By Emma-Julie Fox/ What are trending topics? From the point of view of the average individual, the answer will probably be something like, “topics most people are currently talking about.” For online marketers, however, Trending Topics refer to the top ten keywords Twitter users are currently tweeting about. They can range from current events to simple keywords people use to start conversations on Twitter. So, how can you use these trending topics for your Twitter marketing campaigns? Here are a few tips:

1.       Research Trending Topics

You can’t just go through the list of trending topics and then start using one when you tweet. Bear in mind that sometimes a keyword or phrase you see on the trending topics list carries a completely different meaning than what it usually does. To make sure you’re not using any of the topics incorrectly, click on each topic to see what it’s all about. This helps you find trending topics that have the most relevance to your niche.

Why is it important to choose only the most relevant trending topics? Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that the people who are interested in the trending topic you choose are also likely to take interest in what you or your business has to offer. If you tweet about non-relevant topics, you might succeed in getting people to follow you and even retweet your post, but there’s a slim chance of these people taking interest in your products and/or services. In fact, they might end up “un-following” you when they realize you don’t really offer anything they’re interested in.

2.       Create Content

Once you’ve chosen a relevant trending topic, create content that revolves around that topic. If you have an author or company blog, you can post the content there. Otherwise, you can post the content on your website. The good thing about creating content that revolves around a trending topic is that it helps you ensure that your content is current, thus increasing the chances of your target audience being interested in it.

Of course, you should always keep the usual advice about content creation in mind. Make sure your content is upbeat, fresh, interesting, and well-written. The topic you cover may quickly catch the attention of your target audience, but if the content itself is of poor quality, people are likely to leave your blog or company website as quickly as they came.

3.       Tweet

As soon as your content has been posted, tweet about your chosen trending topic and then add the link to your content. Make sure that your tweet is unique. Towards this end, you’ll have to check out the other tweets about your chosen topic and then craft a tweet that’s unlike any of the others. You should also make sure your tweet is just long enough to catch attention but short enough to give room for your link and possible retweets. More importantly, craft your tweet such that your followers will really be convinced to click the link.

4.       Ask for Retweets

To make the most of your trending topics strategy, you need to work on making your content go viral. The best way to do this on Twitter is to get as many retweets as possible. Of course, the most straightforward way of going about it is to ask your followers for a retweet. This can be as simple as adding “Please RT” at the end of your tweet. You could also post a quick follow-up tweet. Something like, “If you liked my previous tweet, please pass it on” should do the trick. Additionally, you could apply a few simple strategies to get your post retweeted such as using hashtags and tagging influencers in your niche. Not only does getting retweets get your link effectively spread, but it may even get your brand on the trending topics list!

NP Note:  Be careful about using this tactic too much as many tweeps find it a bit spammy. Reserve it for special, occasional use if you decide to directly ask for RTs.

5.       Repeat

You need to go through steps 1-4 repeatedly if you really want to benefit fully from Twitter’s trending topics. Why? Well, for one thing, your followers don’t go online at the same time each day. By the time some of them log into their Twitter account, your tweet could already have been buried under a host of other tweets. Maximize the chance of your tweet getting noticed by posting it at least three times in a day (early morning, at noon, and in the evening).

Bear in mind as well that trending topics change constantly, so you definitely need to check it on a regular basis to see if there’s a new topic you can use. In fact, there’s a chance you’ll find more than one trending topic that’s relevant to your niche at some point, so you’ll have to go through the process with each of those topics. Whenever your followers click on a niche-specific trending topic, you should make sure they see you there.

Bonus Tips

Localize – If your book or business largely relies on a local customer base (e.g. tattoo shop, restaurant, flower shop), then you’d do well to localize your search for trending topics. Right beside the Trends heading, you’ll find a “Change” hyperlink. Clicking on this hyperlink will reveal a pop-up menu that allows you to choose a specific location. Once you click on a specific location, you’ll see the topics currently trending among users in that locality. This should give you a good idea as to what topics your local audience currently finds interesting.

Limit – Create content and tweet about just one trending topic at a time. You may think you’re hitting two birds with one stone by discussing more than one trending topic in a single content and then posting a single tweet about them. However, doing that will actually only succeed in making you seem spammy and is generally considered bad form by Twitter users and online marketing experts alike. Discussing a single trending topic at a time, on the other hand, can help you establish a reputation for being an expert in your niche.

Before you start harnessing the power of Twitter’s trending topics for marketing purposes, you may want to do a bit of research on how Twitter’s algorithm “decides” on which topics should rank among the top trends. This understanding will help you decide which of the top trending topics related to your niche can best help you achieve your marketing goals.


Emma BioEmma-Julie Fox enjoys writing on subjects related to social media and SEO. She is writer at Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver based company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. To read more posts written by Emma please visit Pitstop Media’s Blog

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