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What’s Trending? How Twitter Trends Serve the Internet

Marketing

25 Apr 2023 • 8 min read • The loomly team

What’s Trending? How Twitter Trends Serve the Internet

Twitter is one of the largest and most influential social media platforms in the world, with a diverse user base sharing and consuming content daily. One of the key features of Twitter is its trending topics, which highlight the most popular and talked-about topics on the platform at any given moment.

Twitter’s trending topics are constantly changing, giving users a real-time look at what’s happening worldwide. By keeping track of these trends, businesses and individuals can stay up-to-date on the latest topics and join the conversation, helping to increase their visibility and reach on the platform.

In this article, we’ll delve into the inner workings of Twitter trends, including how they’re determined, and how businesses can effectively leverage them to grow their online presence and reach.

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Popularity of the term ‘Twitter trend’

Twitter trends have become a ubiquitous feature of the platform since they were first introduced in 2008.

These trends represent the most popular and talked-about topics on Twitter at any given moment, providing users with a real-time snapshot of what’s happening worldwide. The popularity of Twitter trends has only grown in recent years as more and more users turn to the platform to stay informed and engaged.

Trends can arise from concerted efforts by users or cultural phenomena and have proven to be a valuable tool for on-the-ground reporting, as demonstrated during the 2020 Australia wildfires when users came together to raise awareness and organize relief efforts.

Twitter trends are aggregated based on the volume of people discussing a topic in their Tweets in a geographical location and how relevant it is to a user.

Twitter's on page trending section

This means a trending topic may not be displayed to a user with no interest in that subject. Likewise, a topic only relevant in San Diego or the United States may not be shown to a worldwide audience.

Twitter is a platform that thrives on current events, so real-time updates ensure that ‌trending topics are relevant and up-to-date. Trending topics are determined by an algorithm that considers various factors such as the volume of tweets, the recency of the tweets, and the engagement rates of the tweets.

Factors that influence what’s trending

  1. Volume of tweets: The number of tweets mentioning a particular topic is a major factor in determining its trendiness.
  2. Timeframe: Trends are determined based on tweets in a specific timeframe, usually within 24 hours.
  3. Location: Trends can vary by geographic location, as Twitter tailors trends to each user’s location.
  4. Engagement: Trends aren’t only determined by the volume of tweets, but also by the level of engagement they receive, such as retweets and likes.
  5. User diversity: Trends are more likely to appear if they’re tweeted about by a diverse range of users rather than a small group of individuals.
  6. Breaking news: Breaking news events or announcements can quickly become trending topics, especially if they have broad appeal.
  7. Influencers: The participation of popular Twitter users, such as celebrities or public figures, can help a topic gain traction and become a trending topic.
  8. Hashtags: Using hashtags can make it easier for users to search for and participate in conversations around a particular topic, increasing its likelihood of becoming a trending topic.

Marketers who use Twitter’s managed advertising can also purchase promotions for relevant trends.

Ad space in the trending section

In 2022, Twitter had an impressive following of 368 million users. With such a vast audience, buying ad space as part of your Twitter strategy can be an effective way for businesses to reach their target market and‌ trend on the platform.

One way to achieve this is by placing ads in the trending section on the Twitter feed or trending pages. Here’s a brief guide on how to do it:

  1. Set up a Twitter Ads account: Businesses can create an account on the Twitter Ads platform to access the advertising features.
  2. Choose the objective: Select the purpose of the campaign, such as promoting a tweet, increasing brand awareness, or driving website traffic.
  3. Define the target audience: Specify the target audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  4. Choose the targeting features: Add in the keyphrases, popular hashtags, accounts, and interests you want to target the campaign towards.
  5. Set the budget and bid: Determine the maximum amount to spend on the campaign and the bid for ad placement.
  6. Submit the ad for approval: Once the ad is created, submit it for review by Twitter to ensure it meets their guidelines.

It’s important to note that buying ad space on Twitter doesn’t guarantee a spot in the trending section. However, it can increase the visibility of the ad and‌ generate engagement and reach.

Twitter trends offer numerous benefits to businesses looking to grow their online presence and reach.

Here are some of the key advantages:

Increased visibility and reach

Twitter Trends offer businesses an opportunity to increase their visibility and reach on the platform. By participating in widespread discussion, businesses can tap into a larger audience and gain exposure to new users who have yet to discover their brand. This increased visibility can translate into new followers, likes, and retweets, which can help boost engagement and grow a business’s online presence.Twitter is the 4th most visited website in the worldIt’s worth noting that Twitter is the 4th most visited website in the world, with millions of users logging on every day. This means that businesses that are active on the platform and leveraging Twitter trends have access to a huge and engaged audience. 

Ability to join conversations and engage with users

One of the unique features of Twitter trends is that they provide a way for businesses to join ongoing conversations and engage with users in real time. By participating in trending discussions, companies can showcase their expertise, offer insights and opinions, and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.

Engagement at this level can help build a loyal following of customers more likely to trust and recommend the brand to others.

Opportunity to target specific audiences and demographics

Twitter trends can also be used to target specific audiences and demographics. This knowledge can then tailor their content and messaging to better connect with these users and increase the likelihood of engagement and conversions.

