Every business that leverages digital marketing needs to create top-tier content to attract its target customers. One of the best ways to do so is by creating and covering trending topics. Trending topics are the stories, events and subjects that are currently capturing people’s attention. Many social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Google X (formerly known as Google News) have easy-to-use tools that make it possible for businesses to identify current trends and create relevant content.

Trending is when a topic, hashtag or keyword experiences a sudden and large spike in popularity on a specific social media platform such as Twitter or TikTok. These trends are featured in the “Trending” area of each platform, often with a corresponding graphic or icon. Trends are displayed in real-time and may be influenced by location, time of day and what other users are searching for on the platform.

If a business or brand posts something related to a trending topic, it may receive increased visibility and interaction because of the large number of people engaging with that post or hashtag. This can help increase brand awareness and generate new leads. Trends tend to have a short shelf-life, however, and can lose momentum quickly.

In order to become a trending topic, a post must have relevance and virality. This is why trending topics are usually centered around current events, popular culture and breaking news. Trending topics can also be sparked by viral content that goes viral on the platform, or by social media influencers and celebrities posting about a certain topic.

The algorithms used to determine trends vary by platform, but all take into account factors such as location and what other search terms are being entered at that moment. Social media platforms also analyze the volume of a subject and look for significant increases in engagement over a period of time.

Businesses should avoid posting irrelevant content about a topic that is trending in order to prevent being accused of abuse or damaging the credibility of the platform. In extreme cases, abusing trends can even lead to account suspensions.

YouTube and YouTube Analytics have a ‘Trending’ tab that shows the latest trends related to videos on the platform. The tab is located in the ‘Explore’ section of the home page and takes into consideration things such as your past likes, searches and what other channels you follow.

Similarly, TikTok has an ‘Explore’ tab on its home page and the ‘Trending’ section of its search bar. It uses a similar algorithm to determine trends as Facebook and X, showing you videos on topics that are being searched by other TikTok users in your area. The ‘Explore’ tab also takes into consideration your interests and what you watch on the platform, influencing which trending results show up.