What does trending mean?
Within the context of social media, trending is when a specific topic, hashtag, or keyword becomes popular on a given social media platform, like Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram.
So, if a specific topic or hashtag is trending, that means that it’s getting talked about more, and so it’s receiving more impressions, interactions, and mentions than usual. Usually, you can see what’s trending by going to the social media platform’s Explore or Trending area, i.e. TikTok’s Trending Page or Instagram’s Explore Page.
By participating in a social media trend, social media users can take advantage of the extra boost of engagement due to the overwhelming interest that specific trend generates. This is a tactic that many influencers and social media managers will use to expand their content’s reach.
What is a trending topic on social media?
A trending topic on social media is a topic that is being talked about more often than usual, thus receiving more reach, engagement, mentions, and shares.
For example, when the Oscars take place in March, Oscars-related conversations, posts, and hashtags will begin to start trending on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and will receive a lot more impressions and interactions than most other topics and posts on social media.
Why is it important to keep up with social media trends?
Participating in trending topics on social media is a guaranteed way to boost your engagement, increase visibility, and much more. So, here are a few reasons it’s important to keep up with social media trends:
- It boosts your posts’ engagement: Social media trends are typically topics that are being discussed by many people at a given time, so by participating in a trend, you’ll be relevant to your users and will receive a boost in engagement.
- It increases your brand’s reach and visibility: Social media trending topics and hashtags are picked up and prioritized by the algorithm, so they are shown to more of your followers and non-followers.
- It allows you to show off your brand’s creativity and personality: As an example, when the Barbie trailer was released, it became a trending topic on social media platforms, so Buffer’s social media manager decided to participate in this trend by posting a funny meme about it on Buffer’s Instagram channel.
How can I keep up with social media trends?
Keeping up with social media trends is no easy task, but there are a few things you can do on a daily or weekly basis to be in the know on what’s happening or being talked about on social media. Here are a few ways you can keep with social media trends:
- Explore Twitter’s “Trends for you” section, Instagram’s "Explore Page,” and TikTok’s “Trending Page” as they are great places to begin your search for social media trends and trending hashtags
- Discover what’s trending on a daily basis across any industry or topic by checking the “Daily Trending Search” by Google Trends, which shows you which topics are currently proving to be popular amongst Google searchers
- Follow prominent influencers and content creators in your industry and set up update notifications to be in the know with what they are sharing on social media
Which social media platform is trending right now?
There have been quite a few social platforms that have spiked significantly and become trending over the past year:
- Mastodon: Interest in Mastodon has spiked up significantly post-Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter as people are looking for the next, best microblogging platform.
- BeReal: The app is currently having its time in the spotlight, especially as it offers users a different experience than any other social media platform.
- TikTok: TikTok nearly broke the internet in 2021 when it beat out Google as the most-visited website in the world.