As good social media marketers, you know that a best practice to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website site is to cover hot topics, whatever they may be– current news, celebrity gossip, sports deals and latest technology developments. It’s important to stay on top of it all. What’s trending today? This week? This month? Trending topics could be current global affairs, sports deals, political scandals, celebrity gossip, or the latest tech developments. Just like in the real world, also online, you have to keep up!

The key to growing an engaged social community is to post relevant content that provides your followers with an added value. But the line between sharing content and advertising is a fine one, and crossing it will turn people off and will not get them engaged. To avoid that, you would only want to share your own content no more than 20% of the time. These tools will help you discover trending topics to share during the other 80% of the time.

1. Google Trends

Google Trends is a great tool in seeing what is being most searched on the Internet. It is especially useful, in that Google Search is the most widely used search engine around.

Its visualizer is a super cool way to display Google Trends. It lets you view trending Google Searches, up to 25 searches at a time– with the option to customize the display to one country or what’s trending globally. So if you’re looking for what’s hot in your country, or around the world…this is definitely your tool. You can also opt to view Trends the traditional way with Google Trends Top Charts for specific topics relevant to your audience.

2. Buzzfeed

Not only is Buzzfeed a great source of entertainment and procrastinating…but it also straight up tells us what’s popular. From pop-culture-related content…to food…to the news, Buzzfeed definitely has what’s trending.

3. Twitter

On Twitter, you can choose if you want to view worldwide trends, trends specific to your country, or even trends specific to a list of selected cities.

To use trends on Twitter go to Home>Discover>Trends and it displays trends specific to you (based on your location- creepy, eh?) You can edit your trends and tailor them to your preference by adding cities.

Whatever tools or websites you decide to use in discovering the trends of 2014, make sure you understand how trends work for them and use it to your advantage!

4. Zite

This app is a great tool to discover trends for your followers. Zite brands themselves as an intelligent magazine that helps you discover interesting things to read, based on your preferences- any that it does!

You can use this to your advantage by selecting general trending topics (which you can find using any of the aforementioned tools)…and then Zite delivers you the best of those topics from blogs, newspapers, magazines and videos!

Fun fact: CNN Trends is fueled by Zite: CNN uses Zite technology to identify the top 10 CNN stories per day, along with a list of additional sources from around the web. Just like CNN, you too can take advantage of the app and find the best of the best that’s available to you!

5. Swayy

Swayy is a tool that connects to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and presents content according to keywords you define. Each day you get an email with relevant content that you can share with your followers.

One of my favorite things about this tool is that for Facebook, it lets you use it via your own personal Facebook account or through your page (or both), allowing you to view trending sources accurately (based on your personal feed or business page).