Twitter releases lists of top trending topics for 2010

Social networking giant Twitter has released its top trending topics for 2010, and businesses are being urged to study them and make sure they keep on top of popular conversations so they can join in on the action.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Haiti Earthquake, Google Android and the Apple iPad were all listed as among the top 10 trending topics of the year, which Twitter defines as “a window into what the world is talking about”.

Jim Stewart, chief executive of Stewart Media, says trending topics are a valuable resource for businesses into what people are concerned about or interested in at that particular point in time.

“Twitter is quite powerful in terms of businesses making connections to the people around them. You just don’t get that sort of activity with other forms of social media or search,” he says.

“This ability to connect with people who are interested in the same sort of topic as you, right at the same time, is quite a powerful one and businesses need to take advantage of it.”

While the Twitter list, which is a result of analysing over 25 billion tweets, comes just after Google released its Zeitgeist of most popular searches, there are some subtle differences. Google ranks popular searches, while Twitter ranks actual conversations and is a much more accurate representation of what people are discussing at any point in time.

Twitter points out on its blog post that the immediacy of the site’s platform makes the trending “topics list a tool for discovering the most popular topic at any point in time, not just the most popular topic overall.”

“The list of 2010 Twitter Trends reflects what’s happening in our world… [and] demonstrates the power of turning any event or story into a shared experience.”

Stewart says savvy businesses keep on top of these topics by watching the “trending topics” list on Twitter.com, and instantly know what the Twitter user base is talking about. And he says that’s a great way to get your business noticed.

“Google is more about discovery, but Twitter allows you to run searches all the time to see what people are talking about. Twitter can show you what you need to find information about, people you can learn from and other types of content.”

Stewart says there is an opportunity here for businesses to watch this list of trending topics and then use them as conversation starters with potential customers.

“This list is extremely useful to find areas of news, business, hobbies or so on, whatever it may be, and then connecting instantly with those people.”

But Reseo chief executive Chris Thomas says businesses need to watch out they don’t just comment on everything for the sake of it – then they will be seen as spam and ignored.

“Whenever there is something trending hard, people are going to get noticed. But it’s quite easy to be seen as spam while jumping in on these types of topics,” he says.

Stewart agrees, and says businesses need to learn the difference between when they can jump in and offer a piece of conversation, or when they will be seen as spam.

“The trick is to learn where you can actually contribute. For instance, I have a search constantly going about SEO. Sometimes people want genuine help, so when I see a question, I can pop in and say, “have you tried this?” It’s all about positioning your brand.”

 

Top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010:

1. Gulf Oil Spill
2. FIFA World Cup
3. Inception
4. Haiti Earthquake
5. Vuvuzela
6. Apple iPad
7. Google Android
8. Justin Bieber
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
10. Pulpo Paul

 

Top 10 News Events:

1. Gulf Oil Spill
2. Haiti Earthquake
3. Pakistan Floods
4. Koreas Conflict
5. Chilean Miners Rescue
6. Chavez Tas Ponchao
7. Wikileaks Cablegate
8. Hurricane Earl
9. Prince Williams Engagement
10. World Aids Day

 

Top 10 Technology Trends:

1. Apple iPad
2. Google Android
3. Apple iOS
4. Apple iPhone
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops
6. New Twitter
7. HTC
8. RockMelt
9. MacBook Air
10. Google Instant

 

Top 10 Hashtags:

1. #rememberwhen
2. #slapyourself
3. #confessiontime
4. #thingsimiss
5. #ohjustlikeme
6. #wheniwaslittle
7. #haveuever
8. #icantlivewithout
9. #thankful
10. #2010disappointments

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