What is Trendjacking?

According to Google, “Trendjacking,” also known as “newsjacking,” is the opportunity to capitalize and exploit a current topic. It breaks the information or hashtags to strengthen one’s brand association with its core target audience, attract sales leads and generate profitable business outcomes.

I’ll break it down in layman’s terms. To me, trendjacking means three things:

  1. Posting content that revolves around a specific, trending topic in pop culture.
  2. Posting content that revolves around a more “macro trend.”
  3. Posting content that revolves around a trending style: format, challenge, audio, or structure of post.

Let’s start with posting content around a specific, trending topic in pop culture.

Let’s see if I can think of an example… hmmm… did anything happen recently that might fall in this category? Oh right, of course. “The Slap Heard ‘Round The World.”

The halflife of the Smith Slap has actually lasted wayyy longer than most of our recent “memeable” moments. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and see some other examples of trends that I have jacked and then I’ll dive into how you can implement this strategy into your content.

“The 50 Cent Super Bowl Meme.”

“The Jake Paul Viral Knockout.”

“The Aaron Rodgers Press Conference Answer.”

And of course… “The Island Boys.”

Each of these trends had a different shelflife. That Super Bowl one lasts MAYBE two days… but the Island Boys (sadly) lasted a couple months. Anyway, the reason I do this is because IT REALLY WORKS. In fact, my best performing posts are the ones that hit on a trending topic. For example, a couple months ago (and now still unfortunately), Pete Davidson was the talk of the town because of his new relationship with esteemed lawyer, Kim Kardashian. So, I did what every content creator was doing at the time: trend-jacked this viral photo with a real estate twist…

Actually, this wasn’t even original. I jacked this trend from @themortgagememe who jacked it from someone else… so it was kind of a circle jack. But, LOOK AT THE NUMBIES this did.

This work of art got over 21,000 shares and reached a quarter million accounts. I also picked up a couple thousand followers from this post alone. The best part is that it doesn’t even make sense and it’s not even funny. But, it caught a trend at its peak, it was super shareable and hyper-relevant.

So, how do you spot these trends?

The best way to stay informed is to consume content. Go on Twitter (see what’s trending), read the news, scroll through Instagram/TikTok and pay attention to what people are talking about. Try to keep in mind what shows are relevant, what movies are coming out, and what’s going on in pop culture, politics, and the world of sports. Show related content always crushes. I had a field day with Tiger King (back in the day), Squid Game, Succession, and Euphoria.

Now, I know most of you reading this don’t post memes everyday, so trendjacking for you might be more complicated than throwing text over a viral Kanye pic. BUT, trends don’t always have to be that specific and they don’t always have to be funny. 

This brings me to the second type of trendjacking, “Macro Trends.”

Think seasons, holidays, and the general “mood” of what’s going on. For example, November through December is Thanksgiving and Holiday content. March is always St. Patty’s Day, the NCAA Tournament, and a “Spring market.” April is April Fool’s, inflation, Easter/Passover, etc. A simple way to plan content around these trends is to literally look at a calendar and take note of the major holidays and events. 

(This post is an example from our content platform, where agents can brand and customize exclusive templates like this that are always hyper relevant.)

Of course, a trend you can always touch on is the state of the real estate market. We have been in a seller’s market for over two/three years now so a lot of my content has a general theme of frustrated buyer’s agents and listing agents living like royalty. Selfishly, I’m actually hoping this shifts soon because I’m getting tired of hammering the same jokes over and over again.

OK, now for the final part of trendjacking… jacking a specific STYLE of post. 

Yes, you can also trendjack the way things are posted. For example, in 2021 the “Red Flags” post style became popular. You may remember these..

Anyone who posted these probably got a huge engagement boost because it was trending at the time. Every content creator I followed posted some version of their industry’s “Red Flags” and it was really fun to follow. Try to twist these trends into something real estate related. As I mentioned previously, the best way to become aware of these trends is to consume content. If you don’t see what other people are posting you will have no idea what’s catching on.

Vertical Video Trendjacking

Of course, trendjacking takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to TikTok and Reels. The easiest way to trendjack on vertical video is to scroll, see what songs are popular, save the audio, and make it real estate related.

How do you find what’s trending?

If you go on TikTok or the Reels feed you will figure out what’s trending because you will notice the same filters, filming style, or audio used over and over again. The best trandjackers use whatever audio is trending and throw their own “niche twist” on it. Do this for real estate. BUT, I do want to warn you that people can tell when you’re just “doing it for the algorithm.” Make sure the content comes natural to you. Don’t force a Kardashian lip sync just because everyone is doing it. 

The master of TikTok trendjacking is Scott Betley aka @thatmorgageguy on TikTok and Instagram.The dude has over 700,000 followers on TikTok with a simple, but brilliant strategy. He scrolls through his feed, saves a trending audio, and throws a lender twist on it. In some videos he doesn’t even have to move or open his mouth.

I don’t think he ever misses a trend and he is unbelievably consistent. His business has exploded because of this content.

A realtor who also does this really well is Paige Steckling from Utah. She got 8 million views on one Reel for spinning around in a chair…

We interviewed her on our Over Ask Podcast to talk about her strategy definitely check it out!

The moral of this blog is that trendjacking works and I highly recommend implementing it in your content strategy. Surfing the viral wave of trending moments can really help you rack up views and gain followers. SO,  watch the Oscars, consume content, and jack away. But, don’t do it too much…because you might go blind. 

For more on Trendjacking checkout our IG course in Continuing Ed.