Marketing with Twitter trending topics is a strategy that combines careful planning, even more careful research, and a bit of dumb luck. The first two aspects are what I will be looking at here. The dumb luck isn’t really luck, it’s just your planning and research striking a particular nerve and going viral.
I’m going to show you all of the web resources that are going to help you find Twitter trending topics, and give you examples of what works. For contrast sake, I’ll show you a complete trending hashtag marketing #fail while I’m at it!
Web resources to find Twitter trending topics
Don’t forget the supplied trending topics box!
I know, this is really obvious. To be complete though, I can’t omit it. The trends box on the left hand side of the Twitter homepage is going to show you what the most popular trends are right at that moment.
You can change them to your geographic area, or stick to Worldwide trends if you’re a global brand. The problem with relying on this is that it’s too broad. You’ll rarely find a hashtag that really connects with your brand. When you do, be sure to get on it right away with your best content!
Get serious with Hashtags.org
Hashtags.org uses Twitters own API to bring you all sorts of data about hashtags:
- A definition of the hashtag
- Related terms
- Related tweets
- Trending times for the hashtag
- Top users
And more, depending on whether you’re using their free or paid version. Take a look at what you can find out with their free version searching for #socialmediamarketing:
24 hour trend graph:
Prolific users who are using the Twitter trending topics often, may be important allies you work with:
A list of the most recent tweets with that trending hashtag so you can see what they’re all about:
If you upgrade to use their advanced analytics, you could pretty much skip ahead in this article to the part where I give examples. This is a fairly exhaustive resource for your Twitter trending hashtag planning and research!
#tagdef: What in the world does that hashtag mean?!?
Have you ever been looking through Twitter and saw a hashtag you didn’t understand? Yes, likely every day. For instance, what’s #tbt? Here’s what #tagdef has to say:
Now you know! Here’s an example #tbt tweet from yesterday that I saw all over my feeds…just for fun:
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 22, 2015
Wait…Kobe scoring 81 points against my Raptors…that wasn’t fun!
Get as local and personal as you need with Trendsmap
When we’re talking about social media marketing and Twitter trending hashtags we’re talking about a worldwide phenomenon. For a local retailer with one location, well, what’s the point of all this?
Trendsmap allows you to find hashtags that are trending in your area, and they do it in a better way than the Twitter box from above. They also have a free account, which is less useful than Hashtags.org, but the paid accounts give you great maps. This can be useful for visual learners.
To use it properly, do a search for your city. To give this context, I’ll pretend you’re a sporting goods store in Denver. One of the trending topics in Denver is the #xgames. You can create a tweet that speaks to this Twitter trending hashtag like:
“The @DenverSportingGoods team would like to congratulate @theDDeadshow for his win in the #xgames Superpipe finals!”
Other Twitter trending hashtag tools
The three listed above are the best ones, but you may have different needs or want the information displayed differently. Here are three others which can help:
- Keyhole.co – Creates a ‘wordcloud’ of trending topics associated with the Twitter trending hashtag you search for.
- Tagboard – Tracks trending tweets related to the hashtag you’re searching for. You ‘pin’ the target hashtag to a board and the trending tweets are displayed.
- Hashtagify.me – Useful for finding trending hashtags that connect with other hashtags. Search for any hashtag, and it will give you others that are trending along with it.
- Nurph – A tool for following trending hashtags as they happen. Particularly useful if you’re part of a Twitter chat.
- Sprout Social – Helps analyze Twitter trending topics and hashtags that are already associated with your brand. It does this by looking at incoming messages you’re receiving on Twitter, and tells you what users are mentioning.
Examples of using Twitter trending hashtags correct…and wrong
Using Twitter trending hashtags correctly, as well as the wrong way, can be best done with one Twitter account: DiGiorno Pizza. They were all over Twitter trending topics for months. They accompanied each tweet with their own: #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT.
When using your own hashtag that you want to see trending, many tun to our Twitter Retweets service to get things going. There’s nothing like having those first few retweets taken care of to get things moving along.
They had some great fun, made lots of new Twitter friends, and did some great marketing. Their best tweets came from joining in on the @Superbowl hashtag, and the football love continued:
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) February 3, 2014
— Will (@Orgophlax) September 8, 2014
But they’d join in on other trending topics too:
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) July 1, 2014
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 6, 2013
They did particularly well with that #TheSoundofMusicLive hashtag. It opened them up to all kinds of new followers.
But then, one ugly day, they didn’t research a Twitter trending hashtag well enough and this happened:
What’s the big deal? Both you, and DiGiorno at the time, don’t know what that hashtag was about. It was about women talking about domestic violence, and giving reasons why they stayed with their partners.
DiGiorno ate a lot of humble pie for their mistake in not researching the hashtag. It’s a pity, they were one of the funniest Twitter trending topics users online. They have since been a bit more quiet.
The lesson you must learn from all of this is: use your Twitter trending topics wisely. Take a minute to research what they’re about. Have fun!
Feature image used with license from Shutterstock.