A trend is a topic, hashtag, or keyword that’s popular on a social media platform like Twitter or TikTok. It’s determined by algorithms that analyze activity across the platforms, including the number of likes, shares, and searches for specific terms or topics. Once the term hits a certain threshold, it’s placed on a platform’s Trending area (think TikTok’s FYP).

Trends can be a great way for businesses to find out what’s popular at a given moment. They can help identify current fads, and provide inspiration for marketing campaigns. Trends can also be a helpful tool in determining what is and isn’t working in terms of SEO strategies.

It’s important to keep in mind that trends aren’t necessarily indicative of a specific audience’s interests or opinions. It’s also important to note that just because a hashtag is popular, it doesn’t automatically mean it will be successful or relevant to your campaign. For example, the #grammys hashtag saw a huge spike during the 2014 Grammy’s, but was not successful at generating engagement during the 2015 awards ceremony.

In the world of YouTube, Trending is a useful feature that can help marketers find what’s popular among the site’s users. YouTube’s algorithm looks at several factors when deciding what videos should be featured on the Trending list, including lifetime video views and the amount of time it takes for the video to reach a particular level of view counts. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has also stated that the company is careful to make sure videos don’t show up on the Trending list if they’re inappropriate, or if they will quickly fade in popularity.

Google Trends is a free tool that allows you to see the trending keywords on any website or search engine. It also offers a Compare Tools feature, which allows you to compare up to five search terms or competitors. This can be a valuable tool in researching keywords for your own site, or it can give you insights into what’s working (or not) for your competitors.

Using Trends to your advantage requires some thought and caution, as it can be easy to abuse or be seen as spamming. It’s best to focus on one trend at a time, and only post content related to that subject. Posting unrelated content can cause your account to be suspended by TikTok or Twitter, and it’s confusing for viewers to see irrelevant information in their feeds. You may also risk losing credibility if you post inaccurate information, and you could even be accused of racism or sexism. In the case of Twitter, such behavior can be punished with permanent suspension from the platform. It’s a good idea to talk to a professional about your SEO and social media strategy to ensure that you’re not abusing the system.