Everything in 2018 moved quickly – and a lot happened.

England gained a Duchess, Trump’s administration separated children from their parents, a Thai soccer team were rescued from a hiking trip gone wrong, student’s marched for their lives, and a raccoon climbed a skyscraper in Minnesota.

What all of these have in common is that they were all trending topics on Instagram 2018, things that spiked the public’s interest and went viral.

If these are the stories people are interested in, the ones they are looking at and becoming invested in, then you need to find a way to tap into this interest to get more likes on Instagram.

It’s not a good idea to be blatant about it, or in anyway seem like you’re using popular or timely topics for your own personal gain.

However, there’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on something people are already invested in.

Celebrate

For example, if it’s a happy event, such as Prince Harry marrying Meghan Markle, find a way to incorporate this in one of your happier or more joyful posts.

If you’re a company selling anything celebratory – champagne, flowers, etc. – an image with a caption congratulating the happy couple would be perfect.

Users interested in the royal couple would likely ‘like’ your post just because it relates to them.

Think Of The Children

A clothing brand aimed at children or teens could easily incorporate a caption about supporting student welfare and safety and the hashtag #marchforourlives.

Any of your followers who advocate or support the March For Our Lives movement is probably going to click ‘like’ and then suddenly your post (and brand name) is appearing in all of their followers’ Explore pages, as well as bumping your post higher up on your own followers’ feeds.

Gratefulness and Adventure

The Thai soccer team that got trapped in a cave could have been capitalized on by any sports of adventure types of company.

When the team was rescued by the Navy SEALS, a post recognizing the Navy’s rescue, the dangers of hiking and the happiness at the boys going home safely would go a long way in getting extra likes and boosting brand awareness.

As for the Raccoon…

Some trending topics aren’t as serious as boys being trapped in a cave or changing gun laws in America.

The world can get so serious that it can seem like a terrible place, this is where animals on the internet come in.

A large chunk of the online population loves cute animal videos.

Every so often one will come along that wipes the floor with the rest – and a raccoon climbing a skyscraper is one of those times.

It’s lighthearted, it’s fun, and if you can tie it in with your brand, it’s a great way to try and get some extra likes on your Instagram posts.

Perhaps you have your own line of beer – a photo of a raccoon holding a beer with a witty caption about relaxing after a tough day conquering Minnesota could be a winner.

Anything humorous tying together a raccoon with your brand is likely to get additional likes just because it’s a trending topic and people are invested in hearing about it.

Using timely events to promote your own brand isn’t selfish or crass, it’s smart.

People want to hear about how your brand relates to the world today.

Instagram is a tight-knit community and so users are hungry to see how you relate to the rest of the world.

Using trending topics is a great way to do this, so always keep your eyes open for a way to tie in your brand to what’s going on in the world today.