There's no way to predict which topics will be trending on any given day. Trending topics are like viral videos—you won't know it's trendy until it's trending, which is precisely why it's like striking gold.
So, how can companies tap into these unpredictable topics in a real, applicable way?
First, ask yourself these questions:
Does your online presence accurately represent your company and its mission? Is the content you post reaching your desired audience?
We can't refute the facts—research conducted by HubSpot has confirmed that more and more people are turning not only to search engines, but to social media for news, business and lifestyle stories. In the past 2 years, there has been a 57 percent increase in users finding and clicking interesting articles on their Facebook feeds alone—nearly on par with the amount that people refer to search engines to find relevant content.
What does this mean for marketers? How does a company's presence on social media affect how users interact with its content?
Now that mobile encyclopedias are pocket-sized and double as phones and watches, it is paramount that companies participate in online conversations. It provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate their brand in a personable and memorable way. Companies must be relatable, aware and in-the-know in order to keep up with their customers' wants and needs.
Who are your followers? What topics are relevant to them, but also in line with your brand voice? Consider that, although plenty of people are interested in the "Brangelina" split, the topic probably bears little relevance to your company and brand. Instead, research your current followers and find possible conversation topics that they would be likely to comment on, share and like, and that would strengthen the connection between your brand and your followers. Be the resource to which they turn as well as refer friends.
Evaluate the topic. Does it apply to your company? Is this something in which your target audience would be interested? Is this topic something your brand should or can weigh in on? If the answer is "no" or "not really sure", find another topic and repeat the process.
1. Utilize the tools you've got. Each platform shows trending topics in one way or another. Twitter and Facebook both have dashboards displaying daily trending topics both locally and worldwide, while all major channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) track hashtags and allow you to view the tagged conversations.
2. Recognize that you don't want to only take advantage of viral discussions. Become a part of the discussion in a way that is refreshing, honest and advantageous. Interacting with and providing insightful feedback to people who follow your social channels shows the humanity of your brand and may give you an edge over your competitors.
3. Be different. Take advantage of the ability to join conversations that reflect your entity's core values and beliefs and always relate your social media activity to your business objectives. If the topic cannot be in some way tied to your company, don't waste your time.
4. Remember that less is more. With multiple social media outlets and numerous trending topics daily, only a few (if any) are going to make the most sense for your brand.
Engage in topics naturally. Put your best posts forward—your followers will like them, in more ways than one.