Step aside, Facebook -- today's most notable news update is coming out of its northern California competitor. Twitter announced today in its official blog that it's begun rolling out Tailored Trends, which (as it sounds like) are trends tailored just for you.
Not all accounts have received the rollout yet (Twitter's exact words were that the update is "rolling out gradually, starting today"), so if you haven't yet seen the feature, don't worry -- now you'll be in the know before it hits! And if you do already have the feature, now is the time to learn what it is and how to make it work for your business.
So, what exactly are Twitter Tailored Trends?
You're likely already familiar with the 'Discover' tab on Twitter, as well as the box of trends displayed in the lower left-hand corner of your Twitter screen. You've probably seen some pretty nonsensical things trending in that box sometimes, right? I know that right now, in Boston, "Pop That" and "#TellTheTruthTuesday" are currently trending topics. When I toggle the box to show me trends in the United States, "#SignsTheRelationshipIsOver" and "Law and Order" join the ranks of trending topics I am supposedly meant to care about. This is because I do not yet have Tailored Trends in my personal account.
Tailored Trends, however, are trends that are tailored specifically to your account, based on what Twitter knows about your interests, your followers, and your location. So once my account gets the rollout, junk trends like those will be gone, so long as I choose to opt in to the update. This is all happening because Twitter has updated the algorithm that determines the content of its 'Discover' tab and 'Trends' list so it's based more specifically off of the follower and location data unique to each individual user. This allows for hyper-localization of the information, and the elimination of trends about things that have never been present in your network's radar.
And as you can see in the screenshot below, Twitter will make it super easy for you to opt in or out next time you log in!
What happens if you want to opt in or out of Tailored Trends after this screen disappears? All you have to do is change your location in the top right hand corner of the 'Trends' box that appears in the left pane of Twitter. If you want the non-personalized trends, just choose the location you want to see trends for; or if you want the Tailored Trends back, there will be an option for that, too. And remember, this is rolling our throughout the day today, so if you don't see it yet, just be patient!
How will Tailored Trends on Twitter impact marketers?
This update might appear slight and will likely not change your user experience with Twitter, but it will definitely have an impact on the way you utilize the site for marketing. With this rollout, your 'Trends' box will become as important to you in determining what's important to your Twitter network as your regular feed currently is -- and that information lets you decide what type of content to push out next. For example, if you work for a stock trading firm and you notice that "Facebook IPO" is trending, you could capitalize on your network's current interest in that topic by pushing out some content on the topic. And hey, you might even see some topics emerge that you've never thought of before!
Another opportunity Tailored Trends presents is the ability to notice when something big is happening within your industry before it becomes old news. If you notice that a hot topic has quickly made its way into your top trends, you better believe you should do some quick newsjacking! For instance, if we here at HubSpot notice "Penguin Update" trending, we're going to do some investigating to see if there's a new algorithm update we should be writing about.
Finally, there's a real opportunity here for local, brick-and-mortar businesses to leverage the hyper-localization Tailored Trends offers. Local businesses can provide incentives in real-time to convert their Twitter network into actual customers. Suppose a local restaurant, for example, noticed that the people in its network were all discussing an event that was taking place down the street, causing that event to trend. The marketing manager of the restaurant could tweet out an offer for attendees of that event to come in for a post-event cocktail and enjoy 25% off of their bill if they mentioned the tweet upon the arrival of the check. Through the localization of the trends box, social media marketing can translate into a real life customer for those businesses!
What impact do you think Tailored Trends will have on your Twitter marketing efforts?