by Matt Staudt

How to Use Trending Topics:

You just have to scan your news feed to see that there are so many articles, people, hashtags, events, and world happenings trending on social media all the time! Now that you know how to find them, how do you truly leverage them? Trends can open the door to new demographics and keep you in the social media know! So let’s take a look at how you can leverage trending topics!

Where to Find Them:

Twitter has been on top of trends for a while now. Their home page lists trending topics that are worldwide, nationwide, or specific to your industry. Although the trending topics on Twitter are real time and constantly updated, just be aware the reason they are trending is because they are only the most talked about. This means celebrity nonsense can sometimes clog your trending feed.

Google+ just started getting into the game of trending topics in late 2011. To be honest, it’s not really the best system. They bury the ability to search for trending topics on Google+ by making you type it in the search bar, and then you have to clarify you’re searching for trends specifically. Google+ has some sound ideas with their social media platform, but it’s the little things like this that keep it from being utilized by the general public. They try and make up for it by giving users the What’s Hot option in their news feed (shows you Google+’s version of what’s “trending”). However, you have no idea how Google decides what’s hot! It’s a mash up of a bunch of posts that have a lot of plus 1’s. The bottom line is that Google+ has a lot of issues to work out when it comes to trending topics.

Facebook knows trends! They do a great job of making it easy to see various types of trends that you can filter by various topics, such as politics, technology, entertainment, and so on. They are located right on your home feed and change in real time. They also collapse stories that have the same subject, so you can see each individual website that has released something on the topic. This makes finding the right source for your own content easy.

How to Use Them:

Now that you know where to find them, how do you make the most of these trends? Utilizing trends is not a one size fits all operation. You want to make sure that your industry has something to do with the trending article you are about to write or repost. If you’re just sharing trends because they’re trending, it won’t do much for you. In fact, it can hurt you if your users feel they aren’t getting the content they want or find relevant.

The most important factor when using trending topics is to make sure you’re entering the conversation, not just yelling over people. Find a particular “spin” on a story and relate it to your business or company. Say something about the topic that hasn’t been said. For example, if you run an educational website, look at trending science and technology topics and tailor the story to your demographic, or ask a question to promote engagement.

Lastly, make sure you are using the correct tools so that your story gets seen. Use an appropriate title or headline that clearly identifies the topic, but also lets the audience know you have something interesting to say about it. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags so that your post will come up when people are searching for that topic! Throw in some other relevant hashtags people aren’t using to draw in an audience from a crowd who will find what you have to say interesting, but might not have seen the news yet.

Trending content can open doors if you know how to use it properly. Are you having problems utilizing trending content? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help you out!