3 Tactics for Traffic Using Twitter Trending Topics

by claire on June 25, 2009

(Say that title 3 times fast :) )

First off, if you’re not familiar with Twitter Trending Topics, they’re the links you see on the right side of pages (like your home page), that track commonly occurring words in tweets.  Clicking on them takes you to a search result page that displays all the latest tweets about that topic.  Naturally, these pages get a lot of eyeballs, as curious people look to see what people are saying about the Trending Topic.

Spammers, being great at finding opportunities to get clicks, have infiltrated this space:

twitter trending topics

Notice how Nicelyu1045 has cleverly added “Tehran Transformers 2 iphone AT&T Spain Iran” to the end of her tweet?  While this might get some clicks, by it’s very spammy nature, it probably won’t have high returns and is a blight on the whole purpose of the Trending Topics to display true tweets about the topic.

I don’t recommend mimicking this spammy behavior, but we can learn from the spammers and find ways to get traffic while also adding value to the conversation.

Here are 3 non-spammy ways to get traffic from Twitter Trending Topics:

  1. Try to anticipate hot topics before they happen
  2. My team recently decided to anticipate the launch of Transformers 2 and get ready with an article about it.  Anticipation works pretty well for things like movies and hot product releases, but is a little more difficult for things like breaking news (especially when many news stories are now first broke on Twitter), which is why I recommend #2:

  3. Monitor hot topics regularly and write content around them relative to your site’s niche
  4. With a little creativity, nearly every Trending Topic could be stretched to something related to your niche.  Take the Transformers 2 example: 8 Transformers 2 Cars to Snag Megan Fox – pretty far stretch to tie the movie back to insurance (the site’s niche).  However, the article is effectively accomplishes this goal.  The window of time the topic will be in Trending Topics can be short, so you have to act fast when you see a new trend appearing.

  5. Reply to users in the Trending Topics timeline, referring them to your related content
  6. Once you have some content around the the trending topic, if you think it’s valuable to a person’s tweet, interact with them.  One thing to watch, though, is if your topic is a far stretch, your tweet may come across spammy.  If done with tact, however, you may be able to pick up some new followers, in addition to get some good traffic.

Do you have other ideas of how you could use Trending Topics for traffic?  Let me know with a comment or tweet!

Share and Enjoy:
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

danielle June 25, 2009 at 1:03 pm

that account you found got suspended, so at least twitter is staying on top of the really obvious spammers. and great sequence of tips. just like in blogging, you have to put out the content, and let people know you exist!

claire July 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

Great post from @lyndoman about how the company, moonfruit, is generating buzz using Trending Topics. http://www.cornwallseo.com/search/2009/07/01/moonfruit-bigger-than-jacko/

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