Trending refers to topics that appear popular on social media websites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. These trends are often in the form of hashtags but can also be simple keywords that are being used frequently by users. Twitter’s trending topics are listed in a sidebar on its website and are determined by an algorithm created by the social network. A trending topic can only be promoted to the top spot if there is a significant increase in popularity in a short period of time.

The algorithms used to determine trends are complex and can take into account many factors including geographic location, past searches or likes, who a user follows and the content they’ve shared. Trends can also be influenced by the presence of fake accounts or bots. Twitter has modified its algorithm in the past to prevent misuse of trends but even with these changes, it’s still possible for people to manipulate trending topics.

It’s important for marketers to understand how trends are created, especially when it comes to creating ads that capitalize on these topics. Using too much hashtags or promoting content that doesn’t relate to the current trend can result in a loss of credibility and can cause a brand to be seen as insensitive. Insensitive posts can be a turnoff to consumers and could also lead to an indefinite suspension of a user’s account.

When a company wants to promote its products or services through a trending topic, it should research the topic thoroughly and use keywords that will be easily found by potential customers. This is particularly important if the trend is related to a new product or service because it can take months for a new item to become widely known and recognizable.

Ecommerce businesses should also make sure that their trending topics are relevant to their product or service offerings and that they can be adequately represented in a short period of time. Adding unrelated keywords to posts can draw ire from Twitter and other sites and in extreme cases, result in an account suspension.

Trending is most commonly associated with Twitter but other sites, such as YouTube, Facebook and Google Search, also feature lists of the most popular topics. These trends can include hashtags, keywords or names and are determined by the site in question. Using these tools to create trending content can be a powerful way for an online store to gain visibility and boost sales. Trends can also be a good source of inspiration for new content and ideas. Trends tend to evolve around cultural occurrences like popular events, celebrity announcements, TV premiers and social concerns but they can also be caused by teenage fans of sports teams or musicians. These types of trends have a limited shelf-life but can be an effective marketing tool for the right business.