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HOWTO: Use Trending Topics To Get More Twitter Followers

You might love browsing the funny, bizarre and informative tweets that pop up when you click on Twitter’s trending topic list, but did you know you can harness the power of these trends to gain new follower?

Before you jump on the trending topic bandwagon and start tweeting all of your tweets with a trending hashtag attached, you’ve got to understand why something trends.

Twitter explained a while back that a trending topic was not just a word or phrase that was extremely popular at any given moment. It is more nuanced than that.

A trending topic is one which people are talking about now more than at any other point, or one which has previously been popular but is now popular with a new group of people. As Twitter explains, “The Trends list captures the hottest emerging topics, not just what’s most popular. Put another way, Twitter favors novelty over popularity.”

So, now that you know why something trends, you want to know how you can use this knowledge to gain followers, correct?

On the surface, it is as easy as including a trending word or phrase in your tweet. This will ensure that it is seen by a large group of people who are using that hashtag or word right now, in real time.

However, you can’t simply stick a trending hashtag onto the end of your tweet and expect people to click your link. You must ensure that your content is relevant to the trending topic in question, and that the topic is relevant to your niche or what your normally tweet about.

For instance, if the trending topic you’re targeting is “#Vegetarian” and you’re a restaurant, that’s great! Share a cool vegetarian recipe or photo, include the hashtag, and your tweet will be counted among the many thousands of other tweets attached to that trending topic. And you can bet you’ll get some new followers if your tweet is compelling enough.

However, if you’re trying to use “#Vegetarian” in your tweet and you’re a social media marketing company, you might not have the best of luck. Unless you have a vegetarian-related infographic to share or your clients really love their veggies, you’re not going to attract the right followers by targeting this trending topic.

By jumping on an unrelated trending topic, you might get a few new followers – but they will likely not be interested in the content you normally tweet, and will either be dead weight or will unfollow you after a few days.

Instead, you should focus on something that’s trending that is related to your niche or business. This way, you’ll get your tweet in front of new eyeballs, and those eyeballs will be especially interested in the topics you normally tweet about.

And some final food for thought when participating in Twitter’s trending topics:

  • Be unique, funny or interesting: there are hundreds and thousands of other tweets competing with yours, so the more compelling yours is, the more likely it is to be retweeted and your account followed.
  • Don’t stuff more than one trending topic into a single tweet. It looks messy, spammy, and is generally bad form.
  • As with any of your tweets, always ask yourself whether you’re being helpful or offering something of value to those who will see it before tweeting.

(Top image: Robert Adrian Hillman via Shutterstock)

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