In examining several Twitter streams and some other social networking chatter, I noticed many people writing articles based around trending topics in an effort to lure both social networking and search engine traffic to their site.
Sure, capitalizing on trends is an effective way to generate traffic, but ask yourself if it’s the kind of traffic you want to attract to your website. Using the social networks to lure people with a catchy status update or tweet will bring visitors. It’s the quality of the visitors that I question.
In one of the social streams that caught my eye I noticed on person tweeting about FOREX using a Justin Bieber hash tag. I’m still smiling over that one because I can see many of the 13 – 16 year old girls trying to persuade their parents to jump on the FOREX bandwagon just because their hearth-throb showed up in their Twitter stream.
Successful use of trends to generate traffic must still be concerned with relevancy. Just ask yourself how many 13-16 year old FOREX experts do you know? What’s the likelihood of this traffic converting once they’ve landed on your website?
Chances are your bounce rate will rise in direct proportion to any increase in traffic.
Twitter provides mechanisms to capture trending topics instantaneously and applying filters/searches using some of the more popular Twitter front-ends, webmasters can easily capture trending topics, hash marks and key phrases relevant to their sites. These can then be utilized to drive relevant traffic to websites containing relevant content.
Capturing and analyzing such relevant trends from the social sphere can also provide great incentives to write. Chances are the search volume for those trending topics relevant to your niche will be higher and capturing a portion of this search traffic can provide a website with additional readers, followers etc.
It’s a cycle that a savvy webmaster can capitalize on and turn into great successes.
Remember, trends can generate relevant traffic for a website when the trends being exploited are relevant!