Frontline Marketing

Analysis: May’s Biggest Twitter Trends

Twitter Bird Hashtag Pattern

By | June 16, 2017 |

Editor’s note: Robin Boytos is the director of analytics for Ayzenberg Insights. AListDaily is the editorial and publishing arm of the Ayzenberg Group, the parent company of Ayzenberg Insights.


At Ayzenberg Insights, I’m often tasked with understanding the conversations happening on social media. Twitter continues to be a platform where those conversations (within the parameters of 140 characters) tend to spread like wildfire.

We decided to take a look at trending Twitter hashtags and topics, in the US and globally, as they say a lot about the passions of the moment. We’re looking at the platform each month to see what we might glean from conversations, digging into post volume and length of trending.

What surfaces has some implication for brands about maximizing on the currents of conversations happening at any one time. Here’s our take on the trends for this month—stay tuned to see how these trends continue to evolve, and check out last month’s biggest trends to compare.

US Twitter Trends

Days of the week and TV shows with passionate communities regularly trend each week. Dancing With The Stars, Agents of Shield, Scandal, SDLive and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta made the top trending hashtags for another month.

A few TV shows made our list for the first time were all due to season or series finales. Titles that fell into this category: Empire, The Leftovers, Samurai Jack, The Flash and Eurovision.

While a few topics trended this month from a particular ignition point, many conversations in the US quickly shift to political or socioeconomic undertones, driving these topics into the Top 25. Joe Budden and Lil Yachty had a heated hip-hop feud over Lil Yachty’s controversial cover featuring diversity spanning race, gender and sexuality.  With a divided country on many of these topics, this sparked much conversation and in true Twitter form, turned into memes of Joe Budden. Similarly, Jimmy Kimmel shared his newborn child’s heart condition with the public, and this quickly turned to a conversation about healthcare in the US.

US Hashtag Spotlight

The hashtag of most interest to marketers in the US this month was #NationalEatWhatYouWantDay. Just like any other playful holiday, brands and celebrities find creative ways to tap into the conversation. Disney Pixar was able to capitalize on this trend with one of their most loved animated films, Up. Disney Pixar utilized a silly, playful GIF to participate in the holiday that resonated with their young-hearted audience.  This tweet received 443 retweets and 1,440 likes.

Other brands like Chipotle leveraged a simple text-only tweet to partake in the conversation. This was unique in that the language/tone of the tweet gave the brand some personality and authenticity, allowing them to get away with not needing a creative asset to attract their community. Their strategy was short and sweet, resulting in 729 retweets and 2,000 likes.

Global Twitter Trends

Similar to last month, days of the week trend regularly in multiple languages, however, this month futbol was not nearly as dominant. TV shows have encroached the global Top 25. Topics that fell in this category: Master Chef Brazil, Prison Break, Dancing Brazil, Master Chef Mexico, Vertigo, Koh Lanta, The Bachelorette, Dancing With The Stars US and Eurovision.

US politics have also made a global impact with the firing of FBI Director James Comey and President Trump and Ivanka Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

Global Hashtag Spotlight

Hashtag spotlights for global marketers this month include #loveislove and #StarWarsDay.

#loveislove was an impactful hashtag to unite the global communities on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. The television show Shadow Hunters jumped in on the trend by utilizing a clip from their show which successfully drove 4,000 retweets and 8,300 likes as the message was true to the community.

Teen Vogue’s tweet boosted its engagements to 600 retweets and 1,000 likes. The brand took an extra step, in addition to the Pride flag gif, and created a thread with helpful articles on how to handle different scenarios that occur within the LGBT community in support of the event.

May 4, a widely known day as Star Wars day that unites fans from around the world to celebrate using #StarWarsDay and #MayThe4thBeWithYou. A few US football teams took to this trend by cleverly tying Star Wars to football.  The Texans posted this humorous gif receiving just shy of 4,000 engagements, while the Patriots related the trend back to their Superbowl wins receiving nearly 10,000 engagements on Twitter.

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