The use of social media websites has become so vast that a new word has been borne from it called 'trending'. Trending is when a topic or event is currently popular and being discussed online. So how does trending translate into more traffic for your website and more exposure for your brand? If you look to see what is trending you can find topics that make sense for your business to keep up with and participate in and in doing so, attract more followers to visit your website as they want to find out more about the topic being discussed.
So, where to start? Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your finger on the pulse.
- Use google trends to get up to the minute information on the latest Google search terms. Granted the website is predominantly US focused, but if your business is online and there is a relevant topic you can piggy back on them then why not? Visit: http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends and have a go at searching your own term and see how often it is being searched.
- YouTube is another tool to use to see what's trending and this can be done using their very own channel – You Tube trends. Browse through to find videos covering topics which are relevant to your business
- Twitter – once signed into your account (if you don't have one make sure you create one for your business immediately!) you can look at the bottom right hand corner of the screen to see what's trending. You also have the option to change the location and make the geography more relevant to you.
- If you really want to get serious about getting in on the action you can use a tool called Trendspottr, which is a new platform that allows you to search for trending terms within a topic, so you'll find results related to your business or interest. They offer a 30 day free trial, which enables you to search by different industries and see what topics are trending. Be warned though that they want your credit card details from you before the 30 day free trial starts (but the trial subscription can be cancelled at any time). Usual charge for this service is $99 per month, which is hefty if you'll only occasionally be dabbling in the world of social media trend watching.
- Use Instagram to find a trending hashtag that is relevant to your marketing strategy and participate by uploading images from your brand. If you know a topic is trending and you can somehow incorporate that into your brand using a photograph this will help get your brand out there to a wider audience.
- Whilst it's fair to say that LinkedIn users aren't generally as interactive as they are on other social media platforms there is still some merit in having a business page on LinkedIn and then using Pulse (their social news) to keep on top of what is being discussed and commented on. Again, if there are topics you can somehow make relevant to your business it makes sense to contribute here wherever possible.
Once you spot topics that relate in some way to what you do you can use Twitter, Facebook or even your own blog post to somehow incorporate the trending topic into what you want to say. On Twitter this is done using #HashTags but if you prefer, you could post an article on your own blog that features the trending term or has a link to the trending video and that will help your site to show up in other search results for relevant keywords. And that means you'll be attracting more targeted followers and getting your brand and company name out to people are want to find out more about what is being talked about online.
So, for example if you are a business selling predominantly health and weight loss products, it would be in your interest to know that World Weight Loss Day takes place on October 16th and therefore is likely to become a trending topic in the run up to October 16th and on the day itself (possibly even the day after). You could use this to your advantage by posting photos onto Instagram (if your business has an Instragram account for example) of people who have used your products and show before and after pics. Or, you could post onto Facebook and feature testimonials and feedback from your customers on how your products have helped them lose weight, being mindful to incorporate the trending term in your activity. You could also work with Twitter and tweet on the topic or post a video onto YouTube the possibilities are endless really! Another example could be for example that you sell a certain brand of coffee and know that a celebrity is coming in for a concert. What you could do is find a photo online of that celebrity and insert a caption saying something along the lines of "where can I get a decent coffee in this city?" and then include a link to your business and become a part of the visual community storytelling experience.
- Work hashtags into the context of your Tweets, or add them at the end of what you're saying to identify the appropriate topics and ensure that users who aren't necessarily following you, but are following the topic, can find your Tweets and social updates.
- Make sure your hashtags are informative, useful and relevant. Tie them into promotions or discussions when possible, and you'll find yourself earning hundreds of new followers with little additional effort. After all, it only takes a second to add a # to the great updates you're already posting.
- Avoid doing it over and over again so as not to look like a spammer
- Make sure you spell words correctly to make sure your posts get featured in what's trending
Trending Topics is a great social media tool to use in business because it helps you keep up to date with news and trends as they happen and if you act fast, you can get in on the action and have your piece of the pie!