What is a “Twitter trending topic”?
A ‘twitter trending’ is a hashtag driven topic that becomes popular and crowd-pleasing at a given point of time. A topic becomes a trend either when people put combined efforts or because of any event/situation that makes people talk about a thing.
Twitter uses an algorithm to determine these trends. It finds out popular subjects on the basis of people you follow and your location. At a particular time, you will see only real time trends – not the ones which were well-known a while ago.
These topics will help you in understanding things that are happening around you and what are people’s opinions about them. Nowadays, it is very common to see people discussing the same thing at the same time. Twitter identifies these popular keywords and phrases, and lists them in the top 10 topics on your homepage. They are very helpful when you prepare strategies for your twitter account’s growth.
On the left hand side, you can easily find these topics and even customize them if you wish to see the trends outside of your network or a specific geographical location. For example, if you wish to find what is trending in the entire Asia, you can select the location for the same.
As these trends are categorized as hashtags, they are clickable. They lead you to a pool of tweets where those hashtags are used all over the world.
How does Twitter decide these trends?
Now that we know what is a Twitter trending topic, you might be wondering how Twitter decides what topics are worthy to be kept as a trend.
The Twitter trending box is quite interesting. It is different for everyone out there, even if the option for seeing global trends is chosen. The filling of this package changes from hour to hour, from person to person and from location to location.
Most of the topics in the trend section are those that go viral within the first 10 minutes. As the algorithm is all numbers and jargons, we have simplified the things that are acknowledged while selecting a trend. Let’s have a brief look!
1. Globally active hashtags –
These can be hashtags related to topics that impact an entire country or the entire world. Generally, when looking at global trends, you will come across topics that do not interest you. In the Twitter trending box, change your location to ‘worldwide’. You will see a box of stuff – in multiple languages too.
2. Hashtags used by popular celebrities/accounts –
You might have noticed that the tweets made by celebrities, politicians or business tycoons go popular in just a blink of an eye. The people who have thousands or millions of followers can influence others easily.
3. Customized trends –
Twitter makes it sure to find out the things that are popular in your city, shows you what is relevant and what might be important to you. It might be an event happening in your city or situation that affects the people residing in your area.
These trends are also modified by the kind of content you post, the tweets that you interact with and the hashtags that you search for.
4. Topics used by truckloads of people –
This is generally the most prevalent criteria used to fill up the Twitter trending topics. When thousands of accounts tweet about the same thing together and share their combined opinions, Twitter takes it to be something that can affect people in general and declares it as a trend.
5. Paid trends –
Yes, it may happen that the trends you see are not organic or an idea of what is actually trending on the platform. Like promoting accounts and tweets, trends can be promoted too. You’ll know when you come across a promoted trend – it will be flagged as promoted with the label of the company promoting it.
6. Keywords matched with news articles –
Twitter does not only take the topics on its platform to identify a trend, but also the important things which are happening in the outside world. When articles about a topic are shared a lot of times, twitter looks for keywords which are common in them, finds tweets which are relevant and make it a trend.
Including trending topics in your Twitter strategy
It is now crystal clear that tapping into the Twitter trending topics is a great thing if you want to create engagement on your account and also to share your opinions. But the thing that comes to mind after finding a trend is “How can I use it to my advantage?”
A quick and rapid action is required as soon as the trend pops up. There are certain tips and tricks that you can adopt to incorporate the trending topics in your Twitter strategy.
1. Accompany the fun:
If the trending hashtags do not exactly relate to your niche category, you can still join the play after doing some research. A somewhat clever or an insightful tweet can attract people and make them engage with your account.
You might have seen big and popular brands tweeting about random topics every now and then. Making people interact with their content is the exact reason behind it.
2. Go further the default top 10:
When you open the trend section, change the settings to view other popular hashtags related to your niche. The default hashtags that you see are trends customized for you according to your area or actions taken in the past.
By discovering the trends of different locations, it will be easy to find out more ways to interact with your target audience located in those regions. In case you are a local business, you can keep the location limited to your area.
3. Forecast trending topics:
Can you do that? Absolutely! If there are any big events coming up, such as national championship games or any celebrity weddings, it is easy to anticipate what kind of content will go popular.
This can help you in forming crisp tweets in advance and you will only have to post them when the hashtags actually come up in trend. This will save you the time of thinking about what to tweet and take quick actions as soon as the hashtags appear in the trending section. Also, you can keep a track on weekly recurring hashtags and find the ones that relate to your audience.
You can even schedule posts in advance by using a social media scheduling tool, so that your tweet will be live as soon as the trend begins!
4. Hang in for the correct match:
Twitter trending topics keep changing very frequently. You will notice new hashtags in your trending box everyday or even every hour.
When you are ready to start tweeting on the trends but do not find any suitable hashtag that can provide value to people, do not rush. Wait for sometime and pick up the one that is relevant to your brand as well as your target viewers.
5. Cross channel tactics:
Even by jumping in the trends only on Twitter, you can grow your following across all social media channels. After finding out the right trend and picking out your target audience, you can take the advantage by running a contest. For example, you can ask people to follow you on all of your social media accounts, tag their friends to participate and give away free goodies in return.
6. Showcase your values:
Connect your brand values with what is trending. There will be a lot of times when the trending topics will be related to your brand’s vision. Show when you are taking part in any social activity or doing your bit for the nation.
It will help people to understand what you stand for. You can make simple heartfelt videos or take images and put it up on your profile along with a strong message.
Things not to do while following a trend
- Avoid using hashtags that you do not understand properly even after doing research on them. An alien hashtag can make you end up in a disaster. Tweet only about the topics which are familiar to you.
- Do not tweet about sensitive or controversial topics. These can be related to politics, religion or national tragedies.
- Never consider spamming the trending topics. Find out what will add value to the conversation between you and your audience.
- Do not always try to sell something. People know when you are doing that. Following trends and tweeting on random topics can help you in having genuine conversations with people – who can convert into customers automatically in near future.
How to make your topic trending on Twitter?
- To make your topic a trending one, think of the topic that you can talk about and find out keywords from it. Use those keywords as hashtags in your tweet.
- Make sure to use the hashtags which are easy to remember and spell. Avoid using more than 2 words or a maximum of 20 characters in a single hashtag. You can capitalize the starting letter of each word to provide clear distinction and make people understand the hashtag at the first glance.
- After creating a hashtag, start tweeting at least a few times a day and include your hashtag 2-3 times in a tweet. Invite people who might be interested in that topic and ask them to retweet.
- You can also use other social media platforms to invite people to join the hashtag. Approach only those who are genuinely interested in the topic. Ask them to share valuable information about the particular topic.
- Provide constant updates related to the hashtag that can not be found anywhere else. Tweet regularly and keep each tweet unique. Post about any events or activities that are happening by targeting people of a specific geographical location.
- Use a friendly and fun tone for writing your tweets. Make your content informative and interesting at the same time. Ask relevant questions, answer queries, and have a personal approach.
- Collaborate with influencers to make your hashtag popular in no time. Influencers have millions of followers count. Thus, when they share, leave a reply or retweet your content, people will engage with it very quickly.