TikTok is everywhere; there’s no escaping it even if we wanted to. Everyone, from Taylor Swift to your next-door neighbor, is doing their thing on TikTok, and if you can’t beat them, join them, right? Of course, we are speaking very broadly; we don’t want any angry emails if your neighbor isn’t on TikTok or if you live next door to Taylor Swift! The point is TikTok is entangled with most aspects of popular culture these days, and if you’re trying to build a brand or promote a project, you have to pay attention. So, whether you are a company/brand, musician, filmmaker, influencer, or anyone else trying to reach an audience, it’s time to get the most out of TikTok.
OK, most of you might already know what a TikTok trend is, but it never hurts to cover the basics.
When something is trending online, whether it’s a YouTube video or Twitter hashtag, it generally means that it has been shared and viewed a massive number of times.
At least more than most other things that day, week, or whatever period is being measured.
With TikTok, it’s the same principle but typically comes with more individuality.
Rather than sharing someone else’s video/post, or a text-only hashtag, a TikTok trend often involves creating and sharing your own version.
TikTok trends typically come in the form of a particular sound/song, effect, hashtag, dance, or video format.
Video format could mean many things, so here are a few examples:
A seamless transition is connecting two videos seamlessly for a single post.
A typical example of this technique is when people want to display an instant change of location or outfit, like going from a lazy day to party mode.
But, it could be anything.
Common transitions include swiping your hand, snapping your fingers, or flipping your hair.
Seamless transition videos are often among the most popular on TikTok, so it’s a good idea to know the best transitions.
This video format is perhaps a more serious side of TikTok; unfortunately, it brings out the best and worst of the internet.
As technology evolves, each generation seems to live life in the public domain more than the last.
The pressures of everyday life can sometimes weigh heavy, and this video format is about sharing your feelings openly.
A kind of “it’s OK not to be OK” theme, to put it simply.
The person posting the video can relieve some pressure by sharing, and hopefully, some people watching find comfort in knowing they are not alone in their struggles.
Some posts are pretty lighthearted; others are very emotional and take some courage to post, so if you ever comment on any, make it a positive comment; the internet can be a cruel place.
A TikTok Duet is when you post a video side-by-side with another video.
The videos will play at the same time, and you can only duet with videos that have been posted on a public account.
Family TikToks are great!
If there’s one thing that platforms like TikTok are guilty of, it’s keeping young people glued to their screens rather than engaging in the real world.
We maybe shouldn’t say that since we’re talking about getting the best out of TikTok, but everything in moderation.
Family TikToks are great because they get parents, grandparents, kids, brothers, and sisters together to have fun.
It could be a family dance or a comedy sketch like “My dad is so embarrassing because…….”
Businesses shouldn’t ignore this format because it could easily be a work-family theme.
Similar to family TikToks, this format focuses on the relationship of best friends.
The content is often a timeline of adventures and misadventures, showcasing a strong bond.
There are different levels of creating your own version.
For example, if you are recreating a trending dance, you’d likely repeat the steps as accurately as possible.
But, other trends are more story-based, which involves adding your personality or personal experience.
For example, the trend could be answering the question, “How does your family make you happy?”; your post would be entirely based on personal experience.
The best way to fully understand TikTok is to check out some of the biggest trends to date.
Trends like the ever-present lip-syncing, tell me without telling me, and I’ll never forget you.
Trends, in general, are important because they indicate the interests of different age groups, and that’s marketing gold.
Social media trends are more volatile than real-world trends because they come and go so quickly.
TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world, with over one billion active monthly users.
TikTok users account for around 20% of all current internet users.
The rapidly-expanding platform looks set to end 2022 with somewhere around 1.8 billion users.
We mentioned TikTok being entangled with all aspects of popular culture, but it might be more accurate to say TikTok often drives popular culture.
TikTok tends to be closer to the cutting edge of what’s hot and what’s not than most other social platforms.
TikTok stays ahead of the packs because it’s more in tune with daily life, and many trends are based on human experiences.
It’s also incredibly quick and easy to use.
If you want to grow your online presence and stay on your audience’s minds (screens), there’s no better proving ground than TikTok.
Now that we’ve discussed TikTok trends, it’s time to learn how to identify them.
You can take a few steps to stay up to date with the latest trends.
Step One: Get a TikTok account; we’re assuming you’ll already have one, but just in case!
Step Two: Open the Discover tab; here, you will find a selection of current trends, sorted by type (sound, effect, etc.), with video examples of each.
Step Three: Follow the hashtag #trendalert (widely used across all regions to identify new and potential trends).
Step Four: Follow, and pay close attention to the most influential TikTok accounts.
Not all trends come from well-established TikTok accounts, but influential accounts can sometimes start trends with seemingly little effort.
