18 September 2023 |

Lesson learned


Why relying on trending content to build a social presence is a fast track to burnout

Early on in my social media marketing career, I was hellbent on chasing trends and hijacking viral moments to grow the brand account on social. I’d spend inhuman hours on the timeline scouring it for content material. Hopping in on trends led to quick, noticeable growth.

And it worked.

Doing it in a way that was contextual to the brand (not hopping in on every trend) kept us out of trouble.

There was a problem though.

It’s exhausting.

My screen time was atrocious. And I started to feel the burnout creep in. Honestly, I’m still trying to dig myself out of a state of burnout (launching an agency and training for a marathon will do that to you… lol).

Scouring the feed for new meme templates, and keeping an eye on pop culture news I don’t really care about for the sake of identifying trending topics… it gets old, fast.

This isn’t to say that I stopped doing all of that. I didn’t—like I said, the approach worked well.

But the handful of downsides made it clear that there were gaps that needed to be filled:

  1. Basing your entire content strategy on trend-chasing is a fast track to burnout
  2. Hopping in on trends is great for intermittent boosts in visibility, but doesn’t always build a lasting relationship between customer and brand
  3. Trend-based content becomes irrelevant, fast. Your audience can’t really ‘binge’ your content if it’s all based on trends.

So what have we learned so far?

Trend-based content works, but you need something more.

Enter, evergreen content. This is social content that can be consumed regardless of when it was published. Its staying power is a few years, not a few days.

Now, evergreen content could be the topic of several posts. But being that this is a newsletter, and you likely don’t have 90 minutes to spend sifting through this piece, I want to highly 1 tactic that you can employ this week.

Series-based content.

Find a winning format. Pair it with an evergreen topic. Run it on repeat.

Let’s look at an example. There’s this podcast I’ve been loving called Founder’s Podcast by David Senra. I’ve recommended it a few times here in Social Files. Maybe you’ve seen it.

David crushes it on Twitter. And there are 2 types of content he leans on most of the time.

  1. He’ll share a direct quote from one of the biographies he’s done an episode on
  • He always leads with the subject’s name (this gives credibility to the post and gets someone to stop scrolling)
  • He always pairs the quote with a related image (helps boost engagement on Twitter/X)


  1. He’ll share a listicle of his takeaways from a recent research session
  • Quick bullets make it skimmable easy to read
  • He again leverages the subject’s name to invoke a form of social proof


Both formats are valuable to the audience and easy for David to run on repeat. He’s already doing the research for his episodes, so he has the quotes and lessons at hand. All he has to be is package them in a way that consumers on social want to consume.


What’s one repeatable series you can test in the coming month?

Pick a format you feel comfortable with. Pair it with an evergreen topic related to your niche.

This deep dive itself is another example of the method I’m talking about. I take a principle that works on social, and write a long-form deep dive on the topic, with a real example.

It’s easy for me to find examples, and writing is a medium that is easy for me. See how this works?

You want to create your social media strategy in a way that leans into the resources you have available to you, and in a way that doesn’t shackle you to chasing trends all day long.

Trends should supplement your company’s social presence, not be the foundation of it.