How to Track Popular Trending Topics on Twitter
Twitter has a powerful tool for researchers who want to know what the public’s thoughts on a given subject are at any given moment. Twitter refers to a topic, term, or even word that’s being said in a quicker rate than other topics being discussed – or even just being spoken – on the social networking site. When someone mentions a topic on Twitter and there are thousands of others talking about it, the topic becomes a trend. Trending topics get even more attention either due to a single event that causes people to discuss a given topic or simply because of the public’s general interest in the topic. Researchers can take advantage of this power when they understand how Twitter works.
Twitter’s unique ability to allow its users to create trending topics makes identifying trending topics an important part of a researcher’s job. Twitter takes into account what people are saying about a given topic, which can include anything from comments made by other users in the Twitter chat room to mentions made by public figures. Because of this reliance on public input, trends can be easily determined based on what people are actually saying. This allows a researcher to determine what conversations are helpful or harmful, which helps them determine which trends to follow and which ones to ignore.
The best way to use Twitter for trend detection is for a researcher to look specifically for trending topics and use Twitter’s search function to find out what other people are discussing. In order to find out what people are talking about, you have to realize that trends aren’t always predictable. A given topic can have plenty of support among its followers but may still be falling prey to random chatter. By monitoring trends on a daily basis, a researcher can find out what other people think about a topic and if that topic is falling victim to a particular trend, they’ll know to monitor that trend to ensure that it doesn’t fizzle out before other people start talking about it.
To make your research easier, you can access Google Trends to see what other people are discussing. Google Trends will give you a fairly accurate idea of what people are talking about at any given moment, though it won’t show trends based on your personal information. Instead, you should focus on popular keywords associated with your topic, then search through Google Trends to see how many searches were performed for each word. If a majority of the searches show a trend towards that word, that’s a good indication that people are talking about that topic and are likely to continue to talk about it.
Additionally, you can use other tools to find out what twitter trending topics are currently trending across the internet. Hashtags are short phrases that can be used to describe topics on the Internet. Popular hash tags will become important tools for tracking conversations on various topics because these tags will become prominent in search results. Digg has recently launched Digg Polls, which will allow a user to see what their followers are discussing so you’ll get an idea of what a trending topic is.
One final way to track trending topics on the web is to watch the twitter posts and tweets of those you follow. For example, if you are following the twitter feed of Someone Important, you’ll want to check out what they’re tweeting about on a regular basis. What seems to be happening regularly is the development of YouTube videos that talk about the trending topics of the day. Google+ and Facebook have both introduced video sharing applications that are focused on video and social media marketing. Using these services, anyone can view what someone else is “tweeting” or “talking about” and easily get a sense of what is popular and what other people are reacting to.