How to Use Twitter Trending Topics in Marketing
If you use Twitter, you will have seen its constantly changing trending topics. They can be popular fashion or the latest news, or they can be individual to you and your interests. Twitter has continued to tweak its algorithms to improve how trending topics work and the way they are displayed to users.
The more you can understand trending topics, the better insights you will learn about your audience and their interests. This helps you develop your marketing strategy and shape your brand on Twitter. But how do they work, can you personalise them and how do you use Twitter trending topics in marketing?
How does Twitter’s trending topics work?
Twitter’s algorithm has a lot to do with deciding trending topics, which can be tailored to where you live, your interests and the people connected with you. There are two ways to view trending topics on Twitter – from a broader aspect, which shows the popular topics of conversation, or what’s being talked about in your interest groups.
Marketers can set up their brand’s trend page and personalise their topic preferences and location. Subsequent activity on their account, such as interacting with posts related to your preferences, following other brands in the same niche and talking about your interests, provides Twitter with the relevant data for their algorithm to recognise the topics that are aligned with their brand.
The Trends page on Twitter shows the most popular hashtags and topics based on your activity and interests. However, to find topics that perhaps aren’t talked about as much, you can search for specific hashtags or keywords based on your brand’s industry. For example, you can search for hashtags that are relevant to your latest campaign to see how people are using that term or topic in posts.
Following and subscribing to Twitter topics that are relevant to your brand and business keeps marketers up-to-date with the latest news and updates, audience activity and conversations, as well as discover key influencers. Twitter’s algorithm chooses your trending topics based on a number of ranking signals:
- Recency – topics that are currently popular rather than those that were popular a while ago. These will appear on your Home timeline under the ‘What’s Happening’ heading.
- Relevancy – this includes the topics in your tweets and those you’ve engaged with, topics you follow and engage with the most, your location and the number of tweets that you have followed and posted
- Engagement – this includes how popular and the engagement achieved with your tweets, the level of activity about a topic, such as liking, retweeting and replying, and the number of tweets posted related to that trending topic
- Rich media – this is the type of media used in tweets, such as images, videos and polls.
How to use Twitter trending topics
There are a number of things you can do to optimise your Twitter activity and boost your brand using trending topics.
- Keep up your Twitter activity – any social media activity requires commitment and none more so than As you can see from the ranking signals above, just about all of them include the number of tweets on a topic. So, the more consistent you are with posting, following, liking, retweeting and engaging with other tweets, the more data you give Twitter’s algorithm to work with. The general recommendation is a minimum of one to two tweets a day, although the most popular trending topics come from brands that are posting three to five times a day. Don’t forget that multiple tweets within a thread is considered one post.
- Get verified by Twitter – in May 2021, Twitter re-introduced their verification request process to achieve a blue badge. Whilst getting verified won’t directly boost your content in regard to the algorithm, it does show followers and other Twitter users that your brand is credible and legitimate. This increases followers and engagement, and therefore better engagement and relevance in respect of the ranking signals.
- It’s in the timing – any marketer that posts regularly on social media will know that there’s a right time and a wrong time to post. Each social media platform is different, as is a brand’s audience, but according to Hootsuite’s research, for Twitter it is generally considered 8am on Mondays and Thursdays. That said, each brand is different and if your aim is to reach international markets, you need to consider multiple time zones.
- Don’t forget your hashtags – they probably gain more engagement than most other activities on Twitter. In fact, data from Twitter shows that an ad receives 10% more engagement when a branded hashtag is used. With hashtags being used to search for trending topics, make sure your posts include hashtags. But don’t overdo it – Twitter recommends no more than two hashtags per tweet.
- Remember the @ tag – if you’re mentioning someone else in your post, tag them with their @ handle and they are more likely to see, like, retweet and engage with the post. You can also add up to 10 @ tags to images.
- Make the most of media – using images, videos and GIFs significantly increases your trending topics ranking as well as engagement. According to Twitter’s data, 71% of posts now have a video and with their recent testing into expanding visual content space with edge-to-edge tweets on mobile devices, that’s only set to rise.
- Encourage engagement – as with all social media platforms, the more you ask, the more you’ll get back. Ask for feedback, ask questions, run a survey or do a poll. The better engagement your posts receive, the more Twitter will rank your trending topics.
- Repackage and retweet your best content – you may have posted at the right time, added media, remembered your hashtags and even used somebody’s @ Twitter handle but chances are, not everyone of your targeted audience will have seen your tweet. So, if the post performed well the first time, repackage it – that means changing it creatively but still sending the same message – and retweet the content.
When it comes to using trending topics for marketing, gathering insights from analytics is crucial to boosting your brand’s profile and awareness across all social media platforms. Twitter is no different, so, use Twitter Analytics to track your posts, analyse what works and what doesn’t, and tailor your content accordingly.
At Media in a Box, we offer a variety of social media, SEO, content marketing and website design services that are not only highly effective but will also meet everyone’s budget, no matter how big or small it is. Whether it’s optimising your website, developing a social media plan or helping with content marketing, contact us today and let’s chat.