One of the biggest challenges for businesses using social media is figuring out what the heck to talk about. You want to be relevant and participating in trending conversations can help you connect with your audience. Step it up a notch by offering a unique perspective on the topic and you’ll see your engagement soar.
What are trending topics?
Trending topics are conversations that are gaining steam right now. These could be surges on social media or could apply to larger topics that last for days and expand into a variety of mediums.
Let’s take for example Twitter’s Trends, which are determined by an algorithm and tailored to you based both on your location and who you follow. As I’m writing this post #RuinA90sBand, a game people are playing by spoofing band names, is trending on Twitter. This is an example of a quick trend, something that will last for a matter of hours, then die down in activity.
An example of a larger trend would be the story around the celebrity leaked photos, which created controversy around Apple’s security. This story lasted for weeks and was covered not only on social media, but also appeared on a variety of news sources, including the cover story of Vanity Fair with Jennifer Lawrence.
How do I find trending stories?
You might be surprised how aware of trending topics you already are. That being said, when you need something to post about right away, explore some of these options:
- Trends on Twitter – log into your Twitter account and look at the “Trends” box on the left side of virtually any page.
- Hashtag.org – Trending on Twitter – a list of the most popular hashtags on Twitter, ranked by trending up, trending down, and constantly popular.
- Trending on Facebook – Go to your newsfeed on Facebook and look for the “Trending” section on right side bar.
- Google Trends – Find trends in what people are searching for on Google
- Your favorite news source
How do I leverage trending topics & stories for my business?
If you’re just getting started and have limited time to spend, pick a source and find a trending story to share. #RuinA90sBand may not work for your audience, but you should find something that will. Make sure to use the appropriate hashtags so that you are included in the conversation. Bonus points if you respond to others using the same hashtag.
If you have a bit more time and want to work trending topics into your content strategy, figure out what type of stories your business can relate to and then seek them out.
Since there’s always someone getting married, let’s talk about the businesses that could leverage celebrity weddings:
- Wedding planners: Offer tips on how to mimic a look that a certain wedding captured. Before the wedding you might imagine how you would set the stage for that particular couple.
- Florists: Comment on the flowers that were used in the ceremony or what you would have done differently.
- Designer/dressmakers/fashion-focused businesses: Even if you aren’t a wedding-specific business, there is plenty to comment on between the bride, bridesmaids and even guest fashion! Talk about fabrics and cut – why was that style so flattering, or that hat not such a good choice.
- Hair stylists / hair product companies: Talk about the hair and give tips on how to get the same style.
- Make-up artists /cosmetic companies: Offer tips on how to recreate those smoky eyes or get the same dewy complexion.
- Photographers: Speak to why their pictures were so magical.
- Fitness pros: Give wedding workout tips to get the same toned arms as the bride.
I could go on, but you get the point. There are a lot of ways to spin a story into something that fits into your business. If you’re marketing to consumers leveraging celebrity happenings is an easy way to start using trending topics because you can plan ahead since there’s always a lot of hype to let you know what’s coming.
The celebrity angle won’t be right for every business and that’s okay. Figure out what is. There are endless sources you can tap into to keep you be relevant. If you need help figuring out how to use trending content for you brand, let me know. At Social Light, we love brainstorming!
Nicole Krug is a marketing strategy consultant specializing in digital brand management, social media, web development and email marketing. Since founding Social Light in 2009, she has helped clients hone their digital marketing strategies to bring more exposure to their brands and boost their bottom lines.
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