It's the age of the internet. Today, the speed of culture moves faster today than ever before. It's tough to keep up, especially if you've got other stuff to do like running a business, raising a family, watching Game of Thrones, or all three.

That being said, if you want the utmost success in marketing your business, the importance of staying up to date on culture can't be stressed enough.

Why stay up-to-date on internet culture?

1. To capitalize on relevant, trending topics.

When a trending topic is relevant to your business, speaking on it in a timely fashion can be a big win for your brand.

A great example came during the showdown between hip hop artists Drake and Meek Mill back in 2015 (for more on this, here is a full timeline). In the heat of the exchange, after Meek Mill responded to Drake with a lackluster diss track, Whataburger tweeted this out.

It drove almost 100,000 retweets and had the internet going crazy.

2. To steer clear of cringe-worthy, out of touch marketing.

Staying current on internet culture doesn't just allow you to capitalize on trending topics, it allows for you to know when not to capitalize on them.

You heard that right. It's more important, particularly in the eyes of millennials and younger generations, to know when not to leverage a hot topic than it is to leverage every single one.

Too often, brands will post about something on social media simply because it's trending on Twitter or Facebook. If the content seems forced, it could end up making the brand look out of touch and inauthentic in the eyes of their audience.

If you can't add to the conversation in an authentic manner, it's better to not speak about it at all.

Which social media accounts to follow:

1. Daquan on Instagram. Personally, this is how I keep up with all trending topics and news. No matter the subject is, a popular internet challenge, a viral photo or meme, who won Game 3 of the NBA Finals or the latest celebrity debacle, you can trust that Daquan will cover it almost immediately on Instagram.

2. Beigecardigan on Instagram. This Instagram account is similar to Daquan.

3. Spotify playlists (Top 50, RapCaviar, etc.). Music is a direct look into popular culture, and there's no faster and more efficient way to see which songs are gaining traction than looking on Spotify. By checking in on these playlists regularly, you'll be able to stay up to date on which artists and albums are heating up at this very moment.

4. Snapchat's featured Stories. Food, sports, pop culture, music festivals, and more. These are all themes that Snapchat featured Stories will keep you up to speed on daily. To access this, open the Stories tab and scroll down past your friends.

5. H3H3 on YouTube. Ethan and Hila Klein are the couple behind the hysterical YouTube channel H3H3 Productions. The two often take what's popular within the Reddit community, and create videos surrounding those topics. Thus, H3H3 is a terrific way to keep a pulse on the more low-key side of the internet.

By spending ten minutes per day following these five accounts, you'll be a master of internet culture in no time.

Full disclosure: Some of the content created by these accounts may be vulgar or inappropriate. That being said, this is what people on the internet are talking about, so no need to put a filter on it.

What to do next:

The fun doesn't stop there. Next, you should:

  1. Follow the channels relatively closely.
  2. If you're interested in a certain topic, dive deeper into it with additional research. A simple Google or Twitter search should do the trick.
  3. After while, notice and trace the patterns.
  4. See where your brand can contribute to the conversation in a meaningful and authentic way. But remember, don't force anything.
  5. Repeat.

Today, the social media landscape is more cutthroat and fiercely competitive than ever before. One simple trick that will put you ahead of the competition is to post timely, relevant, relatable content; and the best way to accomplish that is by staying up to date on internet culture.

Published on: Jul 21, 2017