There’s so much talk about doing trends and using trending sounds on TikTok, but WHY should you do trends and HOW do you find them?
First let’s review what we do know about how the app works in simple terms, keeping in mind that there are many things we surely don’t know.
TikTok is heavily focused on licensing and promoting music. (After all, the app was originally called Musical.ly) Therefore when creators use music to create their content, and some of those videos go viral, other creators will post content with the same sound. They typically use the original creator’s creative direction as inspiration for their content, creating a trend. The more creators who use the sound and create similar content, the hotter the trend becomes.
There are many examples of this on Tiktok, one of the well-known ones being the Ocean Spray skateboard Tiktok.
Here are a few other samples of how this specific trend was used with people getting very creative and ditching the skateboard for a golf cart, or grandma and her walker? and Moksha added her pet chimp to the party:
Grandma with a walker, Dr. Phil himself in a golf cart, Moksha and her chimp!
When several people use the same music to create similar content, the TikTok algorithm picks up on this as a trend and the app itself will appear to ‘push out’ that trend more. You’ll notice a pattern on your For You feed as you start seeing more and more of a particular trend with the same audio attached. This is confusing to many when they first download TikTok and see a lot of what appears to be very similar content again and again.
Why is this information about trend important to YOU? No matter the size of your following, if you do a trend yourself or use a trending sound, when you post your video and your first batch of followers sees it and engages with it, the app will likely give you the ‘edge’ of getting it in front of more people, since the audio is already trending.
You might think that the trend doesn’t apply to you, or doesn’t feel right for you, but simply adding the audio/music on your TikTok can be helpful. You can lower the volume all the way down on the music so it can’t be heard, but the algorithm will recognize the audio and think that you did the trend. See screenshots below showing you how.
This little trick will give you a slight edge to having your TikTok seen by more people and hopefully give you more engagement. It does not guarantee more views or promise that you will go viral, but it helps to get your TikTok in front of a few more people. If they engage with your video – like, comment, save, forward to a friend, etc, – then it’s possible you can get more views on your content!
Here are 4 helpful ways to find trending sounds:
1 – Scroll the “For You” feed and when you see videos with thousands of “likes”, touch on the circle in the lower right which takes you to the music. At the top, take note of how many videos were created with that music. If that number in the several thousands, the next thing to look at are the top videos to see when those Tiktoks were posted. If several of the top videos were posted recently (within hour or the past couple of days) this is likely a trending sound.
Note that if there were several thousand videos made with the sound, but the videos were not made recently, it means that the sound WAS trending at a different time, so it likely won’t get heavy traction now.
2 – Have a buddy system for finding trends. We all have different “For You” feeds because the TikTok algorithm is delivering videos to you based on your interest and what the app has learned about the type of content you enjoy. So you might not see the same trends that someone else sees. If you swap trend ideas with a friend or 2, it can double or triple the number of trends you can find collectively!
3 – There are several creators on TikTok who base their accounts on sharing trends daily. When one of them pops up in your feed and if you like their style, give them a follow and keep an eye on their page for updates!
4 – Click on the Discovery/Search icon along the bottom which takes you to the suggestions and shows you some of the many things that are trending. I personally find that this method does not update as quickly as I would like, so I use the above 2 methods first, and this can be a helpful fallback to discover new sounds and genres of content.
If you have another way you find the trends, please tell us in the comments! We are all here to learn together and help each other!
Helen Polise is the CEO and founder of Socialize and the owner and director of a production company that creates content for TV commercials and digital advertising for well-known brands including Blistex, Sensodyne, NFL Alumni, Odor Eaters, and more. You can say hello to her on TikTok as @themuthership where she has attracted 560k+ followers and over 3 million “likes” from people across the age spectrum by providing instructional content.