Branding Marketing

The Art of Trending: How to Gain Visibility on Twitter

Posted by: Ekalavya Hansaj Updated: 21 April 2020

Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms, with a staggering 330 million users. Twitter is a fast-moving platform, with 500 million tweets sent each day. Twitter moves so quickly that your content can quite easily get lost, and it can be challenging to keep up with what people are talking about unless it is trending. If you use social media regularly, you’ve probably heard the term ‘trending.’ Trending means that lots of people are talking about a specific topic or person. On Twitter, you can see what’s trending down the right-hand side of the social media platform. Trends usually relate to TV shows, politics, and celebrities, for example, #GeneralElection2019, #DonaldTrump, etc. If someone famous passes away, you’ll find that it’s trending quite quickly after it hits the news. If you want to see a summary of the news, without sifting through newspapers, take a look at the trends on Twitter, and you’ll find the most important topics of the day.

A hashtag or content within a post will trend when a high volume of people are talking about it and sharing their views on it. If you want to enhance your visibility on Twitter, getting your hashtag to trend is the most effective way to do it. It is not easy to get your hashtag to trend, but it is not impossible either.  These are some ways to explore the benefits of trending and improve your visibility on social media.

Gain Followers

You have more chance of trending if you have a high number of followers. The more followers you have, the more engagement you will get, and this increases your likelihood of trending. If you are short on followers, these are some ways to attract more attention. Incidentally, if you trend, then you will gain more followers as a result.

Follow Others – the more accounts you follow, the more your followers will grow. If you want to increase followers, go on a follow spree. If you’re going to be strategic, you can always unfollow them after they have followed you.

Regular posting – schedule your posts to go out each day, and you will soon notice an increase in your follower count. Regular posting is essential if you want people to take notice of you. Stay consistent with your social media posting to improve your brand awareness and your followers.

Engage – if you want more followers, you need to be prepared to engage with others. Social media growth is much more than just putting out regular posts. It is about sharing, liking, and commenting on other posts. If you engage with other accounts, you will gain more exposure, and other accounts will start following you.

Sponsored Posts – another way to increase your followers on Twitter is to use sponsored posts. Although sponsored posts have a cost attached to them, they can be a great way to increase your exposure and help you gain more followers.

Make it Interesting

If you want to trend, you need to give people something worth talking about and sharing. For example, you might be approaching a special milestone, or you may have a big prize giveaway. If you have something exciting to offer, then people are more likely to want to engage with you. It is worth noting that it will need to be a significant giveaway if you want users to sit up and take notice! If you are offering $1 million, for example, it would be difficult not to end up trending. If you are offering a prize of $100, it is still possible to trend, but it is more challenging.

Stay within the Rules

There are some rules in place when it comes to trending on Twitter. If you think you might be able to find a shortcut with one of these, it is worth remembering that Twitter may punish you if you break the rules. If you think you can shoehorn into another trending hashtag, think again. It is against the rules to use a trending hashtag in an unrelated post. For example, if you want to market your restaurant and you throw a political hashtag in it for no good reason, you are breaking the Twitter rules. Similarly, you cannot just keep using the hashtag after each post to try and get it to trend, as this is spam, and Twitter does not look kindly at spam. It needs to be useful, relevant content, otherwise it might not last very long on the platform.

Use General Hashtags

You don’t need to think of something extraordinary when you are creating a hashtag you want; in fact, the simpler and more relatable it is, the better. Most trending hashtags are general ones, don’t waste your time trying to come up with something out of the ordinary, as it might not trend for this reason alone. If you take a look at current trends, you will find that these are to the point and don’t take much detective work to find out what they are referring to in the trending tag.

Speak to Influencers

Influencers provide a highly effective way to get your hashtag or account to trend. Many businesses pay influencers to post about their products, and they use tags and hashtags in the posts. Influencers can help you gain exposure and to get your business on the map. Unless you can repay the favor in some way, influencers may cost you money or free products, but they can be worth it if you choose the right ones. Influencers are those people who have a significant following on Twitter.

Use Engaging Content

If you want to trend, you need to create engaging content. If the content isn’t up to scratch, but you throw in a hashtag at the end in the hope that it will get some traction, you will probably end up disappointed. Make sure you publish content that will be interesting and engaging to users. It is perhaps best not to focus entirely on trending, even if that is your ultimate aim. If you focus on this, your content will likely suffer as a result.

