May 21, 2023 - 13 min read
Trends on social media apps can make or break your brand or following. But a tiktok trend can change your life in 2023. Before 2020, it was Instagram. During early days of social media, we had Vine & Myspace. Writing this gave me a nostalgia rush.
I track TikTok trends for my living and it is very rare for me to miss an ongoing trend. But it happens, because trends could be really niched or broad. It is all based on the story, industry and timeline of a trend.
As I mentioned in the title: Overnight success. TikTok trends can help you reach millions of people overnight. And I help brands identify those trends to use for marketing purposes.
For Example, Identifying the wes anderson trend on TikTok to help brands recreate that viral moment with their own angle. Have a look at the video from creator keith afadi. He had an organic viral video about "wes anderson tiktok trend" and Adidas used that exposure from the trend.
This what brands do either they start trends or find the best ways to integrate their name & presence within a trend. Just like Adidas did with Wes Anderson Trend.
Coming back, This is What I do. But today I'm here to help you create TikTok Trends & grow faster than your competitors. This is a huge content creation opportunity, That is why the starting point is: What are Tiktok Trends and how are they different from other social media trends.
Like I tried to explain earlier every social media app had their own trending phase. And all of them impacted the generations & media world in some way. Now, the new king is TikTok and the app is different than other platforms. It is mainly due to the culture and interactions.
Whenever a trend takes place on Instagram, people tend to reshare the viral video or post onto their stories & DMs. Mostly within their friends circle. Not many repost the trending content to their profile, that is why less people are involved in that trend.
But on TikTok, Users are not connecting with their friends. As my survey of 500 TikTok users shows that TikTok users don't interact with friends on the app. Most of them still use IG & WhatsApp for real-time messaging. They share the trend by reacting to it or Reposting onto their profile.
Most often, Users will duet and stitch the trend to show themselves reacting to the video & enjoying the content. This different approach on TikTok helps creators & businesses reach 10-20x more people than an Instagram or Twitter Trend.
Twitter Trends are very similar to Tiktok, but the recent decline in user engagement and all changes to Twitter. The bird app is losing a little bit of its old spark.
Another reason TikTok trends are more effective is because TikTok itself tend to promote some of these trends. If Tiktok thinks the messaging behind trend is cool. They will push it from behind the scenes. And I can myself confirm that because when I was part of TikTok during the starting days. I was part of discussions about promoting certain trends & macro creators.
At last, TikTok trends are getting more coverage than any other social media trend. Last time I saw a bigger Instagram trend than TikTok was early 2022. When Kylie Jenner complained about Instagram copying Tiktok. It was also indirectly about TikTok. Proving going viral on TikTok is the new dream for brands & influencers.
Describing Trends is always hard. Whether it is a Tiktok Trend or a Cultural one. Because every trend has a different definition and meaning to it. TikTok Trends have different aspects and elements. And those components define it.
A trend going viral because of a trending sound or music can be defined as a relevant Trend. Because X number of people on the platform are finding that trend relevant. At the same time and it will grow over the audience in few days or weeks. These TikTok Trends come & go very frequently.
A trend making a spark due to an issue can be defined as Discussion Trends. As more and more people are building the interest and joining the conversation at different times. These TikTok trends stay for a period of time and many times come back. Often occur when a keey person of Influence like a creator or brand does something attention-worthy.
And trend going viral due to another trend can be defined as Wake-Up Trend. Meaning participants of X trend will provoke a new set of participants to start a why trend. A great example is Top 10% Influencers promoting similar products, started a new trend of micro influencers DE influencing those purchases made by macro creators.
Honestly, TikTok trends take place in various formats and the important part is identifying & jumping on the right trend. Because you don't want 1M followers with $0 sales and -1000 followers every time you post.
I have two definitions of finding the right trend. The first is as simple as 1+1 math. You can go to Tokboard to find new trending sounds or music for your content. And reach a variety of audiences with your next post. Or you can visit TikTok creative center to find outdated trends and rely on your luck to go viral.
In both of these you lose a chance to reach a bigger & targeted audience. Here is what I recommend to identify new TikTok Trends.
