TikTok started as a fun app for youngsters to get involved with trending dances, or lip syncing challenges – but is now one of the most popular cross-generational apps, used by businesses, influencers, and the general public alike.
The app consists of mostly short-form video content that is both easily digestible for the user, and tailored to the individual through an intelligent algorithm that displays content based on user preferences. Amongst the plethora of content there are sounds, filters, hashtags, or activities that ebb and flow in popularity – these are known as ‘TikTok trends’. TikTok has quickly become a vital part of any digital marketing strategy; by incorporating these trends in their social media activity, businesses have been able to boost the engagements they receive on the TikTok app, leading to a stronger brand awareness, and increased sales or conversions.
Recently, the trends that have been starting on the TikTok platform have been venturing beyond the app, and into people’s wider marketing strategies. Businesses have been taking advantage of this culture shift of transitioning digital trends into the real world, and have seen benefits in their wider marketing strategy.
Examples of TikTok trends being applies to the wider marketing strategy
In late 2022 a TikTok trend began where people were sharing their ‘Chipotle order hacks’ for other users on the platforms. Two influencers in particular, Alexis Frost and Keith Lee had their order hacks go viral, encouraging many TikTok users to visit the popular fast food chain and use their hacks to order.
In March this year Chipotle officially transitioned these hacks from TikTok and into the real world, making the two most viral hacks into official menu items, labelled the “Fajita hack” and the “Keithadilla”.
A recent trend on the social platform, referred to as ‘Girl Math’, is a collection of viral videos where users are sharing their methods of justifying large purchases by breaking down the numbers to make it seem as if they are getting a bargain.
An example of this would be, if I were to purchase a bag for £100 but then use this bag 100 times, then the bag would only really be costing me £1 per use.
Several people have jumped on this trend and have even expanded or adapted the trend to fit with their niche – for example changing the concept to ‘dog math’, ‘book math’, or ‘mum math’, but operating under similar principles.
Several brands and influencers have taken this trend outside of TikTok and used it on other social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) to advertise product or service pricing, or simply for brand awareness.
Influencers and content creators also took to other video platforms, such as YouTube to expand their conversations on Girl Math, and have used the topic to produce blog or other long-form content pieces.
River Island found that a hashtag challenge they started on TikTok was beginning to influence user behaviour outside of the app. Following the launch of their #GlowingOut campaign on TikTok, River Island noticed that 90% of their website visitors were new users.
They have used this information to influence the way in which users can interact with certain areas of their website. River Island have revolutionised the way in which users engage with their website by incorporating hashtags and other elements of the ‘social media dialect’ into their website content – seamlessly blending both elements of the digital world and creating an heir of familiarity for those visiting the website from social platforms.
Why should brands adopt these methods
TikTok trends are becoming a vital element of a brand’s digital marketing strategy – not only that, they are naturally integrating into modern culture. Talk on TikTok trends no longer remains in the social app; groups of friends will often quote or refer to popular sounds or videos in general conversation. Having conversations associated with TikTok trends have become equally as popular as talking about the news, politics, or celebrity gossip.
Incorporating these trends into your wider marketing strategy is an extension of this culture shift of TikTok trends from social media into the real world. Potential customers will instantly feel an affinity for your brand by associating it with the familiarity they feel whilst using the social platform. This subtle nudge forms subconscious connections to the brand, and can encourage customers to make a purchase – leading to an increase in sales or conversions.
Brands should be taking advantage of this shift by continuing to incorporate the power of TikTok trends into their wider marketing strategy and beyond.