This article was originally published on The Huffington Post Blog.
Pokémon Go has swept the universe in ways that not even its most optimistic developers could have fathomed. Since launching on July 6, the mobile game has amassed more than 30 million downloads, shattering records as brands try to figure out how to monetize from its popularity.
Chances are you’ve seen someone playing the game, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. The sight of people walking with their head down, swiping up and down their phone — the classic Pokémon-catching motion — has become commonplace across America. The game is played in bars and coffee shops, along riverfronts and hiking trails, even at schools and offices.
The unprecedented success of Pokémon Go hasn’t only caught the attention of nostalgic Millennials reveling in the rebirth of a childhood obsession, but also Corporate America. Within weeks of its launch, McDonald’s announced a partnership with developer Niantic. With a $7 billion value dangling from its neck, you can bet other corporate heavyweights will be shaking the money tree as well.
The question is: should your business enter the fray?
While your brand might not have the financial resources to partner with the game, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it into your marketing strategy. In fact, you would be foolish to not at least consider the possibility.
Social media has leveled the playing field, giving brands of all sizes a chance to tap into the energy surrounding this type of trend. Even if Pokémon Go is not relevant to what your brand does, you can still create interesting content. Countless companies with seemingly no natural tie to the game have already found clever ways to relate it to their own business.
Best Buy created a Pokémon starter kit consisting of extra phone batteries, beef jerky and more. M&M wants you to spend more time focusing on catching its colorful characters. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office used social media to raise awareness about the dangers of playing behind the wheel.
While posting on social media is free, it’s not necessarily a zero-risk proposition. Most brands (or their agencies) rightfully spend a good amount of time brainstorming ideas because, one, it isn’t that easy and, two, poorly constructed posts can actually have an adverse effect on their reputation.
There are examples daily of brands rushing posts during the apex of a trend’s popularity, only to be called out for a mistake in logic or execution that makes it appear misinformed, lazy, or tone deaf.
Before posting about Pokémon Go, get informed about the game and spend an appropriate amount of time considering how you can relate it to your brand. And don’t forget about adding a visual component; posts that contain an image or video are much more likely to perform well.
For more social media tips or strategy, contact the Internet marketing experts at Rebuild Nation. Our creative team is ready to help you tap into the hype surrounding Pokémon Go and every future trend that consumes the social universe.