Social Media has become one of the biggest outlets for brands and companies to efficiently and effectively spread their message to their audience. Companies use Twitter to make important announcements, let people know about upcoming products, inform followers about sales, and it even allows them to post links to increase traffic to their main websites. In an era where things come and go as quickly as Pokemon cards and Furbies did in the 90’s, it’s interesting to look at how Twitter can take something that everyone is talking about and turn it into a trending phenomena.

When something is being hashtagged frequently or tweeted about in high volume it can start to “trend” on Twitter. For example, when an artist releases a new cd they often tweet to their fans and ask them to “get it trending.” This was apparent with Chiddy Bang’s recently released album, “Breakfast”. A few days before the intended release date fans went nuts and twitter blew up with people talking about the new album. Chiddy and Xaphoon decided to get in on the conversation and urged all of their fans to include the hashtag “#chiddybangbreakfast” in their tweets so that they could get their new album up on the trending board. Sure enough, Chiddy Bang’s excited fans were able to tweet in such high frequency and volume that the hashtag started to trend.

It is also interesting to witness Twitter organize trends. They allow you to set your trending feed by region so that you can keep up with what is trending in your area and look at trends on a smaller scale. A great deal of the time the trends compartmentalized by region match up with the nationwide trends, but sometimes they can differ. For example, trending this morning across the United States are things such as #InOurGeneration #ThankYouPattieFor as well and #Dr.Dre, Steve Jobs, and Easter. When one changes the region to Charlotte, N.C. they can see some of the same things trending such as #InOurGeneration, #Dr.Dre and #WeLoveYouPattie alongside some new ones, like #LoiterSquad, #TheRock and #GuysThat. Trends often reflect something that is going on in the news or society, which is why #WeLovePattie and #ThankYouPattieFor is trending. “Pattie” refers to Patricia Mallette, Justin Beiber’s mom. Today is her birthday and all of Justin Beiber’s fans a.k.a. “Beliebers” have come together to cordially thank Pattie for giving them Justin Beiber. Seriously, we can’t make this stuff up.

You will also see a promoted trend, strategically placed by sponsors on the top of the feed. This is the same for every region because companies will pay to have their hashtag on the trending list. Today’s promoted trending topic is #NCAAFinals since the national championship game is tonight between the University of Kentucky and Kansas University. Whether you are on Twitter to connect with friends, to share your feelings/daily events, or just to just be relevant, you are consuming and promoting mass amounts of advertising.

By: Kacy Cox, Alexis Kapczynski, Sara Kaloudis and Josh Bowman