In my last blog post, I discussed the significance of “#NBCFail” and “#Rule40″ and their impact on the social media landscape as of late.  The 2012 Olympics have affected the news, sports, entertainment and pop culture and have even influenced advertising and marketing on a global scale.  Throughout the Web and more specifically, social media, this year’s Games have recently become the most discussed topic amongst the worldwide Internet community.  However, the historic landing of the Mars Curiosity rover on Monday may have overshadowed the Olympics’ overwhelming social engagement levels and subsequently altered the focus of many online marketers and advertisers.

The official Twitter account of the Mars Curiosity rover has accumulated nearly 900,000 followers and the “#MSL” hashtag (a reference to the Mars Science Laboratory) is a top trend on the social network.  Additionally, the discussions of MSL on Facebook and Google+ are abundant and nearly 25,000 YouTube videos have been uploaded featuring MSL-related content.  For those in the digital marketing industry, the observation of such trends and the capitalization on their popularity is essential.

As my fellow WebiMax blog contributor, Bruce Rymshaw indicated in his last blog post, the relation of social trends to a brand’s own offerings allows for greater exposure in the mainstream media and raises brand awareness.  This summer, the Olympics and Mars Curiosity will rank amongst the top social media trends and businesses should definitely attempt to create original, useful and relevant content that takes advantage of these topics.

The utilization of trends goes beyond merely generating content, however.  Proactive outreach efforts can help to bring said content to the forefront of social media and search results.  Press releases, interviews with major news and media outlets and guest blogging opportunities allow business owners and marketers to reach a more diverse and much larger audience.  The resulting increase in brand awareness, online visibility and overall credibility is immensely valuable and is enhancing the roles of both proactive outreach and social trend utilization in digital marketing.