Find out what’s trending now

Take advantage of web tools to up your trending game


By Bethany Chambers | Digital Operations Manager

Now that you’ve got your alliterative hashtags for each day of the week in mind, from #MotivationMonday to #FridayFunday, advancing your trending game requires a little research into your audience specifically.

The good news? This leverages our strengths in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, where we have robust data about our customers and know which demographic and behavioral niches contain our prospective customers.

The marketer’s arsenal of tools to find trending topics is vast and only limited by your time. You can do all the research you want, but if you don’t use it you won’t see noticeable improvement. Plan to carve out 10 minutes each day, morning and night, to scan the tools and see what’s hot now.

I’ve split the tools you can use into two groups, those that mine news and those that mine social.

Trending in the news


buzzfeed-trendingBuzzfeed Trending

You probably already see this daily on your personal social feeds. Keep an eye out for topics related to your field. For instance, NASA news is of interest to the engineer readers of GPS World, so this could, at the very least, warrant a retweet.

Google Trends

Like Buzzfeed Trending it will give you top stories. A nice bonus: It also lists the top keywords for each story so you know what to use in your own post for search engine optimization (SEO…or at least GO, Google optimization). It also gives you a handy dandy line graph to show whether that trend is rising or falling.


You know where you have large pockets of customers, so be sure to use the hashtags relevant to those markets. For instance, if we know one of our magazines has a strong readership in Northeast Ohio and we see #hiring is trending, then we know we’ll want to offer tips to our business readers on how to find the best employees or where to look for seasonal help. (Perhaps on #TipTuesday.)


News Whip News App

This is the free service from the company that makes News Whip Spike, a social listening tool used by The Huffington Post and USA Today. It assigns scores to news items based on viral potential. This is perfect for the B2B marketer in that you can first sort by country (or view worldwide) and then see what’s hot by topic category, from the broad (Tech, Business, Life) to the specific (Wireless-Mobile, Oil & Gas, Agricultural).

Trending on social media


Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

For your daily usage, why not just check what’s trending within the native platforms themselves? This is the low hanging fruit, because you can check it out while you’re creeping on your own friends.


This is the one you hear about the most because of the sentiment score it assigns to trending topics. Like News Whip it has granular sorting features that make finding your niche topic simple.


Log in with your Twitter or Facebook accounts and get a review of your social feeds, including rankings of the hashtags you’re using (evergreen, underused, overused) and tips on how to improve your writing for social. Where this really excels, though, is in providing you analytics on the hashtags you’re using so you can find social influencers and create linking relationships with them.


hashYou can use the website or the app to see the top stories in a beautiful interface. This has become part of my evening, post-dinner scan when I’m looking to catch up on the day’s news.


Once you have these trending topics, you can use the hashtags and keywords that matter to your audience on social and let this knowledge inform your content strategy for your blog or Tumblr (or the new Facebook Notes, once its readily available), even embedding posts from your customers.

The one caveat I leave you with is that the free tools out there are frequently changing, much like the trends themselves, so once you’ve done this initial research, mark your calendar for 8 weeks from now and plan to do a quick follow-up to make sure your tools are still active, with a more extensive review annually.