Few years go if you go on Twitter and check Nigeria trends, you will be able to have an idea of what the citizens are really talking about. On weekends, it would not be surprising to see Chelsea FC or Arsenal FC trending if the former is winning or the latter is losing – as usual. During political seasons, candidates of the various major political parties are expected to be the trending topics on social media. And when someone says something that is legendarily unique such as #OgaAtTheTop, another trend is set.

This is what happens in Nigeria and we are all used to it until the advent of trendsetters and trend followers.

There is no Oxford Learners’ Dictionary definition yet for Twitter trendsetting but the way it is Nigeria presents it as the act of influencing online discussions and making a particular issue popular, the person or profile that does this is a trendsetter. But a trendsetter cannot do this all alone he or she needs trend followers that would retweet over and over again until the tweets go viral and becomes the trending topic.

Due to the activities of trendsetters and followers, it is no longer surprising that today (Sunday), out of the 10 trending topics in Nigeria, 5 are sponsored and due to the activities of trendsetters.

Upcoming musicians are using trendsetters to make more people to become aware and to download their music; organisers of events are also using trendsetters. Companies are also engaging the services of trendsetters to publicise their products and services.

Since the advent of trendsetting as a form of social media marketing medium, there has been an explosion in the number of trendsetters. They all have one thing in common – they have lots of followers. As a matter of fact, their number of followers is their currency – the larger their number of followers, the higher they charge their prospective clients.

In terms of monitoring returns on investments, it is still tricky to decide whether it will be an effective and successful medium to reach targeted customers. But a major shortcoming of the medium is the limited effectiveness of the trending tweets. It’s always a hashtag that doesn’t tell much about the message a company is trying to pass across. An individual will have to go through some strenuous exercises just to understand what is going on.

But as far as most of the sponsors of the trend are concerned, they just want to announce that they are the trending topic across Nigeria – whether or not it is a marketing success.

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