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Why Pop Culture Should Be Part of Your Social Media Strategy in 2022


By Jessica Worb

Published March 29, 2022

5 minute read

You're doing amazing, sweetie.

Last Updated March 29, 2022

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

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

And lots of it.

Bernie Sander’s mittens. Julia Fox’s “uncahhhh jams.” Bennifer’s iconic reunion. Drake's Certified Lover Boy. The Tinder Swindler’s enemies. 

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

And in 2022, 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

The pop culture party is in full swing, and — like the iconic Kardashian Christmas party — the guest list knows no limits.

Even the most unexpected brands are turning up the volume.

Like 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. 

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

And with the right creative spin, almost any brand can sprinkle pop culture into their social media. Here are six different ways to get started:

six ways to use pop culture in your social strategy

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. 

If you’re unsure on how to find your take on a pop culture meme, think about what your audience typically loves — or loves to hate — ideally 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 with Mary J. Blige’s Superbowl sign off = the perfect meme.

And remember, memes don’t have to be complex. Sometimes the most simple ones hit the hardest.

PSA: Later is a social media scheduling tool trusted by over 4M businesses, creators, and social media managers. Plan and automatically publish your Instagram posts with Later – sign up for free today:

Tactic #2: Use Trending Audio to Create a Reel or TikTok

Using trending soundbites for your video content is a low-effort, high reward tactic.

And the best part about this tactic is that there are always clips from popular movies and TV shows to choose from. 

With just one scroll on either TikTok or Reels, you’ll find viral clips from Legally Blonde and Love Island to music from Pixar’s latest and greatest.

There’s always a way to use the audio and put your own spin on it so it aligns with your brand.

If you don’t have time to manually find trending music, check out Later’s TikTok and Instagram Reels trend recaps. We update them with new trends weekly. 

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 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 pop culture in your captions is a subtle way to sprinkle some pop culture into your content. 

Think about what pop culture language would resonate best with your audience. 

This could be as simple as incorporating a well-known catchphrase or throwing in a play on words. 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 

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

If showing your face and going on Live on Instagram isn't your thing, give live Tweeting a swing like Pringles during the 2022 Superbowl:

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.

It's not always the time or place for your brand to get involved.

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.

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

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