Timing is everything.

In the weeks before we were scheduled to publish a new issue – our first of 2021! – featuring an expansive story on social media, and naming Meme Mania as one of the New Year’s top trends, a certain mittened, masked meme went viral.
    The original picture, snapped by Agence France-Presse photographer Brendan Smialowski, featured Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sitting alone in a folding chair outside the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day, arms and legs crossed and wearing a winter coat, mittens and mask.
    Immediately, the Internet took this photo and ran with it – “grumpy Bernie Sanders” was cropped into images from iconic movies, popular destinations and more. For a few days at least, it seemed like everywhere you went, a Bernie meme was sure to follow.
    We conducted a poll on Instagram Stories asking if your boutique was participating in this trend. Overwhelmingly, 80 percent of respondents said yes. . . and we had fun sharing some of your memes. The social-media lesson here is to always remain aware and alert, ready to jump on new trends. Businesses that posted a Bernie meme during peak mania saw unprecedented engagement. Today, just a couple weeks later, it might barely garner a reaction – and you’d definitely appear embarrassingly late to the party.
    Social media evolves rapidly and staying on top of it is no easy feat. I hope our package, beginning on pg. 30, provides inspiration. In future issues, we’ll do a deeper dive into many of the identified trends. March/April, for example, will explore setting up a social commerce shop in detail (trend #1!) as well as provide our suggestion for the best platform to use.
    In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy our first issue of 2021 – and some of those creative Bernie memes!