In social media and internet marketing, the word “trending” refers to topics that are popular and getting attention. These topics can be anything from a movie trailer to a viral video or even a political debate. Understanding how to spot trends can be very helpful when deciding what topics or events to promote on your social media and online platforms.
Trending originally started on Twitter through the use of hashtags — words or phrases preceded by a # symbol that indicate topics related to a certain subject. Since then, many other social media sites have added their own versions of the trending feature. When a topic or hashtag becomes popular on one of these platforms, it makes the list of trends that appears on that site’s home page or in its “Explore” or “Trending” sections.
The algorithm that determines what is trending on social media sites takes into account several factors, including the number of people searching for or talking about a particular topic, how recent and widespread those searches are, and whether a lot of people are discussing it in real time. It also considers what else is currently trending, such as other hashtags or keywords, news events, and geographical areas.
Having a solid understanding of the algorithms behind these trends can help marketers and business owners plan effective social media campaigns and understand what is catching the public’s interest. This information can be used to create interesting and engaging content that will capture the attention of followers, which will then result in more engagement, shares and views.
The popularity of a topic can change quickly, and the algorithms that decide what is trending are constantly changing to match the needs of users. This is why it is important to always check the trends before committing to any type of campaign. It could be a matter of hours before a trend changes to something completely different.
When a campaign does make it to the trends, it is critical that the right message is conveyed in order to avoid being labeled as spammy or controversial. This is why it is important to have a clear and concise call-to-action and a unique hashtag that can be easily remembered and shared.
Some trends are also determined by geography, and can be a great way to target your online advertising efforts. For example, if your product has been trending in New York, it can be very effective to market it there using Facebook or Google Adwords.
Some critics have criticized the trending feature on Twitter for its tendency to give prominence to topics that are controversial or politically biased. They have also pointed out that there are ways to game the system, such as by coordinating a swell of posts with a specific hashtag. However, Twitter maintains that the feature serves an important public function and it is not going away. It has also made adjustments to the feature in recent years, such as adding a human curator who can manually override some particularly objectionable trends and limit the amount of time they appear in the trending section.