Twitter Trending: How a Hashtag Could Reach a Worldwide Audience

Linda Andress Linda Andress November 02, 2020
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There are billions of active users on social media like Facebook and Instagram right now, ready to engage. Twitter is an especially great platform for interacting with a target audience. Businesses and entrepreneurs use it to reach a brand new crowd — no matter where they are in the world. Keep reading to learn about Twitter trending, how to become a part of the live conversation.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Trends on TW?
  2. Who Cares What’s Popular on TW?
  3. How Does TW Decide What’s Trending?
  4. How to Find What Is Trending on TW
  5. Using Trends in Social Media Marketing
  6. Examples of Our Favorite Hashtag Campaigns
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

Trending Topics 101

Topics

What is a trending topic? These topics have gone viral and gained lots of popularity in a short amount of time. Trends can be about a news story, pop culture event, or holiday. Or it can simply be viral content that people are interested in. Twitter displays the top ten by default, but browse through more subjects depending on the likes and dislikes. Trending ones allow the potential for more visibility for Tweets when using hashtags and join the conversation.

Who Cares What’s Trending on Twitter?

A user may or may not identify with every subject even if they are aware of what’s trending on Twitter. However, finding those relevant to a business can aid their marketing efforts online.

When doing research and strategize well, using hashtags in Tweets can help:

  •     Increase a Tweet’s visibility and gain new followers
  •     Improve audience engagement and interact with the community
  •     Get more conversions on a website when the URL addition to the Twitter page

What Makes a Trending Topic? Exploring the Twitter Algorithm

Twitter Algorithm

How does Twitter decide what becomes a trending topic? The Twitter algorithm studies the feeds of Tweets to find steep spikes in a topic’s popularity. They want momentum that was gained in a day, rather than a month. Twitter uses these analytics to determine the Trends seen, based on interests and what is more likely the individual will interact with.

Trending Twitter subjects are those that:

  •     Have gained popularity in a short amount of time
  •     May be specific to a region or community
  •     Are based around a news story, holiday, or event

Exploring Trending Topics on Twitter

Twitter makes it easy to locate Trending topics regardless of whether it’s on the desktop site or the mobile app. They give multiple ways to access them — via the homepage, the profile, and the Explore tab.

How To Find Trending Tab From a Desktop

When scrolling through a Twitter feed on a desktop, follow these easy instructions to find out what’s Twitter trending now:

  1. Log in to the Twitter account with the username and password.
  2. Navigate to the main Home page.
  3. View the trends to the right of the feed in a section called “What’s happening.”
  4. Click “Show More” to explore more that are trending in the area.
  5. Browse through various categories to find specific ones.

Also, navigate to find hashtags by clicking or tapping the # icon on the desktop. This leads to the Explore tab, where there is a personalized feed of topics.

How To Find Trending Tab On The Mobile App

If using the mobile app to scroll through Twitter, follow these instructions to locate the trending hashtags and subjects section:

  1. Log in to the mobile app.
  2. Tap the search icon toward the bottom of the screen.
  3. Browse through items in the area.

How to Get Trending: 8 Useful Tips on Hashtag Research

8 Useful Tips

Before using these to a brand’s benefit, first, do some hashtag research. To introduce a branded hashtag to potential customers, create a thoughtful strategy for using it. Check out these useful tips to successfully get trending on Twitter in the US:

1. Create A Hashtag That’s Unique And Easy-To-Use

To successfully represent a brand, the hashtag must stand out among other US twitter trends, targeting something close to people’s hearts like privacy or current news. Think of something that’s short and simple, so it’s easier to use within a Tweet’s limited characters.

2. Try Using Built-in Audiences

Built-in audiences allow a grouping together people with something in common. It can be age, gender, or location, but it can also encompass common interests or an event that everyone is attending. Use this to target messaging even more, and contact others.

3. How to Use Hashtags on Twitter Using a Variety Of Media

Humans are visual creatures. It is visible by looking at the engagement on posts with a photo or video. Use these exciting forms of media to add more to the Tweets. Engage followers with gifs, videos, infographics, and other types of media.

4. Provide A Clear Call To Action

Be strategic in what is asked of an audience. Give them a specific time frame or reason to use the hashtag. Even provide a few sample messages to help them understand the purpose of the conversation.

5. Consider the Timing

When learning how to use hashtags on Twitter, it is important to think about the ideal day to use the hashtag, as well as the best time of day.

Also, consider whether there is another popular event going on that could compete with the trend.