First, make a list of trending creators & businesses in your niche. The ones going viral currently. Because you have the list of these potential firstcomers. What you do by spying on them is be faster than others & seize the opportunity. This is proven to work, as latest data from Mckinsey & Hubspot shows that most businesses can do content better by only doing 10% better than competitors.
Keep an eye on them, make the second move. Yes I am saying second. Because you are creating better version of a validated TikTok Trend created by X.
Second, Hire a social media manager or use social listening tool both of these options help you identify trends without spending hours on content research. It is a great option because to find right trends & influencers, my usual time spend is around 2-3 hours. and it is not an enjoyment when you use Tiktok for research.
Third is look at the nature & format of TikTok trend. Because various trends are never directly related to an Industry. You need to build a creative strategy to integrate your brand into the video. For example, when I worked on Instagram Influencer trends adding a 5 second camera shot about Nike was the idea. We would take a viral running video of an athlete and in the potential repost of that trending video. The same trending video was relaunched with new content integration.
I love this way of using Viral Trends in the right way. And I asked my social media marketing friends. They said the same thing, size or topic matters less if they find a way to integrate brand into the TikTok Trend.
I mentioned above that Trends are hard to define and the nature of a trend defines the duration, effectiveness and follower growth. I tried to pick some of the latest and most loved trends to share how trends are born on TikTok.
And how you can use my strategy to grow followers by overtaking social media trends, more than just TikTok.
In simple, Trends are born based on Newton's theory. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Most music trends are born when the new music reaches an ideal audience to create an equal reaction of people showing their love for the music in very identical ways. In TikTok's case generally by music admirers & creators reacting to the soundtrack when it launches to general public. You might find everyone name dropping their best tracks off the album, sharing best song lines & other practices. All that leads to a TikTok music trend.
In practice, Music labels are now either paying those music admirers & creators to react to soundtracks within a period, to make a fake trend loop. Or Artists taking the role of music creators and doing content about their best album lyrics & songs to build their own small trend. For Artists, it is a lot of work but many artists like Charlie Puth, Benny Blanco & Russ are now experts at this strategy.
These trends are mostly inorganic because brands are spending money behind the scenes to start a trend. But often that money is well spent if creators go viral. And general public starts creating free content about the brand. How Brands give birth to a trend is very simple.
Brands reach out to Macro creators with millions of followers & ask them to talk about their upcoming products in an interactive way. The reason I say interactive is because no users is going to promote your business directly for free. Most of these creative campaigns are indirect & clever.
For Example, barbie launched a free profile picture creator ahead of the upcoming movie "Barbie". Seeking more exposure for the upcoming release. To catch the attention of regular users, first they partnered with big creators to hype up the barbie profile picture. That marketing done by a small list of macro creators generated more than 100M online impressions for Barbie.
TikTok helps brands even more to go viral without influencers. As, TikTok offers advertisers a specific Ad format called "branded hashtags" focused on promoting a new brand trend or offer directed at their ideal buyers. Not as effective as partnering with right influencers. But my clients had great success with this Ad format.
These trends are created by creators with a unique content style and selling point. And they create an idea or framework worth trying for other people or creators. And these creator often well-known and even though copying them isn't bad. But if you reflect too much of their style in your content, you will get called out. For example, now there are 100s of creators using MrBeast's framework but only few get called out. Because they don't have their own angle or style to differentiate them from others.
That is why when you do creator trends, try to either credit the originators like MrBeast or try to have your own unique selling point. To divert the attention towards your business.
These TikTok trends are born without control (especially the best one). Cultural trends on social media take birth with time & they are always evolving. Because the birth happens through content consumptions. People consuming different content on the app build their own cultural beliefs about their respective industries. And that gives to cultural trends, generally a list of hot talking topics. These topics when often talked about go viral within the community. Creating a new point of discussion.
In practice, Kids culture on TikTok is divided. A sector likes seeing kids on the platform because its cute and funny. Other sector does not want parents monetizing their Kids. Whenever a brand talks about one of the section, there is spark on both sides causing positive & negative engagement.
Joining Cultural TikTok trends require commitment but you get rewarded more and better.
