4 Ways to Make the Most of a Trending Topic

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ScopeFrom light and fun (team #WhiteandGold ) to hard-hitting news stories (#PrayforNepal ), trending topics on social media keep us both entertained and informed.

In fact, a 2014 survey of 1,064 adults nationwide by the Media Insight Project revealed that 88 percent of millennials regularly get their news from Facebook, followed by YouTube (83 percent), Instagram (50 percent), and places of active involvement such as Twitter or Reddit.

With social media serving as a primary way people find out about the latest news and trends, it’s more important than ever for HR-tech companies to take advantage of highly-trafficked, highly-searched terms as a way to gain brand exposure and boost awareness.

The right post at the right time can make a world of difference when it comes to attracting people to your brand. Here are four strategies your HR-tech company can use to make the most of trending topics:

1. Stay Ahead of the Trends

Some trends are hard to anticipate, while others stare us right in the face. If you want to be one of the first to jump on a trending topic, think ahead to upcoming events or occasions that make sense for your brand, such as holidays, sporting or entertainment events, anniversaries, and more. Fandom Marketing’s 2015 marketing calendar is a great way to stay ahead of the trends (National Bike to Work Day, anyone?).

You don’t have to wait for holidays or popular events to come around to jump on a trending topic. From #MondayMotivation to #TransformationTuesday to Throwback Thursday (#TBT), there are plenty of ways to stay on trend throughout the workweek.

2. Make It Relevant — and Valuable

The key to making the most of trending topics is to make them work for your brand — not the other way around. Sharing links to your product or most recent blog post might seem like great way to get the word out about your company, but the fact of the matter is, if the content is not relevant and doesn’t add value to the conversation, it’s not going to bode well for your brand.

HonestyAim to add something new to the conversation. Stay relevant while adding value or fun to trending topics. Ask yourself, “How is this topic relevant to my audience?” If the topic can relate back to your business and target audience, try to find a subtle way to throw your brand into the mix.

For instance, the trending topic “Monty Williams” might not seem relevant to your HR-tech company, but, seeing as Monty Williams is trending after being surprisingly fired from the New Orleans Pelicans, a post on “How to Make Sense of Being Let Go Like Monty Williams” would likely generate a lot of buzz.

Unfortunately, trending topics won’t always work for your business, but simply joining in on the discussion can be enough to engage your audience and raise awareness about your company and product.

3. Join the Conversation Early

The thing about trends is they come and go. A missed trend can mean missed opportunities for your company. For particularly newsy topics, join the conversation early. Maybe the idea wasn’t originally part of your social media or content strategy for the month, but don’t let that stop you.

Conversation can flow in directions you can’t always anticipate. The nature of conversation requires you to do more than just prepare and schedule content. To keep from missing the latest trends, try these trend-finding tools:

  • Tagboard uses hashtags to search for and collect public social media posts to help you stay on top of — and anticipate — trending topics.
  • Google Trends shows you what the world is looking for at any given moment. Alternatively, the Google Trends Top Charts page allows you to search for trends within specific industries.
  • Trendsmap helps users discover trending hashtags on Twitter for any location in the world.
  • Bottlenose is a trend intelligence company that analyzes social media and business data to detect trends for brands.
  • Buzzfeed ’s trending section provides a wealth of information on what’s trending in pop culture.
  • Buzzsumo’s Trending tool monitors the content and articles that are trending in any topic across all social networks in a single feed.

4. Use Trends to Generate Content

Pencil ShavingsMaybe jumping into a trending topic on social media doesn’t make sense for your brand; if not, there are other ways to stay on trend. One surefire way to make the most of trending topics is to mine trends for content ideas. Creating content centered on recent trends engages your existing readers and attracts new ones.

Trending topics tell us the news and events that people care about. Providing a fresh perspective on those trends is a great way to make your business stand out. Tools like Buzzsumo or Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator can help you determine what kind of content is doing well with respect to specific topics, as well as provide you with inspiration for relevant content.

What are some ways you’ve managed to stay on trend? Share your tips in the comments below!

By Heather Huhman