Yeah, some people may “hate Twitter”, but it is a great tool to get exposure. People hate Twitter because they don’t understand Twitter. Twitter is like a never-ending news ticker. It’s what happening right now in real-time. At any given moment on Twitter, one can see what’s trending – what thousands of people are tweeting about. Yes, it’s gotten very political lately, but there are non-political people still on and using it.
What is Trending?
A word or phrase is “trending” when a lot of people are posting that word or phrase on Twitter. You can also see what’s trending on Google Trends — that’s the top search terms people are searching for at any given time.
Sometimes, it’s really silly and you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why something is trending. Usually it’s a celebrity, breaking news item, event, holiday, sporting event, awareness day/week/month, disaster, weather, traffic, an opinion, etc. It could be a #hashtag or a just a name or phrase. (Related: What is a Hashtag) You can plan ahead for holidays and awareness days by checking Calendar-at-a-Glance to see what’s coming up.
So how do you ride on a trend’s coattails?
Easy. Think of how your product, service or business can tie-in with the trend – spin your marketing message to go with the trend. Be creative and clever.
Basically, once you know your target market and what interests them, you can plan ahead to what’s going to be trending as well as take advantage of what trends on a weekly basis.
You’ll see hashtags like these trending every day:
- #MondayMotivation, #MondayThoughts
- #TuesdayMotivation, #TuesdayThoughts & #TacoTuesday
- #WednesdayWisdom, #WednesdayMotivation
Who Starts These?
Hard to say. Figure as you look at the world, Australia is waking up first. Someone there starts #MondayMotivation going with an inspirational picture and quote, then it takes off from there.
As the world starts waking up and people log on to Twitter to see what’s going on, more people contribute to the trend.
By the time Arizona is waking up, the East Coast has been tweeting for a couple of hours and that gives us a variety to choose from.
At night, however, you’ll see TV Shows and sports trending. Sports usually dominate the weekends. If your target market is interested in these, or if you can spin your marketing message to somehow seem relevant to the trending phrase, it will work.
The sporting events can represent: winning, power, teamwork, speed, agility, skill, training, etc.
You can view trends by geographic area.
Sometimes someone starts a hashtag that has nothing to do with anything like:
Notice that the first letter of each word is capitalized. Hashtags and not case sensitive, but it’s easier for the human to read it with the capitalization. They only use letters and numbers. As soon as you enter a space or symbol, it ends the hashtag.
Think — how can you spin a marketing message for your company with either of those hashtags?
You can create your own. Here’s some more info on hashtags.
Remember, It’s Trending in Real Time
Depending on the trend, it’s usually in real time. That means it’s happening now and if you miss it, you missed it. You don’t want to be “Johnny-come-lately”.
What’s really important is to see WHY something is trending before you take advantage of it. Click on it and read some of the posts. If a phrase or word is trending because of a tragedy, the best thing to do is offer support and compassion. You don’t want to offend anyone.
Trending hashtags are a great way to make your tweets seen by more people, increase your engagement and reach and ultimately grow your community. You do however need to know when it’s not worth using certain hashtags because the reality is, no one cares about your product when the rest of the tweet makes them think about the disaster that is occurring, they will just think of you as insensitive. ~SocialBro Blog
One of the most insensitive examples of this was when “Aurora” was trending a few years ago – and it wasn’t because of the Aurora Borealis, or a dress, but the shootings in Aurora, Colorado.
A word of caution also, when taking advantage of a celebrity’s misfortune — it may also look insensitive to make fun of them.
It doesn’t always have to be a hashtag. It could be a name or phrase. Over 1000 people need to be tweeting about something before it’s considered a trend. Note also that this screenshot is for United States Trends. If you are a local business, you can change that to your city. On the mobile app, it shows you the top 20-25 trends. On a computer, you’ll see less.
Having said that, an example is #NationalSmileDay. That’s an observance day. Just like awareness days, though sometimes silly, they do sometimes give you a nice gift that you can ride on its coattails.
At the end of each month I check these sites to see what’s going to be trending besides holidays and seasonal topics.
I publish a monthly guide of what’s going to be trending each month. Look for it around the last Friday of the month. Use it to plan and schedule posts ahead of time to take advantage of the trends.
These will also help with content marketing. For example, a few years ago I was working with a Scuba dive shop. November 11 is Veterans Day. The day before is the birthday of the U.S. Marines. I did an article on the history of the Marines and the Navy and when they started using Scuba divers. I wrote it a few days before and set it to publish on Nov. 10, in the morning. That day, “Happy Birthday Marines” was trending. I re-posted it later in the day while it was still trending.
Social Media can be a very powerful marketing tool when used properly. I can help you get set up, branded and optimized for search. Then we’ll put a strategic and tactical plan together to guide you in your efforts. Then we can have 1:1 training/coaching sessions so I can show you how to use the free tools to effectively market your business. Best of all, I can show you how you can manage your social media marketing in just 30 minutes a day!