Trying to keep up with TikTok trends as an influencer usually feels like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands. Trends are illusive and constantly evolving. It seems like by the time you teach yourself the newest dance trend, upload it, and publish it, you are already out of style.
So here are 5 tips on how to understand and take advantage of TikTok trends:
- Where to find trends: The easiest place to find already established trends is to go to TikTok’s Discover Page and take a look at what hashtags, videos, sounds, and dances are trending and then just add your video into the mix. The trick, however, is getting ahead of the trends and jumping on them before they completely saturate the “For You Page.”
- Understand the “For You Page”: The “For You Page” on TikTok is named very accurately. The TikTok algorithm pays attention to the types of videos/creators that you engage with, which types of videos you scroll by or watch, and then the algorithm curates an endless stream of videos that it thinks that you will enjoy. The algorithm throws viewers in niches and provides a niche for content creators where they can have a consistent audience.
The “For You Page” is where trends go to live and die. It is where you will see the first video of a trend, the millionth video of a trend, and then, months later when you have forgotten about it, a throwback video of a trend. Paying attention to repeated videos, sounds, dances, topics, etc. on your “For You Page” will help you understand the trends that are up and coming and/or currently running their course within and outside of your niche.
- Sounds: Sounds come out of random places like older videos from other social media, celebrity interviews, other TikTok videos, songs, remixes, etc. Pretty much anything that makes noise and is public on the internet can become a TikTok sound. Generally, trends are always associated with sounds, whether the sound needs to be there to support the content or is just in the background. Another trick to succeeding in identifying and partaking in trends is to recognize the sounds consistently being used and how they are used.
- Types of TikTok trends: The trends that you’re exposed to vary depending on the niche that you’re occupying. Your niche is determined based on who you interact with as a TikTok user and who interacts with the content that you create. That being said, it is important to understand, once you’ve identified a trend, whether it is a universal trend that transcends niches or specific to your niche.
Universal trends can and should be used for both a general TikTok audience as well as adapted to fit a niche audience.
Here are some popular trend categories with some examples you might recognize:
- Dances: Think “Renegade Dance,” that was popularized by Charli D’Amelio.
- Sounds: The use of the song “Can’t Stop Singing” from Teen Beach Movie would often be used as a background while creators used text bubbles throughout the video alongside acting out moments to explain a crazy story that happened to them. The sound quickly became associated with “Storytimes.” Another example of sounds is the increased usage of robotic voices such as the one from the Google Translate talk feature to “act out” conversations between individuals.
- “Stitches”: Stitches are a new feature from TikTok that allows creators to take a clip from another creator’s video, play it in the beginning of their own, and then seamlessly follow up the clip with their own video. This is used for a lot of experience and opinion based content. For example, if I were to create a video saying “What’s your craziest in-law story?” other creators could then take the clip of me asking that, insert it into their own video, and then include a clip of them answering my question.
- Seasonal trends: Seasonal trends come around based on actual seasons and holidays, as well as political climates, sports, world events, etc. You can expect Halloween trends in the fall, Christmas trends in the winter, beach trends in the summer, and so on. For example, for the past two winter seasons, it has been a trend to use the “Snow & Heat Miser” song from the movie “A Miser Brothers’ Christmas” while doing elaborate depicting winter on one side of a face and fire/summer on the other.
- Evergreen trends: This content is always popular on TikTok. This is content such as tutorials, educational videos, routines, self-help, storytimes, “Things you should buy off of ___” series, etc. Think of evergreen content as anything that can be a part of daily life.
- Making trends work for you: Trends are a great way to gain momentum and maintain engagement in your channel. Trends become trends because they evoke a reaction, and understanding the trend and using it to your advantage will help gain and maintain an audience.
It is important when taking part of a trend to use the same sound, same wording, same “Stitch Video” that the trend is using to make your content identifiably part of that specific trend. Alongside this, the hashtags that you include in your caption can also help guide where your content ends up, which is useful for your goal. If you take a universal trend and adapt it to your niche, you most likely want your niche to see it, therefore you should use hashtags that are keywords for your niche. If you take a universal trend and want to show up on as many general “For You Pages” as you can, you may want to opt for trending and general hashtags, which you can find by going to TikTok’s Discover Page and scrolling through the trending hashtags.
Lastly, take common trends, whatever they may be, and add your own subtle but noticeable twist on them. This will make your content stand out and make your audience, who is scrolling through dozens of the same or similar videos of that trend, choose to engage with your video and your account.
TikTok can feel like a lawless place that chews up content and spits it out wherever it likes, but there is a little method to the madness. Trends gain traction quickly, completely saturate everybody’s “For You Page,” and then usually disappear without a trace.
Of course, you can make whatever content you would like to. Please don’t think that you only can or should create trending content; create any content that you would like! But knowing how to understand and use trends to your advantage can help you grow and maintain an audience.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these trends when you notice them, and don’t be afraid to try to create your own trends or sounds, TikTok users never cease to amaze when it comes down to how and what they will use for trending videos and sounds.