What is it that actually makes a topic or keyword trend? Twitter defines a trending topic as one which receives a significant amount of mentions on Twitter within a short period of time. A short period of time can be considered brief for several reasons. First of all, within the context of Twitter, it occurs automatically – no special keyword phrases are required to create a trending topic. On Twitter, a topic, keyword, or keyword phrase which is being talked about a bit more rapidly than others is occasionally said to be a ‘trending subject’ or just a ‘trend’. Trending subjects also become popular on Twitter due to an occurrence which prompts folks to discuss a particular subject.
As previously mentioned, Twitter uses a hash mark (#) system to track trending topics. This hash mark system allows people to identify topics which are particularly popular on Twitter and to look into the most interesting aspects of those trends. In order to make sense of what is happening on Twitter, you need to take a look at the hash mark system. For instance, if someone searches for the keyword ‘car insurance’ on Twitter and then finds a lot of tweets about a single brand, that might be considered a trend. It may even be that particular brand is responsible for the overall popularity of that keyword in Twitter’s database – so that speaks rather highly of them!
As long as it is true that popular entities in the platform get a great deal of mentions, then the trend can’t possibly be fake. If people are genuinely talking about that topic, they’re not doing so because the platform holder or company behind it has a stake in the matter or wants to inflame the situation (as is sometimes the case). It’s important to bear in mind that Twitter isn’t a static entity; it constantly changes and grows in new and different ways. Thus, even if a trend becomes’real’ for a short period of time, it’s very unlikely that it will remain that way for the long run.
On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that emerging trends are being driven by genuine, meaningful factors. That said, it’s also perfectly possible for a trending topic to stay on top of the pile indefinitely by virtue of its staying power – especially given that there is now so much more content available for people to work with. In particular, contentgems have been playing an important role in the rise of several popular trends recently, as more people use content Gems to syndicate their own blog posts. This means that there is now a lot more ‘coverage’ for these trends, making them far more established in the eyes of the public.
However, locating truly helpful information about trends on Twitter is also a little trickier than it was before. Because Twitter now allows users to search for trends based on mentions, it has become easier for businesses to locate followers who are interested in the topics they’re covering. By using the #hashtag feature, businesses can also find out what types of conversations are being had about particular topics, and determine whether those interests could be profitable for their brands. The two aspects make trending a fun way for brands to learn more about their audience.
In the coming days, many brands will be looking for innovative ways to make themselves visible on Twitter. It’s already clear that the platform offers a great deal of potential, but brands need to work a little harder to leverage the power of Twitter. Tracking user-generated content, and engaging with followers through #hashtag tweets is a great start, but it will take a few clever developers to truly make Twitter work for a brand. But with the help of a reliable third party like uGC, it is definitely clear that Twitter will continue to expand its influence, even as it continues to face pressure from Facebook in the social media world.