With over 1.1 billion current users, TikTok is one of the leading short-form social media platforms, making it an essential tool for social media managers. So what goes into the secret sauce of success that you can spread on your content strategy? Here are 12 TikTok trends to guide you in 2023 as your brand navigates one of the most quickly-growing social apps to date.
1. Short-form learning content
Gloria Mark, Ph.D., found that a human’s attention span held for around 2 ½ minutes, decreasing over the years to 47 seconds today. So how are you meant to address your audience if you only get about 50 seconds of their time at best? Lucky for you, TikTok is considered a leader in short-form video platforms and encourages users to create content that falls between the 15-second to the 3-minute mark. Keeping your content bite-sized helps your viewership stay focused and better engage with your content.
Condensing videos prove particularly effective if your brand leans more towards educating your followers on your product or service, so give short-form learning content a go instead of trying to cram information into a massive video.
Your online presence means virtually nothing if you aren’t connecting with people there. And it means even less if you haven’t identified your key audience, who will make up your community. These people will not only become your customers but avid supporters and ambassadors, recommending you highly to others with similar interests.
Seek these users out and research who they are (highlighting key demographics), what they want, and how you can be the best provider of that desire. They’ll always have your back, knowing that you’ve got theirs.
3. Rise of UGC
UGC stands for user-generated content, and it means exactly what you think it does. UGC is one of the most valuable tools in a brand’s TikTok presence because it presents viewers with social proof – aka, evidence that a product or service is effective, as demonstrated by other users on the app. User-generated content can come in the form of reviews or testimonials, responses to challenges, responses to viral trends, etc. – and can be prompted (such as rising to the challenge issued by your brand) or unprompted (honest opinions from a review).
UGC also falls under your influencer marketing strategy – your brand can purchase the services of UGC creators, as the opinions of micro-influencers are still extremely valid to users (and more cost-effective for you than traditional influencers). However UGC manifests itself, it’s always a green flag for your viewership to see.
Want to invite your community to take action (at little to no cost to you)? Issue a challenge! People love an excuse to get creative, so mobilize your audience in a way that benefits your brand, contributes to their entertainment, and piques interest in your offerings. TikTok offers two methods we like in particular to activate your audience.
TikTok found that the creation and utilization of unique branded hashtags (such as Simmons’ #Snoozzzapalooza) resulted in a 17.5% median engagement rate in comparison to other platforms. In the case of #Snoozzzapalooza, Simmons saw 1.1 million TikTokers take their branded hashtag and turn it into one of the hottest trends.
People might hesitate to join in on hashtag challenges because they could require props or settings not available to them, or they feel intimidated by the intricacy of creating fresh content for the hashtag challenge. Branded effect challenges can help curb that anxiety – because the effects you create provide users with everything they need to participate. Whether it’s face/hair altering, a karaoke setup, or a quiz, branded effects can help coax out those on the fence about participating.
Instagram used to serve as the blueprint for social media. Social media influencers thrived in that carefully curated, decorated environment and never stepped out of line to show anything less than perfection. But on TikTok, lavish influencer lives are out, and organic, authentic creators are in.
Why? Users want to see actual people sharing their real problems and finding solutions to them. Positioning yourself and your brand as something attainable and not taking yourself too seriously reads infinitely better on TikTok!
6. Subculture TikTok
Books and social media are not two concepts generally tied together – but the hashtag #BookTok has garnered over 164.7 billion (yes, with a “B”) views and counting. This goes to prove the power of subcultures on TikTok. Brands might be fearful of not finding a niche to cater to on this platform, but there’s really no need to be apprehensive.
With over 1.1 billion users on the platform, there’s bound to be a wide variety of viewers with similar interests to your industry, product, or service, and brand. And according to TikTok itself, it’s a platform that encourages self-expression, bringing like-minded people together into tightly-knit communities that share a love for the same things.
So if you’re an athleisure brand, try speaking to #FitTok. If you’re a children’s brand, target those in #MomsOfTikTok. Do some digging and find the subculture most likely to accept your product or service and recommend it to people within the community.
One surefire way to get “canceled” on TikTok is to give your audience reason to doubt you. Anything from failing to follow through with giveaways or responses to making larger-than-life claims can be your downfall, as TikTok users are quick to sniff out insincerity – and quicker to expose it. Since cancel culture isn’t going anywhere soon, ensure you stay out of its clutches by making your brand voice responsive and positive and your content authentic.
