researching twitter trendsUnsurprisingly, more than 70% of Twitter users currently use hashtags, and tweets with hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted. Optimizing hashtags in your social media posts, like optimizing keywords in your website content, helps you attract the right visitors to your website and increase reach and social sharing among users who are actually interested in your content.

Since Twitter broke the mold by introducing hashtags into the social media world, it has become one of the most effective tools for brands and marketers to connect with their target audience, increase social sharing and generate leads. Later adopted by Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest, this great way to share and track topics has spawned a hashtag revolution across platforms – a revolution that is helpful to personal and professional users alike.

By now, your marketing team has most likely identified and implemented several hashtags that are relevant to your content. Whether you’ve performed hashtag research in the past or played the guessing game, staying abreast with recent trends on Twitter – particularly that within your industry – can seriously impact your marketing goals.

When researching trending content topics on Twitter, keep in mind that Twitter trends change frequently, differ by location, are influenced by time of day, and have a short shelf life. Consider the time of day and how recent events have impacted trending topics in specific locations.

It’s also important to note that Twitter trends are not always representative of trending topics of the larger public, but, rather, are representative of active Twitter users. If you are researching Twitter trends to better engage with the Twitter community, then you’re on the right track. If you are researching Twitter trends to understand trending industry topics to better market to all of your target consumers, you should be cautious when centering a campaign on the data collected.

That being said, here are some resources you can use to discover trends on Twitter:

Twitter TrendsOn Twitter’s website, you can locate Trends in a column on the left side of the Home, Connect, Discover and Me pages. From mobile and app versions of the site, you can find Trends on the Discover page.

According to Twitter, “Trends are determined by an algorithm and are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you.”

Twitter Trends automatically tailors topics to what you are interested in, who you follow and your location. To view trends in a different location, you can select a new location within Twitter’s advanced search option.

2. Hashtagify.me

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Hashtagify is a free tool that allows you to search and track Twitter hashtags. It provides the top 10 related hashtags, top influencers by hashtag, usage patterns, popularity, growth by month and week, definition and recent tweets. The popularity chart displays the top 30 hashtags during the last month, last week and most recent.

3. Hashtags.org

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As one of the most popular Twitter trend websites, Hashtags.org homepage immediately displays the top 40 trending topics by growth. You can research a specific hashtag or phrase related to your industry to view a popularity graph by the day and time, the most recent tweets, related hashtags and influencers.

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4. Statweestics

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Claiming to have live updates, Statweestics shows the top 500 rankings for hashtags, users, words, locations, sources, and the top ranking for 60 languages. As a hashtag search tool, you can also search keywords by each of the categories above.

5. Trendsmap

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Trendsmap is an integrative map that displays global and local Twitter topic trends. Multiple algorithms are used to process 80 million tweets a day and analyze how much a topic is trending by location. The more popular topics are shown in large, dark bubbles. When you click on a topic, it will show you the global and local tweet volume, trending locations (and related tweets in these locations), images, links and recent tweets.

Like Twitter Trends, Trendsmap uses your profile settings to find your location. The more detailed locations are on Twitter profiles (state vs. city), the easier it will be for them to analyze local tweets.

6. Twazzup

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Very similar to Statweestics, Twazzup is a hashtag search tool. When you search a topic, you can view recent tweets, influencers, web content, and related keywords and hashtags.

7. What the Trend

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What the Trend – perhaps my least favorite and, in my opinion, the least reliable website of the bunch, but still one of the more popular – tracks more than 300,000 topics, which are submitted by the website users. Anyone can contribute and find previous contributors. What the Trend is a Hootsuite media company that provides the top 10 trending topics, a search tool that generates a definition and related tweets and news stories, and a reports section that shows popular hashtags for the past 30 days. The reports page, interestingly enough, provides a list of spam hashtags you’ll want to avoid using.

After you have compiled a list of tending topics in your industry, you can now include them in your tweets with relevant content from your website. Another great benefit of being up-to-date with current Twitter content trends is that you can capitalize on them by creating new content on your website that will appeal to Twitter users. Take your research a step further by using a social media manager or monitoring software that will provide analytics. The right social media analytics software will show you which hashtags and content topics are driving the most traffic to your website, generating the most leads and engaging Twitter users.

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