The way I define a trend is something that requires an action in the video with the use of a sound.
A lot of people talk about “trending sounds” on TikTok, but I don’t really necessarily consider those as trends on their own; there’s not really any proof that that sound alone helps you get more views. I define a trend as the combination of the sound and the action.
There are so many ways that you can find trends. The first one is to basically scroll on your For You page. When you’re scrolling, look for any patterns: a lot of trends have an action that you need to take, right? So if someone’s sticking out their hand, and then in another video you see another person sticking out their hand, you can bet that’s the trend. Look for those patterns, and for the same sounds repeating. If you see them two or three times in a matter of minutes when you’re scrolling, it’s probably a trend.
One little hack that might help you find more trends is to create a “burner” or blank account to see a wider variety of content. Sometimes when you’ve got a really, really curated For You page—for example, mine is just all marketing talk and some cat videos—there might be some stuff that you don’t see. So I like to look at the For You page on an account where I don’t engage very much. There’s no digital footprint, so I see a wider variety of content. That’s another way you can find those trends.
When you find what looks like a trend, tap on the sound. That will take you to the sound page, which shows you how many videos have been made with that sound. If it’s less than 10,000 videos, I would call that an early trend. If it’s more than that, it’s probably pretty popular already.
Also look at the top videos that are posted so you can see how recent they are. TikTok content has a longer shelf life, so sometimes you see stuff on the For You page that’s really old—and on the For You page, the videos don’t show the date. So go and click on the top few videos and see if they’re fairly recent, like in the past week or so.
I would also look at a couple of the creators who are at the top. Are they smaller creators having success blowing up with these trends, or are they really popular creators with millions of followers? If they’re smaller or mid-sized creators that are having success, that’s a good sign that it’s due to a trend.
You can also look at trending effects. A lot of times effects are associated with a trend: you use the effect and the sound to do an action. When you go into the in-app video editor, you’ll see an Effects button in the bottom left corner. That will pull up all these different tabs with the hundreds of different effects that you can get on TikTok. The first one that pulls up is the Trending tab. Go look at a few of these popular effects and see if you can detect a trend associated with them.
And the final way you can do it is to sign up for my free weekly Trend Report!
There are a lot of different types of trends on TikTok—everything from dance and lip sync trends, to branded hashtags, to what I call challenges. An example of a challenge would be where you use an effect and move your eyes to the beat of the music really fast. Trends like that cannot really be adapted to your niche.
The most popular type of trend on TikTok is what I call POV trends, and the reason why they’re so popular is because you can adapt then to any niche. Those are the ones I promote and talk about a lot; a business owner could just focus on POV trends.
POV means “point of view,” and it’s basically explaining a situation from your point of view—or from someone else’s point of view—that’s relatable to others. They are typically five to eight seconds long, and it’s always some sort of dialogue, such as from a TV show or lyrics from a sound. The idea is that that sound has some sort of punchline, and when you listen to the sound, you get an idea of what the punchline is. What you’re going to do is lip sync that sound—however, you’re going to use text in the video to make a joke that relates to the punchline of that sound. Those are POV trends.
The great thing about them is there’s lots of them on the app. The other thing is they only take about five minutes to make.
An example I often give is from a menopause educator I worked with—I love this example because she’s older, and talking to an older audience, which shows that the older audience is there. There was a Taylor Swift sound a few years ago where she’s just repeating, “Got nothing in my brain,” over and over. So, all my client Andrea did at the time was just sit in her car and repeat, “Got nothing in my brain, got nothing in my brain,” right? That’s the video footage, which takes five minutes. In the text, she’s saying, “What it can feel like going through perimenopause,” and then the text says things like, “Lack of focus, lack of motivation,” explaining why it can feel like she’s got nothing in her brain.
See how it relates to the punchline? That is an example of a POV trend and a POV joke.
The biggest thing with POV trends is to make them relatable: adapt them to your own niche, whatever that is, and make it relatable to your target audience. As a TikTok coach, I’m not going to make a joke that relates to what it’s like to be a TikTok coach; I’m going to make a joke related to trying to grow your account, trying to get more views, that type of thing.
Keep in mind the trends on TikTok move really fast. They last around 5-7 days tops, and then people get tired of hearing the same sounds on their FYP and they’re not as not as popular. So you do want to get on the trends early.
However, I am also big on “content is king.” If you have a message—something that’s really funny or relatable, or that speaks to an audience—and you get lots of user engagement, you can do a trend at any time and it’s going to perform well. But in general, you do want to get on them early before people have seen the same joke too many times.
Wave Wyld @wavewyld
Wave Wyld is a TikTok Marketing & Trends Expert and Coach.