culture and trending topics come in.

If something is trending, that means people are talking about it. We’re tagging our friends, retweeting to our followers, or contributing original content of our own.

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Brianne Fleming

I write about brands and boy bands. Marketing and social media instructor at UF. Pop culture lover. Host of the Making the Brand podcast. www.briannefleming.com