Following the latest trendsMy last blog centred around benefiting from piggybacking on the back of popular campaigns, so I thought it would be quite apt to follow it up with some discussion on how best to do just that.

The advantages of doing so are patently clear, but brands must be diligent about which topics and campaigns to surf on, as a tenuous link to a trending hashtag can appear try-hard – desperate, even.

Attaching your brand´s Twitter account to the wrong topic can see you head down a dead end, which, given the hundreds of new hashtags and keywords which come alive every day, is easily done. However, once you get the hang of using Twitter trends, your arrival into a discussion will be met with a welcome noise – as opposed to silence – from your target audience.

I came across an article on SumAll which gives a hefty nudge in the right direction. They list seven ways you can maximise your impact on Twitter.

1. Look outside of the top ten. Don´t simply choose a hashtag from the “Trends” sidebar and attempt to make it work. Head to a site such as Hashtags.org, where you can filter trends by location and language meaning you find the perfect hashtag for your brand.

2. Stay real. For every real, organically generated trend users are genuinely engaging with, there are tens of trends created by marketing teams to try and force their way into eyeshot. Of the two, it´s obvious where the greater results lie.

3. Build an understanding first. Decipher the tone of a hashtag before jumping aboard it. The last thing you want to do is go all fun and jokey on a deeply serious matter.

4. Get involved in the discussion. Don´t just merely tag along with a discussion, actively play a part in it. If you´re just a superfluous bystander, there´s every chance you´ll be overlooked.

5. Bring it back to you. This bit takes some subtlety, but seeing more engagement doesn´t mean very much if you aren´t effectively promoting your company or brand in the process. Remember you´re trying to further your marketing goals, here.

6. Know when to jump ship. Slip away from a conversation before it dies, or turns ironic. If you´re struggling to make any headway with the current hashtag, there´s no shame in moving on.

7. Track your results. See where you achieved the greatest success in terms of ROI and look to pursue those avenues in the future.

Not only can seeking out trending topics lead to greater engagement from your customers, it can help ensure you´re up to date with any conversation surrounding your industry. So, go ahead and spread the word.

Ben Hollom

November 20, 2014