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Social Media Blogs & Tips for Small Businesses

Why Pop Culture Should Be Part of Your Social Media Strategy

Updated on December 5, 2022
5 minute read

You're doing amazing, sweetie.

Published March 29, 2022

Where there’s a pop culture moment, social media content follows.

And lots of it.

Heidi Klum as a worm. The viral corn song. Julia Fox’s “uncah jams.” The #Krissed phenomenon.

Even the most obscure pop culture moment can trigger a social media landslide. 

And in 2023, it’s not only meme accounts and fan pages who are harnessing the power of pop culture. It’s brands and businesses of all sizes, in all industries. 

Three instagram accounts sharing pop culture memes.

Take language-learning app Duolingo, for example.

Could anyone have predicted a content strategy that culminated in a proposal to pop singer Dua Lipa? 

Likely not, but here we are. 

The pop culture party is in full swing, and the guest list knows no limits.

But bringing the right balance to your strategy requires a certain amount of awareness and skill, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. 

We're sharing how to make it work for your brand, below.

6 Ways to Bring Pop Culture Into Your Social Strategy

With the right creative spin, almost any brand can sprinkle pop culture into their social media.

Here are six different ways to get started:

  1. Use Images or Videos to Make a Meme

  2. Use Trending Audio to Create a Reel or TikTok

  3. Curate a Roundup of Reactions

  4. Share Your Take in a Tweet Treatment

  5. Add Some Pop Culture Lingo to Your Captions

  6. Go Live and Share Your Commentary

six ways to use pop culture in your social strategy

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Tactic #1: Use Images or Videos to Make a Meme

Pop culture memes are a social media phenomenon. And for good reason. 

They’re relatable, shareable, and the perfect format to introduce and test pop culture content with your audience. 

Unsure how to find your take on a trending meme?

Think about what your audience typically loves — or loves to hate — in relation to your industry or niche. 

For example at Later, our audience of social media managers and creators share a collective distaste for rearranging their content calendars. 

That pain point paired well with Mary J. Blige’s Superbowl sign off:

Remember, memes don’t have to be complex. Sometimes the simplest ones hit the hardest.

FYI: Later is a social media scheduling tool trusted by over 4M creators and brands. Plan and automatically publish your Instagram posts with Later — create an account today:

Tactic #3: Curate a Roundup of Reactions

Collecting a roundup of reactions to pop culture moments is a classic approach. 

Think: Super Bowl commercials, Real Housewives, or Oscar nominations.

You can tweet your own thoughts in a Twitter thread, share your takes on your Instagram Story, or collect Instagram posts for an Instagram Guide.

Tactic #4: Share Your Take in a Tweet Treatment

Sharing a Tweet to your Instagram grid is an easy way to join in on a pop culture moment. 

Check out how brands like Girlboss, MONDAY, and Later all use this tactic:

brands sharing tweets on instagram

And the great news is, this tactic can work for any brand aesthetic.

Mismatched Instagram feed? See you never.

With Tweet treatments, you can customize the look and feel to suit your feed.

ICYMI: You can schedule Tweets with Later! Get Tweeting today.

Tactic #5: Add Some Pop Culture Lingo to Your Captions

Giving a nod to a trending topic in your captions is a subtle way to sprinkle some pop culture into your content. 

This could be as simple as incorporating a well-known catchphrase or throwing in a play on words. Even a good pun can go a long way. 

Word to the wise though, proceed with caution when it comes to your brand voice. Don’t sell your soul for a pop culture play — if it feels off-brand or inappropriate, let it live and die in the drafts.

Tactic #6: Go Live and Share Your Commentary 

Live-streaming during a major pop culture moment (such as The Oscars or The White Lotus finale) is a great way to share your commentary and connect with your community in real-time.

But if showing your face and going on Instagram Live isn't your thing, give live Tweeting a swing like Pringles did during the 2022 Super Bowl:

This tactic may not be the best fit for every brand, but when it works, it can really work.

Lastly, remember to read the room.

Not *every* pop culture moment has to, or should be, turned into social media content.

When it's right, including pop culture references in your social strategy shows your brand is nimble, relatable, and on the pulse.

In fact, according to a Magna Global study, “being involved in culture is nearly as important as having positive brand perceptions.”

Give these tactics a shot and see how your audience engages with pop culture content. It could be a major brand win.

Schedule all your social media posts (Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook) with Later today — for free.

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.

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