How to trend on Twitter? That’s a question asked by many marketers.
First, let’s look at how trending works. Twitter uses an algorithm that ranks topics that are immediately popular and tailors them to you based on who you are following and your location. Trends up to the second are shown in the left-hand column on your Twitter home page.
You can change your settings and see trends on a global level or even customize them for specific geographic areas such as country or city by selecting “change” in the trends box.
But regardless of how you set up your trend tracking, world events will still appear and you have to be hot, hot, hot to make the list. Think iPhone, Justin Bieber and Obama. Search terms or hashtags move up in ranking based on how many different people are using them, not based on how many tweets they are in.
It can be so tough to trend that companies are paying $120,000 to Twitter to be the top trend for the day. So does that mean if you don’t have $120K, all is lost?
No, with some creativity, you can take advantage of hashtags and trends. Consider riding the coattails of a trend by either tapping into a current trend or better yet, anticipate a trend and plan a campaign around it. Check out TweetStats to see what the trends are for the day and the top 50 trends of all time for ideas. A caveat: you cannot simply launch a promotion using a hashtag that has no relation to your subject. Twitter will catch you and eliminate you from search results or possibly suspend your account.
Also, see “Get ROI From Your Social Media – Use a #Hashtag” for more information about leveraging hashtags.
Marketers are just beginning to harness the power of Twitter, and with over 140 million active users (Twitter-Wikipedia), it can’t be ignored. Get on board early and lead the crowd.