How To Discover Trends In Real Time Via Web And Social Networks

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How to discover trends in real time via web and social networks

How to discover trends in real time via web and social networks

In an ideal world, trends in consumer, communication, cultural, technological, opinion waves on the web and social networks should be constantly monitored.

Beyond the great macro and microeconomic trends, regularly published by the main audit firms and consultants, it is essential to capture the pulses of Internet users and consumers, opinion studies and the day-to-day specialized media. Many insights that will feed your content strategy, the SEO / SEM you follow, the monitoring and analysis of social networks and your knowledge of the client. But where to start? Several tools and approaches can help, we propose a couple of these.

Hashtags are used to track trends 

Hashtags are a trademark of Twitter messages. Share on X

However, they are widely used in Instagram, Facebook (to a lesser extent) or Google Plus. By tracking hashtags publications and their volume, we can monitor trends or know the impact of a communication campaign, whether it’s digital or launched in real life.

The extraction of the most used hashtags around a concept, discovers two universes: official hashtags, designed by the brands and hashtags of “spontaneous generation”, created and diffused by the netizens.

In this way you can view the messages based on trends and themes surrounding an event. 

Google data reveals the interests of Internet users

Beyond the messages on social networks, the analysis of such a large volume of data, processed from the millions of daily requests from users on Google is infinitely valuable.

Why? Because Google is responsible for almost 95% of the market share in Spain. Users use their search engine as an information portal for research, both general and for before a purchase.

What’s more, 15% of daily searches are new searches (according to Google). That’s why Google’s query analysis is hyperdynamic and with a direct connection to the concerns of Internet users.

Even better, Google’s analysis of suggestions is based on keywords often associated by the users themselves in their searches for brands or personalities, from which we get two valuable insights:

– What they care to know about brands, products or personalities.

– What influences your search when using this engine.

The suggestions come automatically when you type them in the search bar, encouraging them to click. We observe two trends: the background trends, through key words indexed for months or permanently (Spain associated with Map), or trends related to recent events eg Spain linked to Eurocopa.

Following these phrases Google also provides detailed information on potential buying trends and markets. 

Monitor major trends

Let’s get back to basics: Monitoring trends in your social networks coupled with your favorite theme or your industry is a great way to discover new topics and sources.

A tip: as with any normal monitoring of the web or social networks, you must start with general concepts that will be refined with keywords over the days or weeks, allowing you to collect topics that correspond more precisely to your points of interest.

Ideally: post-filter the message flows (tweets, Facebook post, Instagram, articles) instead of restricting your search from the beginning.

Example: A broad search of marketing trends can provide insights into marketing automation, inbound marketing, or customer experience. Do not limit your search in one or other of these three topics, trend monitoring should remain open: filter out all your post messages after collecting. For example: filter through keyword “automation / automate”, “customer experience” etc …

Trend monitoring (or innovation intelligence) is one of the largest in terms of scope. If you had to stick with only one thing, it would be: after collecting several weeks of messages, you need to define your priority monitoring specifications. Start with 3 or 4, no more, the themes of this type of monitoring are developed exponentially as the Messages increase. Keep in mind always answer the question Why do I do this monitoring? Otherwise you run the risk of failing your search for lack of definition of your needs. 

Follow experts and trend specialists

Let’s not forget that “Social Network” is that, a “network” consisting of VIPs who are “experts” who should listen! LinkedIn and Twitter are full of specialists and media that, if you follow them, can feed your content strategy with trends in technology, organization, human resources, consumer habits and behavior of individuals …

In LinkedIn, following groups can be a first step to the start of monitoring; Channels like PULSE are also a good starting point as they display a selection of professional and expert publications supervised by an editor.

It is always better than before defining specific topics or searches, to look at the general “trend”, to avoid drowning in a sea of messages of specialists in technology, marketing, organization or communication.

Another key player in your trend intelligence strategy is Think Tanks: opinion groups, most independent and specialized by specific sectors or domains. 

Perform an Event Tracking

Trends can also be given by conferences and brand exposure at various events. There are specialized event sites for almost all sectors of activity from digital (of course) to cosmetics and more.

Our advice is to be alert following 3 rules: Cross three types of expressions covering Event x Sector x Calendar, for example “Event”, “Fairs”, “Conferences” associated with “Cosmetic” or “Digital”, and say to fine tune the Search we add “Calendar” or “Calendar”.

We hope these tips help you to find sources of information to discover trends that you can incorporate into your content strategies. Tell us if you know more ways to detect trends on the web. 


Devendra Singh

Director, Content Strategy at Digital Marketing Trends. I develop, evaluate, and improve the company's content strategies. Providing a big online presence for SMEs and StartUps.