Since joining TikTok, you’ve probably come across videos on your For You page that have millions of views or use the same audio in different ways. Maybe you’re ready to try your hand at a trend, or maybe you already have, but if you’re reading this, you must be ready to step up your creator game and jump on the bandwagon.

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Just because you use a trending hashtag, audio or effect doesn’t mean your video will automatically go viral. While there is some strategy to “going viral,” it’s not really something you can plan for.

Trends can range anywhere from niche-specific to platform-wide, so it’s important to keep tabs on what’s trending in your industry or among your target audience, and what’s gaining traction across the platform. TikTok’s algorithm rewards videos that use certain trending hashtags, audio and effects, so you should consider leveraging these trends whenever it makes the most sense for your brand.

If you’re a social media strategist like me, you probably spend a minimum of an hour each day scrolling through TikTok and making mental notes (or DMing your colleagues – sorry Gabby!) about which trends, challenges, effects and audio to leverage for specific clients or industries. But if you actually have a life, you may find it difficult to keep up with what’s blowing up on a daily or weekly basis.

There are several ways to track trending TikTok content:

  1. Using the Discover tab, users can view trending hashtags and audio, clicking into each topic to see how other users have hopped on the trend. This Discover tab also shows the use count for each hashtag or audio so you can see just how wide-reaching it is.
  2. Open a new video and select “Add sound,” then select the TikTok Viral playlist which contains the top 10+ trending audio clips. TikTok also provides recommended audio based on your engagement and use habits.
  3. Search #trendalert, turn on post notifications for users like @socialby.lu (one of my faves!) or leverage outside apps like TrendTok to get trend alerts delivered directly to your phone.

But even if you do manage to stay on top of what’s trending, it can still be a struggle to figure out how to leverage that trend for your brand and audience. This is where the true skill comes in.

To put it plainly…

I promise, you will get better with time, but the only way to improve is with practice. Sometimes you just have to dive in headfirst and make some mistakes for yourself to truly learn what works best for your brand and resonates most with your audience. I will note that not all TikTok trends should be jumped on by every brand, but here are some that anyone or any brand can lean into:

1. Trending Audio

When a new sound is trending, try it out! There are a few things you need to make sure you get right:

  • Lip syncing – Don’t be one of those people who posts a video where your mouth doesn’t match up with the words. Try it until you get it right and transcribe the audio if you have to.
  • Reference – Be sure the way you’re inserting your brand makes sense with the theme/trend. Watch a variety of videos using the same audio and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

2. Duets

Find a trending video within your industry or niche and duet it – you can act along with the existing video or film a reaction to the existing video. This is a great way to tap into existing content on the platform and leverage it for views on your page.

3. Augmented Reality Filters

When you log into the TikTok app and start a new video, you can select the Effects tab and view which filters are currently trending. Maybe you just leverage a filter for a more interesting background or feature while speaking on a topic of interest to your target audience, or maybe you tie one of the interactive filters into your brand’s mission or culture. Just have some fun with it – the whole point of posting to TikTok is to be authentic, engaging and entertaining.

4. Educational Content

One of the best ways to provide value and keep users engaged on TikTok is by teaching them something. According to rumors, TikTok may even be creating a new page next to the For You page dedicated to educational content in an effort to reposition the app as useful for any age. Creating a “How-To” video or breaking down a complex or niche topic relevant to your industry can help to engage a new audience.

5. Behind the Scenes

People are nosy. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be on social media following what other people are doing with their lives! You can use this to your advantage by taking users behind the scenes in your business. What is something that the general public typically wouldn’t see or know about your brand? Show them that!

6. Transitions 

Nailing the perfect transition between clips in your TikTok can mean the difference between 100 and 100,000 views. While there are trending transitions, and some that go along with audio trends, you should put thought and consideration into how you will transition from one clip to the next. If you’re ever curious about how a transition is done, there are tons of breakdown videos available on YouTube and TikTok.

7. Dance Challenges

I know, I know. You thought you were going to make it through this whole blog post without reading about TikTok Dance Challenges, but hear me out. No matter your skill level, age, gender or what-have-you, everyone will stop to watch your team try their hand at a dance challenge. Spend some time prior to recording mastering the steps, but remember to have fun with it.

Interested in getting guidance from our social media pros for your brand? We’d love to talk!