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“What’s your [trend] of choice?” Current social media trends & government uses

Nov 22, 2022

Contributed blog by Ariana Donley, Social Media Manager at Government Social Media

Trends can change as quickly as ocean currents and, on social media, timing is everything. You may have seen a viral TikTok video about orcas (AKA, “killer” whales) even subscribing to trends

Since you can’t always believe everything you read or see online, I looked into it. It’s true! Orcas apparently have influencers, if you will, who begin certain behaviors that others in their pod adopt — and then eventually abandon. According to Discover Magazine, attacking boats is one of the most recent recorded trends, and quite some time before that, some orcas wore dead salmon as hats. 

To avoid being the socialgov who is behind on trends (or the orca who just found out about the so-last-season salmon hats), we’re updating our last trends blog today. For guidance on how to discover trending content on various social media platforms, visit our first blog in this series.

TikTok

TikTok’s Creative Center is interactive and allows you to browse trending hashtags, songs, creators and videos and filter results based on country, industry and time period (yesterday, last 30 days, last 120 days). 

Below are the top five trending songs currently listed at the time of publication of this blog (note: “yesterday” stats are the most recent you can pull):

  1. 6000 Degrees (AH HA) by $hyfromdatre
  2. Twerk Out by 75 Big Mac
  3. Hey It’s Me by BCD Studio (approved for business use!)
  4. Payback by CeeFineAss
  5. World Cup by iShowSpeed

Not surprisingly, the top five currently trending hashtags mostly pertain to the Fifa World Cup taking place in Qatar. Keep in mind, you can filter your results based on your industry! For example, you can view top trends for the Vehicle & Transportation industry.

The above screenshot is from the TikTok Creative Center depicting the top three trending hashtags as of November 2, 2022 with an arrow pointing to the “Add Industry” option to filter results.

With that being said, below are the most recently available top five trending hashtags (at the time of this publication):

  1. #worldcup
  2. #thanksgiving
  3. #qatar2022
  4. #qatar
  5. #worldcup2022

Social media trends often follow major moments in pop culture, like TV shows or movies. So, it’s no surprise that the prequel to HBO’s hugely popular Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, inspired many TikTok trends.

The HBO Max account on TikTok posted an interview between actors Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke and the sound went viral. Although the interview is about D’Arcy’s drink of choice, creators adopted the sound to their own needs. For example, a verified Singapore government account used the sound to educate followers about a $1.5 billion cost of living relief package. 

Reels

Reels trends typically have a lot in common with those on TikTok. Instagram’s Creators blog also shares a trend report periodically with more insight on how to join in on top trends. Spotify also maintains a trending playlist for Reels.

The last available trend report was posted on September 28th. Below is a quick summary:

  • New Days Of The Week: Snap pictures of your outfit each day of the week
    • Audio: NEW days of the week - abbyontheinternet
    • IG Creators Pro Tip: Link outfit details in description 
  • Shut Down Dance Challenge:  Choreographed dance to @blackpinkofficial’s new single
    • Audio: Shut Down - Black Pink
    • IG Creators Pro Tip: Remix Reels of friends/creators and try to sync the moves 
  • Don’t Worry, Daddy’s Home: Film yourself performing a skill that you’re good
    • Audio: Papi’s Home - Drake
    • IG Creators Pro Tip: Add a text overlay to provide context 

The New Days of the Week trend could be an easy one for government agencies to join in order to showcase the different jobs within your agency and the uniforms or outfits required to do those jobs. Not only would the trend give your community a behind-the-scenes look at your agency, but it could also help humanize your agency and give employees a chance to share their personalities.

Twitter

As of the time of this publication, here are the top five trending topics in the United States:

  1. Argentina
  2. #ARGKSA
  3. #TuesdayVibe
  4. Tunisia
  5. August Alsina

For more detailed instructions on how to check trending topics regularly and filter by your location, take a look back at this previous trends blog

Again, it’s no surprise that several of the most popular topics on this platform also relate to the World Cup. Have any co-workers who are obsessed with the sport? This could be an opportunity to snap a photo of them (bonus points if they’re in a jersey!) or ask if they’d like to share any photos from a watch party. Chances are, people in your community are also tuning in and would enjoy the opportunity to feel connected in this way to someone at your agency. 

Alternatively, #TuesdayVibe is the low hanging fruit on the list to jump on a trending topic and show your community what a typical Tuesday is like at your agency.

On TikTok, you’ll often see users add viral hashtags to captions, even when they have nothing to do with their video in an attempt to boost their content’s performance. During the 2022 Government Social Media Conference, a Twitter representative explained the importance of timeliness and relevance for tweets and encouraged socialgovs to only use hashtags to raise awareness about a cause or during live events. 

Facebook

In late October and early November, Meta began notifying users of its plan to consolidate creator tools and transition Creator Studio and Business Manager users to Meta Business Suite. 

The image above shows a Meta notification after logging into Creator Studio that reads: “You’ll be moving to Meta Business Suite in the upcoming days. We’re actively working to bring Meta’s creator tools together in one place. You can access all your content and data when you switch. After trying the new creator experience in Meta Business Suite, you can switch back to Creator Studio. Learn more about Meta Business Suite. Switch now.”

The planner area of Meta Business Suite prompts you to create content for upcoming holidays and observances. You can also download GSM’s interactive 2022 observance calendar for a wider look at the rest of the year. Want to be notified when the 2023 calendar is available? Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll let you know.

Gov’t uses for trends 

Some trends can be harmful to others, for example, the orca boat attack trend mentioned at the beginning of this blog. Trends can also be harmful on social media as some may have hidden meanings, offensive origins or trigger unintended feelings for your audience. 

So while it’s helpful to know what’s trending, always do your due diligence before committing time to content creation. This will help you ensure that a trend is both true to your agency’s voice and appropriate for your audience. 

When done right, trending content can help your agency gain new followers and connect with the public you serve in a more meaningful way.

When in doubt, having a support system of other socialgovs can make all the difference. Join the free GSM network or the Government Social Media Community group on Facebook to connect with other socialgovs who understand the delicate balance between trends and government. 

Meet the author


Ariana Donley

Social Media Manager–Government Social Media LLC

Ariana graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Human Rights. She spent several years in the TV news industry and also served the Birmingham Police Department initially as a Crime Prevention Officer and later as the first Public Relations Manager. She is passionate about GSM's mission and and enjoys the positive and supportive team work environment.


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