Leveraging the Pokémon Go Trend: Do It or Don’t Do It?

Leveraging the Pokémon Go Trend: Do It or Don’t Do It?

Young woman listening to music and walking along the street
Does she love the song or did she just find a PokéStop?

Pokémon Go

Can you ride the trend and retain your authenticity?

You can barely open a web browser without reading an article about Pokémon Go. In so-called breaking news, we hear reports of Pokémon Go breaking Apple download records, an inadvertent Canadian border crossing by teens playing Pokémon Go, police safety tips, and even the furrowed brows of Pokémon Go players in a border town near North Korea. Facebook carries Pokémon Go parodies, my favorite being Dena Blizzard’s Chardonnay Go, which has been viewed over 22 million times.

What does this mean for you?

Well, it depends whether you are someone who is more likely to use the app or write about it. If you are on the hunt, it means that you’re wrapped up in the latest craze just like many others, whether or not you actually derive joy from it. (And hopefully you do, since those hours in the day are yours to love or waste!)

Should you jump on the latest fad?

Businesswoman looking at phone while walking.
Where will our devices lead us next?

If you are involved with marketing and social media, the common wisdom is that you should post and tweet about trending topics such as Pokémon Go because this is what everyone is talking about. It makes you sound current. You turn up in searches. People devour news about Pokémon Go and drive hits to your site. In short, done well, it can provide a boost to your group of readers or followers because they find you (first of all) and, once you’re found, find what you are saying relevant.

You know instinctively, however, that if you aren’t careful, leveraging the latest fad can also make you sound like a parrot. So you should not simply find what is popular in the news and blast it out to your networks. What we hate most as readers is how the media, many Internet sites and others simply repeat the same news over and over, without any thought into what they are reporting or writing. As a participant in the online conversation, you need to add your voice, or you risk losing it. Leverage, yes, but artfully and with a purpose that is greater than self-promotion.

Your own voice must shine through. You risk losing your readership by parroting others rather than adding value.

What can you add to the conversation?

If you are someone who is working to be savvy about how social media can help you communicate your value proposition, you need to view yourself from the perspective of those with whom you are communicating. You will be most successful if you can determine how the latest news topics – Pokémon Go and otherwise – and other subjects can help demonstrate what you offer to your target audience. How can you dissect or elucidate a relevant topic in a way that resonates with your readers (and, in a business context, your clients) and brings them value?

Used strategically and thoughtfully, adding some popular culture to your communications will make your own message not only appear more relevant but actually be more meaningful to your audience. 

This strategy works for anyone, whether you are an app designer, CEO, journalist or corporate lawyer. A dry article about the legal implications of Pokémon Go will not garner a wide audience, of course, but quotes from a privacy expert on a hip Internet site certainly can. Used strategically and thoughtfully, adding some popular culture to your communications – i.e, discussing the things people love, fear, share and want to read in their leisure time – will make your own message not only appear more relevant but actually be more meaningful to your audience. 

Anne Marie Segal is a career coach and résumé writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. She is currently completing her first book, on job interviews, which will be available in early 2017. To join her monthly newsletter list and receive a preview of the chapter on value propositions, please click here and write “Book Preview” in the comments section.

© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.
Image from Adobe Images.

2 Comments

  1. Blogging about the Pokemon Go craze or addiction did not benefit me. I didn’t blog about why I’m opposed to the game to drive traffic or to be socially relevant. I blogged about it for the same reason I blog any topic because it’s close to my heart.

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    1. Hi Layla, thanks for your comment, and you raise a great point. We should only blog about topics that are close to our heart, not to get page hits (which doesn’t work in the long run anyway, because your content runs thin and has no passion). That is, in fact, central to any writing that has any meaning for the writer and the reader. I don’t think these points of view are at odds, however. As I wrote in my post, “Leverage, yes, but artfully and with a purpose that is greater than self-promotion.” My point is that if you do not write about topics that are relevant to your readers – i.e., consider what is important to them when deciding how to get your larger message across – you may remain unread. My guess is that you already do this intuitively, because you are plugged in. Not everyone is.

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