For example, if a fitness brand identifies that the trend #fitnessmotivation is popular among its target audience of young, active individuals, it can create content targeting that hashtag, such as workout videos or inspirational quotes related to fitness.

By targeting specific audiences and demographics through Twitter trends, businesses can also reach new potential customers from Twitter’s pool of users.

Improved brand reputation and credibility

Making timely and relevant content in line with trends is vital. Staying up to date with the latest trends and inserting their own branded content into the space can help businesses do the following:

  • Demonstrate to followers and potential customers that the business is knowledgeable and credible
  • Create a positive perception of the brand
  • Increase loyalty, engagement, and advocacy

Access to real-time information

Real-time information is vital for businesses to stay on top of emerging trends. Twitter has millions of users sharing and discussing topics in real time. By keeping an eye on trending topics, companies can quickly identify emerging trends and track the sentiment of their target audience.

Expand your reach by utilizing Twitter Trends

For example, a fashion retailer could monitor fashion-related trends to stay on top of the latest industry movements. They could then create timely and relevant content that resonates with its audience. Similarly, a tech company could watch technology-related trends to keep track of the latest advancements in the industry and adapt its marketing strategies accordingly.

Increased website traffic/profile visits

A business can gain exposure to a broader audience when it participates in trending conversations on Twitter. By providing valuable insights and information related to ‌trending topics, companies can attract the attention of interested users looking for more information.

As users engage with the business’s content and follow their profile, they may be more likely to visit its website or other online properties to learn more about the brand and its offerings.

Twitter isn’t just a social media platform for casual conversations and updates among friends and family. With 50% of its users consuming news on the platform, businesses can use the platform to grow exponentially by participating in a wide range of conversations on the social network.

Hashtags commonly trend on Twitter as a way of promotion by businesses

Here are some effective strategies for using Twitter trends for business growth:

  • Creating and promoting relevant content to trending topics on the platform: By watching Twitter trends, businesses can identify popular topics and create content that’s relevant and timely. This content can be shared on the business’s profile and promoted to a wider audience using Twitter Ads. Offering valuable insights and information on trending topics helps companies ‌establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and attract new followers.
  • Engaging with users and building relationships: Twitter is a social platform. Businesses can use Twitter trends to engage with users in real time. Content teams focusing on trending discussions and responding to user comments and questions can build relationships with their audience and show that they care about their opinions and feedback. This level of engagement can build brand loyalty and create a community of passionate followers who feel a personal connection to the business.
  • Identifying and participating in relevant hashtags: Hashtags are a powerful way to reach a wider audience on Twitter. Placing relevant hashtags related to their industry or niche leads businesses to participate in ongoing conversations and attract new followers. Hashtags can also promote branded content and events and help establish the company as a trusted source of information and insights.
  • Using Twitter Analytics to track performance and adjust strategy: Twitter Analytics provides businesses with valuable insights into their audience and performance on the platform. By tracking metrics such as engagement, reach, and follower growth, businesses can adjust their strategy and optimize their content for maximum impact. Twitter Analytics can also help companies to identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth.

Case studies: Twitter campaigns that trended

Two successful examples of Twitter campaigns that effectively used hashtags to get onto the trending section are the ShareACoke campaign by Coca-Cola and the TweetFromTheSeat by Charmin.

ShareACoke

As part of Coca-Cola's efforts to promote #shareacoke they created ads with the hashtag attached.

The ShareACoke campaign encouraged customers to purchase Coca-Cola products with their friends’ names printed on the packaging. The company then asked customers to share photos of themselves drinking the customized Coke bottles on social media using #ShareACoke.

This resulted in a massive social media buzz with the hashtag trending on Twitter. The company showed an increase in sales of 11% for products sporting the ShareACoke slogan, making it one of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent history.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Similarly, the ALS Association launched the Ice Bucket Challenge, an online campaign that went viral on social media in 2014. The campaign encouraged people to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and post a video of the challenge on social media using #IceBucketChallenge.

Participants were also encouraged to donate to the ALS Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The challenge was taken up by celebrities and ordinary people alike. Within a few weeks, the ALS Association raised over $220 million in donations.

  • Twitter advertising: Twitter advertising refers to paid promotions on Twitter that are designed to reach a larger audience and increase brand visibility.
  • Viral content: Viral content is any piece of content, such as a tweet or a video, that becomes extremely popular and is widely shared across social media platforms.
  • Sponsored posts: Sponsored posts are paid posts that are designed to reach a specific target audience and promote a brand or product.
  • Twitter threads: Twitter threads are a series of connected tweets that are published together and are used to share longer-form content or to tell a story.

Conclusion

Twitter trends can be an incredibly valuable tool for businesses looking to increase their visibility, engage with their audience, and stay up-to-date on current events and news in their industry.

By creating relevant content, engaging with users, and tracking trending conversations, businesses can build their brand reputation, target specific audiences, and drive website traffic and conversions.

Posting at the right time can also impact your ability to hit ‌trending pages on Twitter. With Loomly, you can schedule your tweets based on your audience’s timezones. If you want to tweet about the Superbowl, you can schedule your tweets to go out during half-time.

Alternatively, if you want to tweet about events in Sydney, you can schedule your content for when Australians are most active on the platform. Never miss an opportunity to go trending again with Loomly’s social media scheduling tool.

Additional resources about Twitter trends

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