A great way to track trends is using the “Reports” section of the social media management system SproutSocial. As a Public Relations professional, I always want to make sure that I’m watching buzz-words in my industry. For this task, I choose five words to track over the course of one month: branding, cross-platform, influencer, public relations and publicist. I used the words “pubic relations” and “publicist” as baseline. I can see how much talk is around my industry in general. I picked “branding” and “cross-platform” as my “buzz-words”. These are words that are popular within my industry and that are used in a lot of press releases and PR writings. I wanted to see if that translated over to social media. First, I just looked at all of the words on the Keyword Volume chart.

As expected, the word “influencer” has the highest volume of tweets. Because this is such a widely-used term in today’s society, I saw the most tweets come from there. “Influencer” is a word that is utilized outside the PR world. “Branding” didn’t surprise me as the second-most popular word because it is also used outside the PR circle and can be used in many different ways. All the other words stayed at around the same level because they are more exclusive to the PR community. I chose the phrase “cross-platform” specifically because I know that it is a buzz word that PR professionals like to use.

This chart really visualizes how much volume each word takes up. As you can see, the overwhelming majority goes to “influencer” at 72%. You can also see on the right side the trend that the word follows. One thing I found interesting is the word “publicist” takes up only about 2% of the volume but had a 63% increase. I can attribute this uptick in trend to the one day where “publicist” received a huge influx of tweets in a single tweet. I tried to figure out why there might have been such a spike, but I couldn’t find any reason for it.

This chart gave me a much better idea of just how many tweets a day, on average, were going out. Instead of looking for spikes in volume or certain upticks or downward trends, this was able to give me a good idea of a normal day for each word. As you can see, “influencer” is a growing trend. Influencers have become a celebrity of sorts. Social media stars can earn a living by posting content and influencing their followers. This is why this word is growing so much, because more and more people are starting to get comfortable with it and use it in context.

Overall, I discovered that words that are more exclusive to an industry have much smaller volumes and also do not have a lot of growth. This can be due to a lack of conversation around the topic, as it may only pertain to a small group of people or a current event. It was really interesting to see how all of these words went up or down over the course of a month.

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