It’s always the same story for many marketers. You’re looking through your social media feed and sure, it’s engaging. People like and comment on your posts and every once in a while, you find that someone shares a post of yours to their profile or on their stories.
But, Is that enough?
Somehow, it feels like you’re missing something.
You head on over to your competitor’s social media page and there you see it. Post after post on things that have taken the Internet by storm. Fresh content shows up every day on their pages and the conversations show that their followers are loving it.
That is exactly what your social media strategy needs, too.
Read on to discover what tools can help you in your journey to discover fresh, trending content to brighten your social media presence.
How can trending topics help you?
So, what’s the buzz around trending topics and why do you need it in your social media marketing strategy?
It gives you inspiration
Creating content can be a drag, especially when you’ve run out ideas for the fifth time in the same day. Taking a look at what’s trending online can help you fill up your content calendar with topics and post ideas that are definitely interesting to your followers. Another great side-effect of checking out trending topics is that it gives you the burst of inspiration that you need to come up with new content ideas. It’s a win-win solution.
You might also like: 7 Best Content Discovery Platforms In 2021
It helps you stay informed
It’s the age of the Internet and if you’re late to the party, chances are something else has already caught your audience’s attention. Just take a look at how quickly memes age out and you’ll understand just how easy it is for the Internet to lose interest. Checking out trending topics online on a regular basis helps you stay well-informed about what’s going on in your industry and even the outside world.
#contentmarketing #trending #contentdiscovery
It sets you apart from the competition
Looking for content that sets you apart from your competitors? Something that will keep followers coming back in droves for more? Keep an eye on what’s trending online. If you keep producing content of great quality while adding value to your audience, you’ll find that it’s easier to attract a more engaged audience that will stay for more. Besides, being the first one on the scene gives you a lot of brownie points.
Recommended read: The Best Online Reputation Management Tools For 2021
But buyer beware…
Creating content on trending topics can be the proverbial double-edged sword. As a company, your social media presence is the online extension of your brand. This means that your brand tone must be taken into account when you post content on your social media page. A healthcare brand that usually sticks to a serious tone may not see more conversation on their page when they post lighthearted memes.
The same goes for situation-specific content. A fun post about a grave matter might be seen as tone-deaf. This could lead to real-world consequences for your business.
There are numerous examples of companies and their bad behavior online affecting their offline business. Online mobs have single-handedly brought down restaurants with one-star Yelp reviews. In fact, there are many social media accounts devoted to calling out such behavior when it comes to large and small businesses online, sometimes effectively shutting down their online presence.
Another thing to remember is to take a call on whether a trending topic is relevant to your brand. Brands need to identify what value a trending topic could add to their social media presence before creating content around it. For instance, it may be off-brand for a fitness drink business to post about a fashion-related challenge.
However, if you find that a topic connects to the core values of your company or relates to your field of interest, go ahead, crank it out and enjoy the rewards!
Tools to find trending topics online
The business of discovering trending topics can be tough. When you’re on the Internet, things can go out of style faster than you can say, “Hey, that’s a trend!”
To help your company stay on top of trending topics, here are ten free and paid tools that you can use to discover what’s trending online:
Social Animal is the one thing you need in your tool belt for a great social media presence. Whether it’s content research or curation, Social Animal has got you covered. It scours the Internet for topics that are trending online and brings them to you so that you can share relevant content that’s engaging to your audience, too.
It’s easy to find what the newest trend is with the Dashboard, one of the many services offered by Social Animal. This tool can help you find and analyze top-performing content for any topic or area of interest. Find information on competitor mentions and discover top trending articles for keywords that are relevant to you, all in one place.
You can also get all this data in your mailbox in the form of a Daily Digest email, a summary of everything that’s happening online with information about keywords and trends that are your cup of tea.
Social media trends – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
You know what they say – it isn’t a trend unless it shows up on social media. The best way to keep up with trending topics online is by keeping an eye on what goes on different social media platforms. This can be really useful if you’re looking for industry-specific topics that are trending.
Every social media network makes use of its very own algorithm that analyzes your interests, likes, and dislikes and then makes sure that it shows you content related to it. Following a few of your favorite chefs? Or maybe you like reading the news from your preferred news accounts. You’ll find similar accounts and posts in your feed on a regular basis.
It’s how they get you to engage more with the platform and keep you coming back.
As long as you follow and engage with accounts that are related to your field, the algorithm is sure to send trending content in your general direction.
You can also discover general trending topics on social media platforms. Twitter has an Explore feature that allows you to see tweets that are specifically curated for you as well as other topics that are trending at the moment. The page on Twitter features many sections like trending, sports, breaking news and entertainment.
