How to Interpret Trends on Social Media

A trend is a topic, hashtag, photo, video or catch-phrase that is popular and current on social media. Knowing how to interpret trends can be an asset for any business that wishes to keep abreast of its target audience and customers’ interests. Trending also allows businesses to promote their products and services to the audience most likely to be interested.

Twitter’s Trending tab displays a list of the most popular topics currently being discussed on the social network. The tab is located on the home page and can be customized based on geographic location. Trending topics are compiled by an algorithm that identifies sudden spikes in popularity and combines this with how long it has taken for a certain topic to reach a given level of interest.

It is important to note that the algorithms behind trending are not foolproof. While they are designed to be accurate, they can be manipulated by people with specific agendas. This manipulation can take on a number of different forms, such as groups of people agreeing to make their hashtag of choice trend for a specific purpose or the deliberate use of bots to manipulate the algorithms in order to skew results. This has been a problem on the Twitter platform in the past, and the company has tried to adjust its system in order to avoid these types of manipulations.

In addition, it is important to note that just because a particular topic or hashtag has a large amount of traffic, does not mean that it will be trending. Twitter’s algorithm considers many factors to determine if a hashtag will become a trending topic, including:

While it is impossible for a business to predict what will be popular, it is possible to take some precautions when developing a marketing strategy around trends. For example, it is best to use a hashtag that has a clear connection to your brand or product. If a hashtag is too broad, it will be difficult to determine if it will actually become a trending topic and how much interest it might generate. It is also helpful to remember that social media algorithms favor videos with a high number of views, so it is important for your YouTube channel to have well-performing videos and new uploads that are relevant to the current trend.

Trends can be an opportunity for businesses to boost exposure and increase customer engagement. If a business can capitalize on a trending topic with timely and relevant content, it could help build its brand’s reputation as a thought leader in the industry. Moreover, the ability to generate a trending topic around a specific issue or event could give businesses leverage that can lead to higher prices for distribution rights, such as when Sony’s STARZ platform secured a season two premiere for the popular show Outlander.

It is also important for businesses to understand that breaking Twitter’s rules regarding trend abuse may result in account suspension. It is important for businesses to limit their content to topics that are relevant to their brand or product. Posting unrelated content can draw ire from Twitter users and harm their credibility as an authentic source of news.