A trending topic, hashtag or search term is a subject that receives more visibility and engagement on social media than usual. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook highlight these topics to encourage discussion and engagement among their users. Trends are often based on current events, news stories, viral content, holidays or other pop culture topics. Getting on the list of trends can generate visibility and exposure for brands, influencers or individuals.

A topic or hashtag can become “trending” through a variety of factors, including the popularity of other related posts and the number of people using it. Trends can also be influenced by the timing of an event, whether it’s a political scandal or celebrity death. They can also be a result of deliberate manipulation by individuals or groups, such as to promote an agenda or a specific product.

To determine what’s trending, social media platforms use algorithms that identify topics and hashtags that are receiving more attention and mentions than normal. The platform then highlights these subjects in the ‘Trending’ section of its homepage or sidebar. Twitter users can choose to see trending topics tailored to their location, while Facebook uses its own algorithm and separates trends into categories such as all news, sports, science and technology, politics, and entertainment.

If you want to dive deeper into a trend, Google Trends offers a way to customize a search by adding a term and selecting from options for category, time range, geo-location, search type (web search vs. YouTube), and more. Third-party tools like Treendly also provide a customized Google Trends experience with an emphasis on creating more relevant and actionable results.

When something becomes a trend, it’s important to be aware of the implications. For example, it’s common for false or misleading information to make its way onto the trending lists. It’s important to check if a trending topic is accurate before sharing it with your audience.

One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to leverage trending searches and topics that are relevant to your business. This can help you drive more traffic to your website or blog, gain visibility in search engines and social platforms, and build brand awareness.

If you can anticipate what may be a trending topic, it’s possible to create engaging content that incorporates the keyword while staying away from overusing or sounding spammy. For instance, if you know that “healthy breakfast” is going to be a trending topic, you can plan ahead and write an article or post about it, incorporating the keyword in a natural way that’s not overtly repetitive. However, remember that trends don’t last long, so if you find something that interests your audience, be sure to act fast.