Using Viral Trends to Increase TikTok Engagement

Using Viral Trends to Increase TikTok Engagement

Published on 28th of February 2023

Trends are the lifeblood of the TikTok universe, and mastering the use of viral trends is the key to driving growth and engagement for your brand. But unlike other social media platforms, TikTok’s algorithms aren’t based on the number of followers a brand has. Getting a handle on TikTok’s algorithms has a lot to do with how willing you are to do a little homework.

But how can you find out what trends are currently viral? Are there ways to get your content seen consistently with trends changing so quickly?

Fortunately, there are several ways you can optimize your content with viral trends to increase your likelihood of engagement. Let’s look at some tips and tricks that will have your content consistently hitting more feeds.

TikTok’s Discover Page

TikTok generates a feed for each user in their Discover tab based on several factors, including the accounts they already follow, their hashtags, and more. But even if users follow your account, that’s no guarantee they’ll see your content. You’re also trying to get new eyeballs following your work and engaging with your posts.

TikTok favors content that uses viral trends like popular music clips, sounds, hashtags, filters, and stickers. The first place to look for the latest trends is your Discover tab. If you see a specific hashtag or dance move repeated, then chances are, you’ve found a viral opportunity.

But if you’re new to using TikTok for marketing or not sure how to use the viral trends in the best way, it helps to break down exactly what the trends are and how they function to drive engagement.

Nike #just do it text

Hashtags on TikTok begin with the hash mark (#) followed by an acronym, initialism, a word, or a phrase. You’ll often see posts with multiple or dozens of hashtags, and in fact, hashtags are a way for users to find content relevant to them and their interests. But while it’s tempting just to start adding every hashtag you see, there is a strategy to using hashtags effectively to increase your TikTok engagement.

When you go to the Discover page, scroll down to where you can search by hashtag for some ideas if you’re not sure where to start. Whether you use the Discover page for inspiration or you think of hashtags on your own, think about your goals:

  • Who are you hoping to reach? Do you want everyone and their grandma to see you, or is your brand or product better suited to a specific group of people?
  • What do you want them to do with your content? Share, make a purchase, comment, all of the above?

When selecting hashtags for your content, most experts say:

  • You should mix broad, popular hashtags with more specific, niche hashtags.
  • Ensure your seasonal and topical hashtags make sense—a #HappyHalloween probably won’t make sense when it’s closer to #ValentinesDay.
  • Your brand deserves its own hashtag—you could even launch a challenge asking your followers for help developing one.
  • Put your most important hashtags in the caption, not the comments.
  • You have a limited number of characters, but you want to have at least several hashtags for each post-shoot for at least three to five.

group of people raising there hands in concert

Sounds influence trends more than you might think. From audio clips to popular songs, the audio you use can help your content go viral—TikTok’s algorithms favor content using trending audio clips. For the best sound success, consider:

  • Scanning the For You page and taking note of trending audio
  • Consistently use audio, even if you don’t pick a currently trending sound
  • Don’t be afraid to create your own audio if nothing else fits the content
  • Try recording a separate voiceover that helps TikTok better market your content

TikTok has an initiative called TikTok for Good, designed to give nonprofits and good causes a boost. Your brand or product may tie into a particular cause, or you might be interested in supporting a cause. You can get more engagement and spread the good word by checking out the TikTok for Good page for helpful stickers, hashtags, and other support. You can also head back to the For You or Discover pages to see which causes are trending and find one you align with.

You might not think that a trending challenge can help your brand, especially since the challenge may have nothing to do with your brand. But throwing in the occasional video of you doing a challenge can be a great way to grab some engagement and show your relatability. Challenges range from new dances and singing certain songs to changing outfits with the beat of a song.

Like with the other trends, head over to your For You or Discover pages to see what the trending challenges are, and try to get creative with adapting one in a unique way. And if you don’t see one that you think will work, just wait—chances are, new trends will come along soon. Or create your own challenge.

iphone xs on white table

TikTok offers tons of filters and effects you can use to add some pizzazz to your content. And like sounds and hashtags, some effects trend virally. You can search for trending effects or simply watch a few videos while looking for other trending features to see if an effect keeps popping up. Adding effects can also help grab a person’s attention, getting them to pause in their scrolling long enough to see what you’re all about. Think about how quickly you scroll through content sometimes. Using an effect can get someone to slow down for a minute and discover you.

Paying attention to the viral trends on TikTok and incorporating many into your content can help your content reach new people who may not know you yet. Remember, trends, by their very nature, change quickly. You’ll want to check in consistently. Don’t be afraid to change things up and try something new. Even if you aren’t sure about doing the trend “right,” you might be surprised about the response you get. TikTok focuses on many different trending tools to ensure more people engage with its app. Take advantage and watch your brand grow.

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