A trending topic is one that has a high level of discussion on social media at a given moment. Social networks highlight trends by using algorithms that analyze popular keywords, phrases and topics being discussed on their platform. Depending on the network, trends can be localized to a specific community or can reflect global interest in a particular subject. Trends are typically displayed in the ‘Trending’ section of a network’s homepage or sidebar.

Twitter uses an algorithm to determine the most talked about topics on their platform in real-time and highlights them as ‘trends’ for users to see. The algorithms are based on the location of users, their followers, the content they like and the search terms they use. Trends are a great way for people to interact with each other and share ideas about a current event or topic.

Google also has a similar algorithm to identify trending topics based on the frequency of searches for particular keywords or phrases. The trend data is analyzed by a team of Google employees and can include up to 50 different variables. Google also filters out searches from bots, repeat searches and search terms that are too obscure to be tracked.

Participating in a trend can help brands reach a larger audience. However, it’s important to approach these discussions with care. A well-meaning company may miss the mark by posting something inappropriate and causing offence to their target audience. This can lead to brand damage and backlash.

Trends can also be a useful tool for discovering new content that your audience is engaging with. Using social listening tools like Brandwatch and Buzzsumo can help you understand the content that is currently driving conversation on your social channels and find inspiration for your next post.

When participating in a trend, it’s important to keep the tone of your post consistent with the topic. For example, posting about a tragedy should be done with empathy and compassion. But if you use too much branding in your post, it could change the tone from compassionate to disrespectful. Similarly, posting about Sept. 11, 2001, can be done with caution as it is a highly sensitive and emotional topic. However, AdWeek reported that some American brands get it right and keep their branding to a minimum when addressing this tragic event.

If you want to hone your social media skills, learn how to use TikTok to create a compelling video for your audience. With a few tips and tricks, you can use this trending sound to showcase your editing skills, flex your vlogging abilities or even create a carousel post.