You can choose to pay more attention to influencers who are specific to your niche; music, dance, cosmetics, etc.
But, it’s a good idea to take more of a macro view as trends can be adapted to fit your personal goals.
Step Five: Check your “For You Page” regularly.
The For You Page is a personalized feed of content recommended for you based on your recent activity.
TikTok’s algorithm selects content based on users’ actions, like what they like, share, and view multiple times.
The For You Page is a great place to find variations and inspiration if you’ve been checking out a particular trend or video format.
It’s also considered prime TikTok real estate, and one of the best ways to reach new fans is to land on their For You Page.
That’s why #ForYouPage and #FYP are two of the platform’s most popular hashtags.
You should get to know some of the most used hashtags on TikTok.
It’s always best to be a trendsetter, right?
That’s generally the correct answer, but it’s slightly different with TikTok.
If we look at another social platform like Twitter and let’s say Jay Z tweets about his new album, and it’s trending.
What’s going to happen is most people will retweet his original tweet or copy any defining hashtag he might have used.
Ultimately, whatever users do in that situation, all roads lead back to Jay Z’s profile.
With TikTok, if you can be the trendsetter, generate millions of views, and reach hoards of new fans, that’s perfect.
But, let’s say you see a post that has generated five million views, and you decide to have a go at it yourself.
There’s nothing to say that your version, posted later than the original, can’t reach 10 million views.
Unlike some other platforms, you won’t be flooded with comments saying someone else did it first and you’re just a copycat because that’s what TikTok is all about.
When it comes to TikTok, there’s very little harm in being a sheep and going with the crowd.
The important thing is that you are very near the front of that crowd.
Timing is everything is a phrase that applies to most things in life (if only every terrible drummer out there would listen, huh).
As we mentioned already, social media trends are volatile; they can be the biggest thing in the world one day and a laughing stock the next.
The last thing you want to do is jump on a trend the day after it stopped being cool.
You’ll be met with the internet version of Nelson from The Simpson’s pointing and saying Ha-Ha before walking off to leave you on your own.
When you’re looking for new trends in the places we spoke about above, the one thing you’ll have to do by yourself is to check when things were posted.
TikTok’s algorithm focuses on content more than when something was posted.
For example, the Discover tab is full of content that uses currently trending hashtags, effects, and so on, but there’s nothing to say if a particular trend is on its way up or down.
Similarly, the For You Page will show results based on trending content relevant to your recent activity, but it doesn’t distinguish between posts made today or two weeks ago.
It’s a good idea to check when posts were made and look at how often a trend is posted since the earliest date you can find it.
It’s not always the easiest thing to do because not all trends are equal, and some last far longer than others.
If something that was trending number one yesterday is suddenly number 10 today, it’s probably time to move on.
There are some resources online to help you find the most current trends.
Whether you are trying to sell a product, project, or yourself as an influencer, the end goal is always the same; get more people to your profile.
The more people view your posts, the more likely they are to follow you.
The more followers you have, the higher your conversion rate will be.
When we say conversion rate, we mean followers who turn into customers, clients, supporters (Patreons), etc.
We’ve mentioned TikTok’s algorithm a few times, and it’s essential to understand how it works.
The algorithm heavily favors video content that is currently trending.
So, suppose you hire Michael Bay and spend $10m on a promo for your latest product.
In that case, there’s every chance a teenager who uses a trending slide whistle sound and nothing else could reach more customers.
And, as we’ve said, it doesn’t matter if you are selling something or just building a follower base; the same applies.
In summary, TikTok trends can:
Since we’re talking about brand awareness, an excellent way to establish your brand is with a catchy audio logo/tag.
And, since you’re here, you might as well check out some awesome royalty-free music.
Don’t forget to audition tracks before you buy using our exclusive Video Preview Tool.
There are no rules when it comes to using a TikTok trend.
The only thing we would advise you to keep in mind is the phrase if at first, you don’t succeed……..you know the rest.
Since we first started talking about things going viral on the internet, there has been no golden rule of success; no secret formula.
To be perfectly honest, it’s sometimes best not to apply too much common sense to the subject.
You could take two seemingly similar things; simultaneously, one could go eternally unseen, and the other could change the world.
To put it bluntly, some parts of success online are inexplicable; some of it is pure luck (seemingly).
The key is to work hard on the parts you can control.
Do your homework, identify your audience, and stay on the most current trends.
Also, don’t be scared to fail!
Internet influencers seem to pop up overnight, and some do, but that’s not the reality for most.
Most try something that doesn’t work, so they try again and again.
If you use a popular trend and don’t get the response you hoped for, don’t wait for the next trend; if it’s still popular, use it again, and tweak your approach.
Advising you to follow trends and be a risk taker at the same time would rarely make sense, but it does when it comes to TikTok.
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