When a brand or product appears in trends, it’s usually because there has been a significant spike in search queries for it. Trends can be a powerful tool for increasing visibility, but only when they are properly understood and utilized. This article explores how trends work and gives some tips for using them in a marketing context.
Trending is an algorithmic process that identifies the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter in real time. It helps people discover new and relevant topics to talk about that are gaining popularity among Twitter users in the United States or a specific geographic area. There are approximately 10,000 tweets sent per second on Twitter, and each topic is analyzed by the platform to determine whether or not it is worthy of inclusion in the trends list.
To be considered a “trend” in the social network, a hashtag must reach a certain threshold of volume over a short period of time and generate at least a few thousand mentions from multiple accounts. There are several factors that can affect how a topic trend, and the duration of a trend. Twitter, for example, may impose restrictions on trending topics that appear too frequently or are inappropriate. Also, misspellings and inaccurate information can impact the results. For instance, when the #SanBernadino trend appeared on the trending list for a while after the shootings, it was due to a mix-up between the correct and incorrect spellings of the city’s name.
A trend can also be influenced by outside forces, such as the presence of competing hashtags or the use of the same hashtag in several different tweets. In some cases, the trends algorithm has been subject to controversy, particularly when it is manipulated by political activists or celebrities attempting to raise their profile.
As a result, many brands and marketers have come to distrust the trends feature in favor of their own analytics tools. However, the ability to see what others are searching for and talking about can be a valuable asset, especially for those looking to drive traffic to their website.
Google’s Trends tool is one way to get this insight, and it can be used by both businesses and individuals. While it may not have the accuracy of Google Analytics, it provides a great snapshot of what is trending in general. In addition, it allows for a more targeted approach when leveraging trends for marketing purposes. For example, instead of saying, “Use this hashtag; we want to trend,” a marketing team could give specific instructions (such as a specific target and time period) and even offer some sample messages to grease the creative engine. This way, there is more of an incentive to create a concentrated spike in volume. It is important to note, however, that there is no guarantee a specific hashtag will trend; it depends on the unique set of circumstances for each hashtag. Ultimately, the best way to leverage this information is to be strategic about your efforts.