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The quick guide to newsjacking with Free Social Search Talkwalker

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What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the art of engaging with news stories and trends to drive more engagement for your brand’s products or services. It helps keep your brand relevant, trendy, and if done well, increases your chances of virality.

The trick is finding the trends to newsjack quickly. Too slow, and you’ll miss the opportunity. Your messaging will be irrelevant and fail to make the impact you want. To get your ideas noticed, you have to be fast.

Free Social Search

Enter Free Social Search. It helps you identify the biggest trends and topics from the last seven days, from across news, social channels, blogs and more. It finds the stories that everyone is talking about.

But what do you search for? One obvious term to try is viral trend. This will quickly highlight what’s driving the buzz on the internet.

In one week, the phrase was used 356 times. Not many, but it helps you drill down into what’s happening. By analyzing some of the results, there were several consistent phrases. Number neighbor and hot water challenge. Let’s dig deeper into those.

Newsjacking compare trends

The phrase number neighbor was mentioned 1.8m times in the last 7 days.

Free Social Search allows you to compare upto 5 phrases at once. In real-time. Making it easy to see which ones are getting more mentions and engagement. Number neighbor is a clear winner here.

It also allows us to check the sentiment of the phrase too. Our AI-powered sentiment analysis has upto an average 90% accuracy in 92 languages. We can quickly see that the hot water challenge is a topic any marketer would want to avoid.

Newsjacking sentiment

After some shocking news stories, the hot water challenge has generated a lot of negative sentiment.

Number neighbor it is. Texting a phone number that’s one digit higher or lower than yours, to see what response you get.


Once the trend is found, it’s easy for you to adapt your content marketing to be part of the conversation. 


Columbus Blue Jackets joined the trend with some humor. (Note the tagged competitor).

Newsjacking industry trends

Another successful newsjacking method, is to look at the conversational data from your industry. Search for the key phrases or keywords that appear in typical brand mentions, and look at the conversations that surround them.

For example, when analyzing the airline industry, the phrase backless seat has peaked, with 18.2k mentions.

Newsjacking airline word cloud

When backless seat suddenly starts trending in conversations relating to airlines, you know there’s an issue bubbling.

This was due to an issue with  easyJet airline that was tweeted by a passenger, which may not have blown up, if it hadn't been mismanaged by their community team. They should have read our PR crisis management guide.


This tweet wasn’t great news for easyJet. But their response only poured fuel on the fire.

But one company’s woes can be another's benefit. In this case, it may have been a little controversial for other airlines to jump in, but in slightly less volatile crises there could have been an opportunity.

In this case, it was the fashion brand ASOS that decided to newsjack the breaking news story.


ASOS knows how to newsjack a story. This tweet gained the brand 1.2k engagements within 24 hours.

How to newsjack long term trends

Free Social Search is a great way to hack trends from the last 7 days. But what if you want to look at the longer term? Quick Search is just as easy to use, but offers 13 months of back data at your finger tips, with real-time brand research and instant content ideation. Helping you gain media attention for your brand consistently, and helping you add newsjacking into your marketing strategy.

Get newsjacking for yourself

So that’s how newsjacking works. Helping you push your brand ideas into a breaking news story, and keeping your social media messaging relevant and on trend. And best of all, with Talkwalker’s Free Social Search, it’s completely free to use - forever. You can sign-up and start tracking your brand trends instantly, with upto 7 days back data by clicking below.


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