Using Twitter Trending Topics for Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

In 2020, Twitter is a platform full of people ready to engage, so it’s a great place for marketers to promote. However, there’s a right and wrong way to portray a business. Use Twitter Trending topics to a brand’s advantage by sparking the right conversation with the target audience.

Check out some quick do’s and don’ts for using Trending subjects in social media marketing:

Trending Topic Do’s

Depending on the industry and what’s currently popular in the charts, Tweets can potentially reach new people! To get started using these in marketing efforts, keep these tips in mind when conducting any marketing analytics:

1. Show the Exact Hashtag or Phrase

For a Tweet to get the most exposure, make sure to use the hashtag properly. This includes correct spelling, as well as avoiding interior punctuation or spaces.

2. Share Engaging and Creative Tweets

People will interact with interesting posts. Be creative and publish Tweets that aren’t overly promotional, but instead conversational.

3. Consider the Target Audience

Not every popular subject in 2020 matters to each individual. When planning Tweets, take some time to determine whether the target audience will find value in them.

4. Be Strategic

Often, these topics repeat during holidays. Plan ahead with ones that can be taken advantage of in the next social media campaign.

5. Publish Timely Posts

Many trends don’t stay active for long. So take advantage of the moment quickly and engage in a timely manner.

Trending Topic Don’ts

There’s also a list of things that are not successful marketing strategies. Avoid these social media mishaps:

1. Don’t Use a Hashtag That Isn’t Understood

When joining a conversation that isn’t understood, it could end in mistrust from followers.

2. Don’t Be a Spammer

No one likes spam. So, avoid stuffing too many hashtags in one post. Twitter often bans people for this annoying, spamlike behavior.

3. Don’t Insult the People’s Intelligence

The audience wasn’t born yesterday; they can tell when someone’s trying to sell something. Instead, focus the Twitter efforts on genuine connections with the followers.

4. Don’t Join Controversial Conversations

Avoid taking advantage of hashtags about tragedy or controversial issues. Examine the Twitter trending charts and conduct an analysis of the appropriate hashtags to use. This can cause disagreements, offending people, or losing trust.

How Twitter Hashtags Work

Hashtags Work

With all this talk about Trending topics, think about the terms of how do hashtags work on Twitter. When including the pound sign attached to a word or phrase in a Tweet, a hashtag is created. This link will connect the post to others about the same subject.

That’s when engaging global conversations begin in 2020.

Best Practices for Using Hashtags on Twitter

It’s easy to create a hashtag in a post — simply add the pound sign (#) to the beginning of the word or phrase for a hashtag. Do not use spaces or punctuation marks. Now, although hashtags are easy to use, there are best practices that invite the most engagement from followers:

Avoid Using Too Many Words

When stringing too many words together in a hashtag, it becomes difficult to read and understand. Because a creator will want users to participate in a conversation by using the hashtag, make it one that they can easily spell out in their own post.

Don’t Be Spammy

Avoid #adding too many #hashtags to #Tweets. These excessive tags will look spammy and potentially turn people away from the profile instead of simply coming to terms with it. This will especially be the case if the multiple hashtags are not even related.

Engage with Retweets

Twitter is all about engagement! To show a community that an account is active and genuine, engage with others by Liking, Replying, and Retweeting. Convince them that their account privacy is not at stake by being authentic.

Stay Relevant

If using a Trending hashtag in a Tweet, make sure it’s relevant to the charts. Hashtags are tools for valuable conversations and sharing ideas; a user compromises that conversation when they add unnecessary fluff.

Understand The Hashtag

Before joining the conversation surrounding a Twitter trending topic in the US, try to understand the hashtag’s purpose. Is it for an event or holiday? Does it represent pop culture? Or is it a weekly hashtag for general interest? Don’t take advantage of conversations just for its sake; be purposeful when using these hashtags in marketing.

How to Create a Twitter Hashtag People Will Engage with

How to Create a Twitter Hashtag People Will Engage with

Branded hashtags can help grow a community and encourage people to interact with each other. These tags also allow a brand to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Do A Quick Hashtag Search

Before starting to promote the new branded hashtag, make sure it’s available. Search for the desired hashtag on Twitter to make sure no one is using it for their own brand. If using a hashtag that’s currently active (with a number of existing posts), it could cause confusion.

Keep It Short And Simple

Twitter is all about the short and sweet. Unlike Facebook, it’s a fast-paced social platform, so popular hashtags get trending because of their ease. Make sure a hashtag is short. If it is too long, there is a risk users will misspell it, or not have enough characters to include it.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  •     Make sure the hashtag is catchy.
  •     Use fewer than three words.
  •     A hashtag should make sense when spelled together without spaces.