Let’s revisit the Simmons #Snoozzzapalooza example, which went into effect during the mandated lockdown portion of the pandemic. The reason the branded hashtag served a dual purpose – to benefit the brand and to lighten the hearts of users on the app missing social events (such as music festivals like Lollapalooza, where the hashtag’s parody name is derived from).
And what results did it yield? Over 1.1 million videos. People on this particular social media app enjoy content that sparks and spreads joy, making it crucial to sprinkle elements of positivity into your content strategy.
@nogood.io Tik Tok is very much a search platform, learn how to have your videos rank with some Tik Tok SEO tips from our founder and CEO Mostafa’s panel T this years SXSW. #search #seo #keywords #ranking #tiktoktips #socialmediatips #tiktokseo ♬ Natural Emotions – Muspace Lofi
One of the favorite buzzwords of any social media manager, search engine optimization is a very effective way to be smart about pushing your content front and center for the algorithm. And it’s becoming more important than ever as Gen Z’s search capabilities prioritize social search as their primary source of discovering information.
Every keyword, text overlay, and hashtag enhances your chance of getting found, as well as user interaction with your videos (likes, shares, saves, the whole nine yards) – so choose wisely when editing and captioning content.
A very important question your brand should always be asking before creating or posting anything is: “Will this be considered valuable?” Filler content has no place on TikTok – everything must be intentional and well-developed to land effectively. Think about who this video could help or entertain, what concerns it addresses, how it could be found relatable (and shareable), why users might comment, etc. – because if an answer cannot be found, it’s best to let that piece of content live in your drafts.
We cannot stress this enough – if your content isn’t entertaining in some way, shape, or form, then no one is watching it. Time and again, TikTok has branded itself not so much as a social media app but as an entertainment platform. That’s why skits work so well there – they’re in a story format with a clear set of characters (antagonists and protagonists), an objective, and an obstacle.
And when you think about it, it makes sense why this proves more popular than “traditional” ads – if you were a toothpaste company, for example, a skit placing your brand in a funny situation about a horrible cavity villain vanquished by the top-selling toothpaste is a lot more captivating than “9 out of 10 doctors recommend,” right?
Popular trends take many shapes and forms, can often take mere seconds to produce and edit, and have a high chance of performing extremely well. Here are 5 TikTok trends to consider the next time you see viral videos you want to leverage for your brand.
Viral music is extremely tricky to predict, with tens of thousands of hopeful artists trying to achieve “the song of the summer.” But viral tunes don’t always have to originate from a recent release – see the resurgence of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” thanks to Stranger Things mania and Meghan Trainor songs from early in her career refreshing her relevance.
A lot of your favorite viral trends can be drawn back to a single original video with a witty remark or unique conversation, and sometimes the audio clip can be more popular than the original video itself. These sound bites aren’t usually long and can be quickly applied in the context of your product or service.
From the “Renegade” to “Berries and Cream” – and at present, the disco number from Barbie – creators love showing off their dance moves. There’s also a major demand for learning and teaching trending choreography as well to ensure that anyone who wishes to participate can learn and hop on the dance floor with the rest of the community. An added plus to participating in dance challenges? They often go hand in hand with viral sounds and music, adding your videos to those under that audio trend and making it more likely you’ll reach potential customers!
Almost the opposite of an audio trend, a situational trend video gives a format in which something relatable can be customized for wider use of the trend. For example, the “beige flag” trend has creators sharing things they do that would be considered strange at first or give others pause, but wouldn’t necessarily break a friendship or relationship. Individual creators can put their unique spin on this concept and create “beige flags” for their niches or subculture communities.
You’ve definitely logged in to TikTok to see 500 videos of Taylor Swift turning around in surprise at the Eras Tour with different text overlays to provide unique context. Believe it or not, Taylor Swift’s facial expressions are part of a CapCut template – another massive trend that’s a piece of cake for brands to add to their arsenal.
Simply find a CapCut template that’s trending and apply it to the context of your brand, product or service, or company culture – the options truly are endless, and they take less than 5 minutes to produce!
TikTok can be a wonderful asset to your business when utilized correctly. Optimize your social media presence there by gauging which of these trends align best with your brand voice and experimenting with them – or get in touch with us, and we’ll handle it for you!