A trend is an inclination, often amounting to an impelling force, that maintains a certain course. The word has a wide range of definitions in the context of language, ranging from a social movement to an overall direction maintained by a given course or winding path. The term can also be used to describe the general feeling, tenor or mood of a speech or piece of music.

In social media terms, trends are events, topics, photos, videos or catch-phrases that become popular on a particular platform. They may reflect a current event or news item or they can be related to other social issues, viral content, holidays or even online challenges and campaigns.

Trending is a way of analyzing what people are discussing or interested in on a particular platform and it can be a useful tool for businesses looking to market their products or services. By using trending you can see what is currently catching people’s attention and focus, therefore targeting your marketing strategy effectively.

Using trending can help you discover a whole new audience and reach a potential customer base that you may have otherwise missed. It is important to note, however, that you should never post unrelated content to a trending topic as this could draw the attention of the social media platform and in extreme cases may even lead to an account suspension.

When it comes to Twitter, you can access trending topics from several areas of the website. Users can change the location that they are being shown trending topics in on the site’s website by clicking the menu icon at the top left of the screen. Facebook also provides a Trends page that is separated into five categories: All News, Science and Technology, Sports, Entertainment and Politics. Twitter’s Trending Topics are based on a percentage of searches for keywords and topics compared to other search activity over a specific period of time. Facebook’s Trends are based on the top searches across all countries and accounts, so some of the trends you see might be different to those in other countries.

Another great resource is Google Trends. This is a free tool that provides a snapshot of interest in a particular term over a set time frame. By changing the timeframe to, for example, the past 12 months or 2004, you can identify seasonal trends more easily and see the growth in popularity of a particular term over time.

If you are interested in finding out about a particular trend, you can save it to a Project by clicking the ‘Track Topic’ button. This allows you to view a chart of the trend’s history and compare it with other trends over the same time period.

This can be a great tool for businesses looking to target their marketing campaigns by location. For instance, if you have a product that is relevant to a trending topic such as gold earrings, you can see that there has been a rise in interest in the past 12 months in New York and use this information to target your ads in that region.