These TikTok trends are created by attention seeking individuals and often these have more negative affects than positive. Because even though Gen-Z's attention span is decreasing from past few years. There is a huge difference between attention grabbing content vs trend. Everyone doing it makes it easy to notice.
For example, now many users are sick of Entrepreneur turned creators using same taglines & transitions to capture their attention. Consumer of your content realizes that you aren't creating value. It is all about hooking them.
That is why be precise with your content creation decisions before jumping on these trends.
The list goes on, birth of a trend is 10% like birth of a child. Your memories & perspectives explain the moment of birth the best. Same is with Trends, I tried to define the Common TikTok trends to help you Identify similar Industry trends.
To find the heart of a trend, you will always need a personalized approach. And it is important too, because once find that part. Use that to create an alternative trend on TikTok for your business or personal brand.
I define followers gained from trending content as "McDrive Followers". The reason behind that is when you're in a drive thru, you make a faster and impulse purchase. Especially when there is a huge line behind you. Followers gained from trends are quick-follows and many times those followers don't engage with other posts after the follow.
That is why I Always recommend, do an introduction or niched post to get the connection going with newly gained following.
In some scenarios, Your followers might not see your new content if your trending post was too irrelevant compared to your regular content. That is why I mentioned twice in this post, only do relevant trends.
I have a simple process to build TikTok Brands. I generally start with doing social listening using tools at RAD AI and will look up content topics on Google Trends to identify potential ideas & topics.
After that, Searching those topics on TikTok to find what content is performing well on the app. And I generally don't search direct keywords solely about a topic like "best fashion shoes". These type of searches leave me to nothing but basic content. I search for branded keywords & indirect keywords. Like I might search for lifestyle or vlogging content.
Because in few posts, Creator might have strange or cool fashion elements getting a random audience to talk about fashion. Those indirect conversations happening across TikTok. Help me to come up with a better creative strategy for client's brand.
After that, I will pick Organic elements already trending content to increase possibilities of my content getting discovered. I have gone through this process many time. And it might sound simple but finding right material. And structuring is the hardest part.
I can't teach you that, But with time and practice you will get better at curation of different ideas & concepts. To start your own TikTok Trend!
My personal favorite TikTok Trend is CoreCore, it is a trend started by Gen-Z micro creators to raise awareness regarding high content consumption & decreasing attention spans. This Trend features motivational & reality promoting clips in HD or 4K quality. This Cultural Trend will likely stay forever on the app. And it should stay for the good of Gen-Z. The Brand Takeaway is High quality video editing & transitions help your trendy content perform better.
The DeInfluencing Trend on TikTok is a great opportunity for marketers to finally elevate their Influencer marketing strategy. Handing Influencers new products and moving to next influencer will no longer work. All the brands are doing the same with Influencers, handing out products and done. People are not going to buy your product when the next day same influencer is using another brand. The influence will die!
That is why learn from this new TikTok trend and adapt to new influencer marketing practices. Maintain a healthy relationship with your influencers, work long-term to build that influence over their audiences. That is how influence and this Trend of Deinfluencing will die!
Keith Lee's Creator Trend is a blessing for small businesses to survive in these hard times. His content trend proves a point that you can build a following sharing the truth if the market is full of liars. Another reason his content is an inspiration for business & creators is to discover businesses locally SEO practices are becoming harder. And he is the new Tiktok Map for consumers to discover trust worthy food spots.
[More to be added soon]
I love this breakdown of how Trends take place in the fashion world. The creative industry is the best place to take inspiration for building new social media trends. On Social & TikTok only difference is the tools are different for building a trend. The principles mentioned in the infographic are applicable to your social media strategies too.
I hope this infographic helps you expand your vision on creating trends within an industry on social media or offline. This Infographic was created by Sean at 8 ball newsletter. I love his newsletter, but no new editions from past 6-8 months.
I personally feel starting trends that stand for your business or community help you build better customer relations. Trends are part of your brand culture. And social media is crucial part of building brands in 2023. The conversations around your business are happening there!
You only need to be conscious of those talks & state of your brand culture to build new trends. And then execute the strategy built on those factors to start the next TikTok Trend.
Inform me when you are trending or Hit me up on LinkedIn to review your strategy!