5 Ways to Find Trending Topics (Other than Twitter)

By Elisabeth Michaud | 1 year ago | No Comments

Like every community or social media manager, one type of social media content you’re likely to share is posts that play on what’s happening in the world– the trends of the day, week, or month. To find content for these posts, many of you are probably turning to Twitter’s Trending Topics--that friendly little section on the left-hand side of your browser when you visit Twitter.com, and something that can be personalized (or not) to what Twitter thinks you’ll be most interested in.

We admit that Trending Topics are pretty handy when it comes to inspiring content, but it’s also the same place EVERY. OTHER. BRAND (and probably your competitors) is looking for content ideas. Boring! Today, we’ve got 5 other places you can look for trending stories to inspire you.

1. Buzzfeed

With more than just cute puppy pictures and spoiler-filled lists, Buzzfeed’s trend section gives readers a look at what’s popular on its own site (helpful for inspiring pop-culture-related social content) as well as what’s popular around the rest of the web. Sometimes, real, hard-hitting news stories even show up in the list!

2. Google Trends

This tool has been around for years, but it’s made a resurgence in recent weeks when it released a new way of displaying trending searches: a new visualizer that allows you to view 1, 2, or up to 25 simultaneous trending searches – customizable to show one country or worldwide trends. Watch the trends flip by and click one you’re interested in to see the Google search results.

google trends grid

Alternatively, you can view the Google Trends Top Charts page and drill down on a specific topic you think your community may find relevant:

google trends top charts

3. Google+

If you’re managing community/social media for a tech-oriented brand, try checking out the “What’s Hot” section of Google+! This little-known section shares trending hashtags, popular posts and people/pages it thinks you may find interesting – perfect fodder for sharing or creating new content. Find the section at http://plus.google.com/explore.


4. Reddit

Also a departure from the typical Twitter crowd, Reddit is a place where jokes, news, and interesting tidbits from across the internet are aggregated and ranked according to the number of people who have up- (or down-) voted the post or comment associated with it. If you’re in need of a new meme to fuel your content, Reddit is a great place to look.

5. Using a Social Media Analytics Tool

Social media marketing platforms (including uberVU, of course!) often have built-in data analysis tools that allow you to view trends in social at-a-glance. Exporting data from your social platform into a tool like wordle.net can give you a sense of what the trending terms are. With uberVU, you can go beyond this and look for the key words in a real-time conversation map:

conversation map ubervu

BONUS: uberVU’s exclusive Signals feature actually surfaces trending stories automatically – in real time! Configure your dashboard to send Signals directly to your inbox for daily or as-it-happens inspiration, or view them in the platform as you go about your daily social media tasks.

top story signal

Find out how Signals can help inspire content for your social media marketing with real-time insights.

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Mary 5pts

Nice list. Thanks!

Magin 5pts

Nice list Elisabeth!

Tried Buzzfeed unfortunately it doesn't work as much as I hoped it would. 
Google still is the best one that does the trick for me :)

oliviamorgangaines 5pts

Really useful post as I am always looking out for new ideas for content. 

KHODEsmb 5pts

I'm a Social Media Manager and I'm always looking for new content to post for my clients. This was very helpful. I think I will try out UberVU. Thanks for the info

blogger2 5pts

HotChirp - http://hotchirp.com - maintains an archive of trending tweets specific to thousands of topics they monitor.  Thus, if you want to see what tweets were trending for Obama in the days before anyone had heard of ISIS or ISIL, you can find them there.  Ditto for another 5,000 topics or so. 

webdesignboom 5pts

Very useful post to search the trend for content ideas, b/w is there any other site like uberVU?

HenleyWing 5pts

Hey Elisabeth, What's your opinion on BuzzSumo for finding trending content ideas? Any way you can show it to your Hootsuite team mates?

VeronicaAthanasiou 5pts

I find LinkedIN Pulse quite useful too and it provides different topics and approaches than other platforms. Plus, you get an e-mail with the summary of current articles on your area of expertise or interest. 

JustinBelmont 5pts

Thanks for the tips, Elizabeth! We've definitely learned at www.ProseMedia.com how important it is to find content worth writing about, and it can take a lot of digging. I would also recommend setting up Google Alerts - we've had a lot of luck with that.