What the Trend Style Guide

1. Be brief, but descriptive and factually accurate, with good grammar and complete (or nearly complete) sentences.

Ex. #cpc09

  • LESS IDEAL: conservative press conference [Note: This is not what CPC stands for, at least in this instance.]
  • MORE IDEAL: The British Conservative Party Conference is taking place in Manchester Oct. 5-8, 2009.

Ex. 2 Zombieland

  • (hypothetical) LESS IDEAL: Sweet new zombie flick that just came out.
  • MORE IDEAL: An American post-apocalyptic horror comedy movie, in theaters Oct. 2, 2009.

2. Leave your opinions in the forums ;)

Ex. #youcantdj

  • LESS IDEAL: because you can't DJ (and apparently I hate grammar)
  • (hypothetical) MORE IDEAL: People are tweeting hallmarks of a bad DJ.

3. Include dates when necessary in the form of [month abbreviation] [number without "th" or "rd," etc.], [full year number]

Ex. Desperate Housewives

  • LESS IDEAL: TV show. Airs Sunday nights. Season Premiere 09/27/09.
  • MORE IDEAL: The season premiere of this ABC show airs Sept. 27, 2009.

Ex. 2 Stargate Universe

  • LESS IDEAL: Series premiere tonight.
  • MORE IDEAL: The third Stargate series premieres tonight (Oct. 2, 2009).

*Note that you can leave the year off if it's an official holiday that happens every year on the same day.

4. No links.

Ex. E-commerce Design

  • LESS IDEAL: smashingmagazine.com posted an article entitled "15 Common Mistakes in E-commercie Design and How to Avoid Them" http://bit.ly/18EK6W
  • MORE IDEAL: From the title of a Smashing Magazine article: "15 Common Mistakes in E-commerce Design and How to Avoid Them."

Ex. 2 #ImTwitaddicted

  • LESS IDEAL: Because @Alyssa_Milano has a *lot* of followers? The genesis was this tweet: http://twitter.com/Ayssa_Milano/status/4592310192 and it trended up to 4th place in about 45 minutes; further to 3rd place in another 15. Go, Alyssa!
  • MORE IDEAL: Actress @Alyssa_Milano started a hashtag about why she is addicted to Twitter and fans joined in.

5. Trends regarding recurring events (sports, tv shows) can be generic and saved.

Ex. Bears

  • Rather than change describe who they are playing every Sunday or updating the score every ten minutes, we can just say:
  • MORE IDEAL: The Chicago Bears (NFL) often trend when they have a game.

Same goes for any sport:

  • (hypothetical) MORE IDEAL: The New York Knicks (NBA) often trend when they have a game.
  • (hypothetical) MORE IDEAL: Venus Williams (tennis player) often trends when she has a match.
  • MORE IDEAL: Chelsea (Premier League soccer) often trends when they have a game.

If you do feel compelled to describe an actual match:

  • MORE IDEAL: The Chicago Bears are playing the Green Bay Packers in NFL Monday night football today (Oct. 5, 2009).
  • MORE IDEAL: Chelsea is playing Liverpool in Premier League soccer today (Oct. 4, 2009).

TV example: FlashForward

  • (hypothetical) LESS IDEAL: FlashForward is on right now.
  • MORE IDEAL: FlashForward is a new science fiction drama on ABC based on the Robert J. Sawyer novel that often trends when fans are watching.

*Note that worldwide trends will default to American English. Local trends if/when available will use local terms/spellings/languages where possible.

*Furthermore if there is some kind of major news or scandal, of course the trend should reflect that.

6. Certain hashtag definitions probably will not change.


  • #MusicMonday
  • #MM
  • #FollowFriday
  • #FF
  • GoodMorning
  • GoodNight

7. Use the word "tweet!" when appropriate

Ex. #TmobileSucks

  • LESS IDEAL: People are complaining about T-Mobile Sidekick service outages.
  • MORE IDEAL: People are tweeting complaints about T-Mobile Sidekick service outages.

Ex. 2 Halloween

  • LESS IDEAL: People are starting to discuss what they will wear for Halloween, or the parties they are going to (Oct. 31, 2009)
  • MORE IDEAL: People are tweeting about their costume ideas or parties they will attend (Oct. 31).
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