Social media platforms can be a powerful tool to connect with audiences, build brand awareness and promote upcoming events. But they can also be unpredictable online spaces that can turn inexplicably in the space of a few days, hours, or even minutes. Topics that may have been loved or unknown yesterday can become infamous social media memes overnight, and often for the wrong reasons.
Analysing these shifts can help understand how to manage and market your own content, and hopefully avoid any major social media faux pas. Here are my top three love-to-hate trending topics on social media.
Yes, Coleslaw. What began as a lone blogger’s opinion on Tumblr quickly spiraled into a wave of hate for the cabbage-based cuisine. Within hours it quickly achieved a meme-like status and had spread to other social media platforms, including Twitter. While some bloggers have avidly defended the consumption of coleslaw, the majority of posts have been on the hateful end of the spectrum.
What we can learn from this meme is that social media can’t always be explained. Even the most innocent of victims, such as a humble salad accompaniment, can become the subject of strong public hatred, despite the fact they may have done nothing to encourage such a hostile response. Having a strong crisis management plan in place can help to manage negative feedback when it strikes.
How to Eat Cole Slaw: 1. Throw it in the trash.
— Weatherman Cam?? (@TakeemEscobar) June 10, 2015
2. Beyoncé’s Big News
When Beyoncé began publicising her big announcement there was a lot of speculation on what it might be. A new tour, a new album, a new baby? The bubble was burst when Beyoncé’s heavily promoted Good Morning America appearance was to tell the world she was no longer consuming animal products and has gone vegan. While it’s certainly an important decision within her personal life, hyping it up to such great heights left a lot of her fans feeling disappointed and even manipulated. If you’re using social media to publicise a big announcement or event, make sure that it actually IS a message that will interest your followers, or you might find yourself facing a Beyoncé-level of backlash.
Beyoncé dropped a whole album and collection of videos like a thief in the night but wants to make an announcement about her diet ? ???? — • byrd (@The__Prototype) June 8, 2015
3. RIP mX
The end of the free daily newspaper, mX. While there were some who vocalised their happiness that the paper will no longer pollute carriages and seats across public transport, many readers were outraged about the discontinuation and took to social media to air their sadness and final farewells.
In a world that is driven by mobile media, it would appear to make sense that News Corp has decided to cease publication and funnel the savings back into their paid publications. But for a lot of commuters, mX was a free tabloid perfect for flicking through on train rides home when the smartphone battery is drained from a long day of heavy usage, and will be sorely missed by its fans.
— Scott Dima (@sdima_07) June 12, 2015
Authour: Rebecca Matthews writes for MegaphoneOz and is currently studying Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.