A trend is a topic, hashtag, or keyword that is popular on a social media platform like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. These platforms use algorithms to analyze activity and identify the topics and keywords that are getting the most attention. If the algorithm detects a significant enough spike in popularity, it will label that topic as “trending” and display it on the site’s home page (e.g., TikTok’s FYP).

Whether your brand can capitalize on a trend depends on the type of content you produce and the strategy you employ. A trending topic provides an excellent opportunity to get your message in front of a large audience, but it’s important to remember that the content must be relevant and timely. Otherwise, you could draw the ire of users and social media platforms by posting irrelevant content. In extreme cases, doing so can even result in account suspension.

The term “trending” can be misleading, and businesses should take care to avoid abusing the feature. While some brands may be tempted to use a trending topic to boost their visibility, they should keep in mind that the algorithm is designed to filter out irrelevant content and will ignore any attempts to manipulate the system.

It is also important to remember that trends are a reflection of a community’s interests, discussions, and collective attention at a given time. This can include current events, cultural and other topics, viral content, holidays, or online campaigns and challenges. Trends can be localized to a specific community or global in nature depending on the social media platform’s reach and influence.

In order to make it into the Trending section, a video must be new and popular in a given country or region. YouTube has been under fire for its Trending section after one of the top videos displayed for millions of viewers alleged that a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim was a crisis actor. The company has defended its selection process, claiming that it is careful to ensure that the trending videos do not contain profanity or mature content.

If your topic or campaign is trending, it means that thousands, and potentially millions, of people are tweeting about it and sharing it. It is critical to plan out your hashtags, the time period you’d like them to be used for, and even come up with a few sample tweets to grease the wheels of momentum.

If you’re ready to get started, Google Trends is a free tool that can help you identify the keywords that are currently driving traffic to your competitors’ websites. The tool lets you see how often people are searching for different words and phrases, as well as their relative popularity to other terms. Using this information, you can identify the keywords that are working for your competition and find out what’s missing from your own content. By doing so, you can create a more effective and targeted marketing campaign.