Know your Audience

Your content is unlikely to trend if you don’t take time to understand your audience and what content might interest them. The people who follow you are the ones who will ultimately be the people who will help you to gain the exposure you need to trend, so make sure you understand what topics they are interested in before you publish content. Knowing and understanding your audience is one of the most effective ways to gain interest in your content. It is not productive to post for the sake of it, if your content is irrelevant to your followers; it probably won’t end up achieving much.

Ask Around

You need to be willing to ask others to use your tag or share your content. Many people on Twitter ask for followers and shares, so you are not alone if you try this approach. As long as you have been engaging with people, you’ll probably get a positive response. Most people are happy to help out others with their campaigns, and you can even return the favor in some way. For example, ask people to share your content in return for a like or share of their content.

Talk to your Followers

If someone has shared your content, liked a post or commented, take the time to speak to them – rather than just giving a simple one-word response. Ask them how their day has been, what they are doing, etc., as this will start some engagement. The more you engage with others, the more likely it is that you will end up trending. Users don’t tend to engage much with people who just show up when they want something, so make sure your engagement is regular and authentic.

Change Tactics

Trends come and go, and they will last a day or two before they become old news. If you are trying to trend with a specific tag and it doesn’t happen within an initial couple of days using it, it probably won’t ever trend at all. A hashtag will trend when a high volume of people are talking about it on the same day; it won’t trend if only a few people are discussing it. Don’t be afraid to give up on a tag and try something else until you find success. You might need to make a few attempts until you find the right tag to get your post trending, or you may want to take a break and return to it at a more appropriate time. If you dedicate time and effort into trending, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Choose the Right Times

If you are familiar with using social media, you’ll know the importance of posting at the right time for maximum exposure, for example, in the morning when people are just getting up and reaching for their phone, in the afternoon when they’re having lunch and during their commute home. Posting at optimum hours is the same approach to take for starting a trend. Start the trend early and engage during the most active hours of the day. Posting at the right times is essential, especially on Twitter, as the content tends to move so quickly. You want to aim to post at the most important times, as this way, you’ll be more likely to trend.

Short and Sweet

It is much more effective to use hashtags, which are less than 20 characters, as this will leave users with plenty of space to include a comment if they are sharing your post. It also keeps things simple; less is more when it comes to trending on Twitter. The last thing you want is to confuse your followers with a long hashtag, which doesn’t seem to make much sense. The shorter and more relevant your hashtag is, the more likely it will be to get some engagement.

Build Your Campaign

There should be a valid purpose for looking to trend, not just to trend for the sake of it. For example, you may have an event coming up, and trending will give it more exposure. If you have a new product or special offer, trending will give it much greater visibility. It is essential to carefully consider your campaign and start trending in plenty of time. For example, you might want to gain exposure for your #2020CyclingEvent or #BoxingDayGiveaway, and it is a good idea to start building interest in this in plenty of time before the main event. You don’t want to start trending after the event has taken place!

Sponsored Tweet

If you want to trend and you want to do it quickly, you might want to consider paying to sponsor your tweet or paying experts to help you trend. If you do this, you will gain more exposure, which will give you a better chance of trending. If you don’t have time to start a full campaign or you just want to get your trending done quickly, paying for it can be an effective option.

If you want to make social media work for you, you must understand why you are doing certain things. Social media is mainly about authenticity; people can see through those who are just looking for followers and shares. If you want to trend, ask yourself why. Is it just simply to see that your tag is trending, or do you have a specific reason for it? Most trends happen naturally, or they have a clear purpose. For example, many trends start because the user is running a competition or an event. Even then, it is difficult to get a tag to trend, and you need to be both persistent and patient. If you want to trend, you need to be dedicated to the cause and have a clear purpose. If you do eventually end up trending, it will be worth it with the number of engagement you receive as a result.


An entrepreneur who chased success till it chased him. Founder at Quarterly Global. Father to Mayra Hansaj and Husband to Anjali Hansaj. Author of “The Criminal Wolf” and “Rise of the wolf”. 114 Days in a slumber haunts me yet.

Artical stats

Twitter                                     146
Facebook                                 543
Referring domains                     58
Organic traffic                        1509
Date from Content Explorer tool.


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