How to Leverage Trending Twitter Topics for Your Business

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Twitter hashtags add structure to social media conversations. In this guide, we show you how to use trending topics to your business advantage.

Twitter is the ultimate platform for trend-driven discussions. It has elevated the humble hashtag to such a high position that it can make or break businesses. Getting the most out of this powerful tool is both science and art. You need to research trending topics, post at the right time, and communicate with spirit.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of researching and using popular topics to grow your business. Let’s start by defining Twitter’s trending topics.

Overview: What is a trending topic on Twitter?

A Twitter trending topic is a topic of conversation that has rapidly gained popularity on the social network over the past 24 hours. This sets them apart as “trending” topics, as opposed to the merely common topics that people discuss on the platform.

Twitter identifies these topics by monitoring posts for common hashtags or phrases. If a particular phrase sees significant growth, Twitter will promote it in its users’ newsfeeds.

Twitter organizes these trends for individual users, based on the interests of the user and the accounts they follow. This personalization is still limited and the trends are similar for all users, but it’s worth considering for your Twitter marketing strategy.

Trending topics are how Twitter adds structure to what would otherwise be an overwhelming amount of information for users. Users can log in and quickly see what the world is talking about, without needing to piece it all together on their own.

Some are recurring trends, like #TacoTuesday or #FridayFeeling. Others are based on breaking news or regular posts that have gone viral.

For businesses, this offers a fantastic opportunity to join the conversation. No matter how many followers you have, the right tweet with the right hashtag can put you in front of a large audience.

How can you find trending topics on Twitter?

Trending topics are available through the Explore tab on mobile and desktop, while the desktop version of Twitter also includes trending topics to the right of the user’s News Feed.

Image of a desktop Twitter homepage, with the

The Twitter homepage offers several ways to access trending topics. Image source: author

These are really the starting point for further exploration of trending topics. You can search Twitter to see if topics related to your industry are trending, for example.

Twitter also organizes what it calls “Moments”, which bring together different points of view on a trending topic. Users can click on stories and a Moment drop-down will open for them.

You can also use social media management tools to dig deeper into Twitter trends. Many of these technologies use social listening to monitor Twitter and flag popular topics.

It’s usually a better way to stay ahead of trends, rather than reacting when they arrive in the main Twitter feed.

How to Leverage Trending Twitter Topics for Your Business

These Twitter best practices will help you increase your engagement rates with trending topics.

Step 1: Track Relevant Topics

It is important to engage on topics related to your industry to become a trusted authority. This helps establish credibility, which will give weight to your posts on hot topics.

Twitter now offers the ability to follow current topics, as in the image below.

Two screenshots of the Twitter mobile app, showing what Twitter topics are and how to follow them.

You can follow topics on Twitter to better understand your audience’s interests and participate in conversations. Image source: author

You can tap the “Follow” button in your feed when you see a relevant topic, or go to your settings to add new ones. It also helps you understand your audience and how they use the platform.

This is an overlooked aspect of social media strategy, with too many companies trying to jump on the trending topic bandwagon without making the effort to establish their presence first.

You’ll notice that Twitter is slowly moving away from its reliance on hashtags towards a broader understanding of topics. Companies that regularly post on these topics can also gain exposure when posting on trending topics.

Step 2: Use filters to refine your search

Trending topics are broad which is great for increasing your profile visibility. You can also focus on topics using a variety of filters. This will help you understand what content works best.

For example, image-based posts may attract more instant engagement, but text-based posts are better at increasing a brand’s follower count. It is also possible to filter to specific geographies to understand what attracts users to a local area.

You can find these filter options by clicking “Advanced Search” next to the Twitter search bar.

Twitter's advanced search options, including original post date and minimum tweet engagement levels.

You can use Twitter’s search options to figure out the best way to approach a trending topic. Image source: author

Step 3: Anticipate trends

Check your social media content calendar to see what events are coming up. Analyze what happened last year during these times. Then build your strategy around the trends that you know will return this year.

You may not know exactly how the trending topic will turn out, but at least you will have your content ready to be adapted and published quickly.

This is more difficult to achieve, but you can also try creating a trending topic. You can build your audience list and engage them before the hashtag launches. Influencers can also be very helpful in amplifying this message.

The key here is to get them to share the campaign. The content should provide value to their audience, as well as yours.

If you choose the right time and use a unique hashtag, it is possible to create a trending topic. It usually works best when your business has a cause to promote, rather than just a company slogan. In the latter case, paid promotion is the way to go.

Step 4: Join the conversation

Twitter encourages and promotes interactions, not just broadcasts.

Businesses can quote popular tweets to join already promoted conversations. It’s faster than posting new trending content, even if it means less control over the message.

It’s also a good idea to analyze Twitter Moments to see what kind of content Twitter uses in these longer posts. If your business can post similar content when new trends emerge, you could be featured in Moments.

If your message gets attention, respond to people, ask questions and create more value for the audience

Step 5: Tailor the topic to your business

You can write a hilarious Twitter post and get a lot of attention, but is it worth it if it doesn’t help your business in the end?

There should be some relevance to your business when trying to join a trending conversation. You have to be careful, too. An overly promotional message will immediately lose people.

If we look at the #ThrowbackThursday trend, we can see how some companies are using this weekly staple.

The tire manufacturer Michelin has shared images of vintage cars every week. These tweets were very popular and no one would doubt that the cars were the real attraction rather than the tires, but it’s a creative way to draw attention to the product.

Screenshot of the Michelin Tires Twitter account, with the hashtag Throwback Thursday and three images of a 1950s Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

Michelin Tires promotes its brand using a trending topic, without overemphasizing corporate promotion. Image source: author

Combine these forces creatively within your social media campaign. You want to get the brand name out there, but pushing the message too aggressively will have the opposite effect.

Step 6: Monitor engagement data

Twitter offers a wide range of analytics tools, which can be supplemented if you use a third-party tool such as Sprout Social or Buffer.

You can see how many times your posts have been viewed and how many people have clicked on your hashtag. Then compare that with industry averages that you can find using Twitter’s advanced search filters, as described above.

By using trending topics, you’ll get an idea of ​​what works and what doesn’t. Until then, these scan tools will be a faithful companion.

Make your business trendy

Social media management is a complex task. Conversations come and go quickly, giving brands limited time to make their mark.

By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can use trending Twitter hashtags to your advantage.