Another method to discover new trends is by following industry-focused pages and news pages on your preferred social media platform. Turn on your post notifications and you’ll find it easier to discover the latest trend.
Google makes it a lot easier to discover what’s trending with Google Trends. You can discover trending searches and popular searches in different categories on this page. You can search by region, topic or recently trending.
All you have to do is enter a search term and you’ll find details about the interest in the search time over time, in different regions as well as related topics and queries.
The data provided is based directly on what people are searching for, making it easier for you to create and post content that will strike a chord with the people who follow you. Google Trends collects data from Google Search, Google News and YouTube to give you a well-rounded picture of trending interests.
Google Trends also allows you to look at the historic performance of search terms. You can use this tool to get a little insight into how well a trend will be performing in the future and make a decision regarding whether you want to talk about it or not.
The landing page of the site also shows you trending stories along with some of the search terms associated with it. If you come across any stories relevant to your field, remember to take note of the keywords related to it for later reference.
It’s a well-known fact that when people use the Internet, they are probably looking for the easiest way to find out about something. Like Googling a part of a song because you can’t take the time to think of its name instead.
And what’s more convenient than reading? Video, of course!
YouTube is another great source, on its own, to discover trending topics in different categories. Just click on the Trending section on YouTube and you will find a host of popular videos. You can also check out videos in different categories like news, music, gaming, movies and others.
YouTube has also come out with another tool titled YouTube Culture and Trends. This contains a lot of data on the types of videos people have been checking out, trending videos, records and others. You can find information on which video had the largest number of views this year, what videos we watched during the pandemic or even the all-time most viewed music video.
If you’re looking for general information or news, there’s no better place to check out than your favorite online newspaper.
Newspapers have to be on top of the latest trending topics and content so that they can give their customers the best value possible. And while it’s easy to get your news from Twitter, one cannot speak to the credibility of this content.
While some newspapers offer news of a general nature, you can find relevant and more specific information in others that belong to a certain category like business. Here, you can find stories that are related to your field of work and even bits of breaking news that you can speak about on your own social media page.
You can also share links on your social media pages to news stories so that your audience can check them out for further details. It will also boost your own image as a credible source of information online.
Another great tool for social media management is Sprout Social with great services for engagement, publishing, analytics and more.
This tool offers a social listening service, giving you access to valuable information by identifying and analyzing conversations that are happening around your brand, industry or keyword. It allows you to stay on top of industry trends while also incorporating the insights you have gathered to address your own strategy.
One of the ways in which Sprout Social helps is by allowing you to keep an eye on the behavior of your consumers when it comes to certain topics. This can also help you stay on top of industry trends as you have information right from the horse’s mouth.
The tool also offers audience analysis and consumer research, so that you can better understand the people with whom you are trying to connect.
Ask and you shall receive answers from all corners of the Internet. Quora is, at its core, a question-and-answer website where people post questions that are later answered by others who are experts in their fields. From life lessons to cultural issues and work-related troubles, Quora has answers for any question that you may want to ask.
This is a great place to discover trending topics because the most popular conversations here are upvoted by the users themselves. It gives you insights into what people are trying to find on the Internet.
Members of Quora have customized home pages, listing questions that fall under topics of interest to them. To discover trending content on Quora, click on the Top Stories section on the home page. This links you to some of the most popular content on the website currently.
You can also discover trending topics on Quora is by typing out your keywords of interest in the search bar. This will take you to a results page with questions and answers ranked in order of popularity. It’s a great way to find trending content related to your industry.
Calling yourself the front page of the Internet is a high standard to live up to and Reddit does a great job of it. Think of a topic and you can be sure that there is a subreddit dedicated to it and a conversation surrounding it.
The Reddit homepage is a gold mine of trending topics and great content, starting with a bar that runs across the top showing subreddits that are trending today. This is followed by a list of popular posts, images, videos and breaking news stories that you can filter based on its popularity, upvotes and location.
Reddit also has a sidebar which shows trending and popular communities, with categories like news, tech, sports, gaming and more.
BuzzFeed, the home of popular culture and strange quizzes, may not seem like the best option to discover topics that are trending. However, it does offer a lot because a lot of the contributions are based on what’s trending on the Internet.
The BuzzFeed News section and the BuzzFeed Trending section are great tools to find topics and stories of interest. The site does have a finger on the pulse of popular culture, so if you are looking to create fun content, this is a good starting point.
There are many ways and many tools that marketers can now rely on to identify content falling under different topics of interest. The key is finding the right tool or a group of tools that will give you the relevant information you hope to find.