Trending topics have all the benefits of giving yourself a lobotomy. However, they come without the high price or inherent danger of performing a clumsy self-surgery on your brain. They somehow manage to combine the absolute worst in ideas, writing, and respect for other human beings in less than 140 characters.
It takes serious effort to be that consistently bad.
Let’s take a trend from last week and use it as an example: #iusetothink
This trend would be fine if people used it correctly. We would see a bunch of people saying “A good workout #iusetothink” or “A walk with the dog #iusetothink.” But no, that would be too obvious and would assume that people understood basic tense agreement.
Instead, we have a bunch of people saying things that they USED to think. This trend has caught on so much that even brands, whose community managers should know better, used the hashtag in a desperate attempt to stay out of touch and in front of an audience. It makes brands look dumb.
Marketers - based on this example, we can assume that the audience for promoted trends doesn’t even understand the basics of grammar. Do you honestly believe that the people who share trending topics will grasp your weird promoted trend and be able to help you accomplish your business goals?
This is why Twitter’s trending topics fail so miserably. Putting some funky hashtagged term in the face of hundreds of millions of Twitter users does not mean an instant success. You can’t target if you’re getting the brightest people, or those who need to go back to grammar school. And both of those groups will find a way to twist your message around in ways you never expected.
So avoid giving yourself the stress and brain damage and just avoid trending topics. Your brain cells will thank me later.