Limit The Hashtags Used In A Single Tweet

As mentioned earlier, adding too many hashtags in a single post can annoy people and make the account appear spammy. Users will assume the Tweets are for promotion or sales, rather than engagement.

3 Great Tools for Finding Popular Twitter Hashtags

3 Great Tools for Finding Popular Twitter Hashtags

Twitter moves quickly, which means trends can change by the hour. Exhibiting a quick and strategic response helps to employ the best tools for staying up-to-date. That way, a conversation can be joined while it’s still hot.

Twitter Native

Find the most accurate trending subjects on the source itself — the Twitter website. On the Explore tab, view customized topics based on the region, and those followed. This gives a small snapshot of what is trending on Twitter around the world.

Trendsmap

Trendsmap allows its users to look up trending hashtags by location, which helps marketers to geo-target their social media marketing efforts. Depending on the location of the business, this tool can give some insight into what everyone is talking about in different cities around the nation.

#tagdef

#tagdef means “the definition of a hashtag.” This useful tool gives a list of popular hashtags by date. View current ones, as well as those that trended in the past. Also, view a quick definition of the hashtag to discover whether it’s a good option to include in a social strategy.

Some of Our Favorite Twitter Trending Hashtags Campaign

Some of Our Favorite Twitter Trending Hashtags Campaign

Ready to start a social media marketing campaign with a branded hashtag? Grab some inspiration from some companies who are doing it right before starting. Check out some of our favorite Twitter trending hashtags campaigns from big brands around the country:

#NationalFriednChickenDay

This first example shows how a brand can successfully use an already-trending subject to their advantage. KFC, one of America’s favorite fried chicken spots, hopped in on this conversation and created a campaign out of it. They saw an opportunity for a Trending topic related to their industry, and they quickly engaged while it was active. Learn from this by staying up-to-date on Twitter.

#ShareACoke

Coca Cola is a worldwide brand, enjoyed by many soda-lovers around the world. The brand kept this in mind when creating their branded hashtag, #ShareACoke. This simple and easy to remember hashtag has encouraged users to share where they’re enjoying a Coke and who they’re sharing it with. This hashtag also plays well with one of the latest campaigns of adding personal names to the bottle labels. It allows for a wide variety of user-generated content to engage with.

#IceBucketChallenge

This hashtag became popular a few years back, and it encouraged people to dump ice water on their friends. Why? It was all to raise awareness about ALS, or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The Trending hashtag got many people involved from everyday citizens to even celebrities, and the idea was that someone either got ice dumped on them or would donate — some did both. This shows that hashtags can be used for powerful campaigns that make a difference as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Tweeted Movie On Twitter?

The most Tweeted-about movie is Avengers: Endgame. A huge crowd of Marvel fans flocked to see this movie in 2019, after a much-anticipated release. There are currently millions of Tweets about this movie, including memes, favorite quotes, and of course, spoilers.

What Are The Most Popular Hashtags On Twitter In 2020?

The following are some of the most popular hashtags that have Trended in 2020:

  • #2020Vision
  • #Coronavirus/ #COVID19
  • #OOTD
  • #Foodie
  • #BlackLivesMatter
  • #CleanEating
  • #NowPlaying
  • #WIP
  • #Goals
  • #Travel

What Does TBT Mean?

TBT stands for Throwback Thursday. It has mostly been seen Trending on Twitter as #TBT. This is an opportunity to share favorite memories from the past, usually a photo or video that captured fun times with friends. Also, use this hashtag to commemorate some history of a brand.

The Takeaway from Twitter’s Trends

Twitter is an ever-changing landscape of social interactions. Because Trends change so often, having the right tools to stay on top of the trend is important. Twitter engagement is a great way to show the human side of the brand and interact with the followers. Start a relationship with them and hear opinions on topics that matter to the industry. Which hashtags will you include in your social media marketing?

Published: November 02, 2020 | Updated: November 02, 2020
Linda Andress

Linda Andress

Linda’s passion is turning ideas into a successful copy. She has worked for more than eight years in the publishing industry, providing unique and varied writings. She has experience in successfully implementing PR strategies and organization, including events and meetings (congresses, industry symposiums, and training workshops). When she’s not working, she’s reading (probably 3-4 books at a time), shopping for hours in bookstores and comic book stores, playing video games or volleyball, or spending time with her family, including her two dogs, Mickey and Pete.

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