Social media’s wayback machine is much more than embarrassing photos from your childhood. Thanks to social media getting all nostalgic on Throwback Thursdays, everyone knows you once sported a mullet.
And while likes and retweets hopefully have replaced noogies and wedgies, your ridiculous fashion sense back then can lead to smart social media savvy today – and in the future.
#ThrowbackThursday, or #TBT for short, isn’t just about embarrassing photos. Here are some ways to capitalize from your past on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and beyond.
It’s called #TBT for a reason, so please wait until Thursday. Sometimes, it pays to go out on your own and create or modify another trend. Other times, it makes the most sense to piggyback on what already exists. #TBT stands for Throwback Thursday, so don’t do it on another day. Yes, you’ll find Wayback Wednesday and Flashback Friday and even Mothball Monday, but Throwback Thursday is the one you want to focus on. As I’m writing this a search of #TBT on Instagram yields nearly 234 million results. 234 million. Yes, you’ll be trying to compete in a giant sea, but competition is actually fun in social media.
Be creative. Those old Polaroids may be entertaining, but there’s more. If you are looking for a way to combine #TBT with your brand, consider:
Photos of your old website. Most people refresh their websites once every 2 or 3 years, some more, others less. But one thing we can all agree on is the Internet has changed a lot over time. Those blinking graphics and funny fonts might have been all the rage then and the bane of your existence now, but they make for great #TBT examples. Hopefully you saved some, or you could ask your fans if they have any saved in those secret folders.
Old advertisements/old menus. Brands with long histories can wow fans by showing them ads from decades ago. People can post old ads to coincide with the year they were born. Menus that show whole dinners for 85 cents make us shake our heads in disbelief. Either way, seeing something you aren’t used to seeing always brings back memories and makes for good sharing.
Music. There were no camera phones then, but surely you took a photo of a favorite cassette, album cover or 8-track tape. For some of us, CDs are just as big a part of #TBT as those other things. And who said #TBT has to be photo based? Try sharing a song on Spotify or Pandora, or tweet a quote.
Old business cards. You don’t just become CEO of Facebook, right? Well, actually you do. But you know what I mean. Every vice president of international development had a little cubicle somewhere to start. Those old business cards are not only cool they serve as a reminder of where you’ve been and potentially how far you have to go.
A recent photo. Remember: No one says #TBT has to go so far back. If you have a really good shot from last week or last month, go ahead and post it. Just make sure not to do it all the time, because variety is a social media user’s best friend.
Remember that trying new things is always encouraged on social media. If your #TBT this week gets one retweet and the one next week gets 20, you clearly know where you should focus your efforts. So throw it out there, see what sticks and, like the mullet example, learn from your mistakes.