How to Track and Analyze Trends on Twitter
On Twitter, a single word, phrase, or subject which is discussed more than the others on the platform is said to be a trending topic. Generally, trending topics also become popular overnight either due to an event which prompts individuals to discuss a certain topic or because of a coordinated effort by online users. A trending topic is more likely to become a trending topic if it receives enough interest from users. Also, certain terms or keywords used in a tweet have the propensity to become trending topics. This happens when a company decides to implement a new advertising campaign or when an important update regarding an event is made available for everyone to see. It is thus important for online users to take note of these things so that they know when it is time to update their online status.
One of the simplest ways of keeping track of what is actually trending is by checking out the RSS feed of particular news websites which offer up-to-date information on specific topics. Some of the most popular among these include Google News, Twitter Feed, AOL Search, Technorati, and Yahoo News. Each of these websites, however, provides a different take on what constitutes a trending topic, so it may not be appropriate to follow the trends on all of them. For instance, Google News provides updated information only on the most recent developments on a particular topic and changes over time, whereas Technorati updates its subscribers with the latest technological trends. Yahoo News on the other hand, provides up-to-date information on global news stories, while AOL Search indexes national and international news stories.
Other websites, such as Delicious, contain a trending news list where users can check out what is being shared across the web in real time. However, Delicious has difficulty gauging long-term trends due to its short user interaction life. Users, therefore, are better off relying on third-party services like Technorati and Yahoo News to stay on top of what is happening in the business world. In fact, the rise of social media has created an environment where the definition of what is trending is more fluid than ever. Popular social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook allow their users to update their status and links through the click of a button. Since micro-blogging tends to have a shorter attention span than traditional news reporting, this aspect makes it more useful in monitoring trending topics.
As previously mentioned, the term ‘trending’ refers to those items that are gaining momentum as the days go by. The best way to keep yourself on top of these trends, then, is to monitor and track what topics to gain momentum, and then take steps to position yourself to capture these highly valuable trends. If you are looking for the next big idea, taking the time to read up on the most popular trending topics beforehand can help you get in on the ground floor of events which are about to happen. By getting in early, you can make sure that you are able to react quickly when the opportunity comes. Tracking the most popular topics and making use of trending indicators can help you position yourself to take advantage of these opportunities.
Another way to keep an eye on the trends is to watch the conversations going on within the platform itself. Twitter uses hash tags to categorize tweets and the most popular keywords in the search results. Hashtags are a great tool for tracking trending conversations, since they can reveal the most popular conversations taking place in real time. You can also view trending hashtags using third party applications, though this method does not allow you to accurately determine trending topics.
Finally, if you can’t wait for the end of the day, you can use one of the many trending aggregators out there to find the most popular trending topics out right before the sun sets. Most aggregators will take the first few tweets from their users and display them in a sidebar widget with a colored background and a button to subscribe. From there, you can browse through the top tweets in order to see the ones that are generating the most buzz around the clock. From there, it’s your job to take advantage and start tweeting about these hot topics in your own way.