Definition: A trending topic is a subject that experiences a surge in popularity on one or more social media platforms for a limited duration of time. Ecommerce businesses can check social media trends to find out what's holding consumer interest and capitalize on the current conversation.
Trending topics often evolve around popular cultural occurrences such as current events, celebrity announcements, TV premiers, social concerns, breaking news and viral content. There's no limit to how long a topic stays popular, though trending topics tend to have a shelf-life of one day to one week.
Trending topics are determined by algorithms created by the site on which the topic appears. Most platforms tailor the topics shown based on the user accessing the site, taking into account location, previous likes or searches and who the user follows. For instance, a user who follows Target might see a popular store promotion, while a member of a mug collectors group would see a trending online ceramics store.
What does a trending topic look like?
Trending topics often come in the form of hashtags, but they can also be simple keywords that have been frequently used on social media. Some websites have specific pages or links dedicated to trends, while others show up in or near search results.
Trends can help an online store appear on more feeds and search results, increasing the number of people who see its posts and profiles.
It is possible to abuse trending topics; in fact, breaking Twitter's rules for trend abuse could, in extreme cases, lead to account suspension. If a business wants to capitalize on a trending subject, it should approach the situation in a way that doesn't have unintended consequences.
Participating in trending discussions increases awareness among consumers and makes brands relevant. Care should be taken to make sure posts have a positive effect among consumers.