Like in the fashion world, TikTok trends come in and out of style, fast.
Something that seems eternally cool one moment can be obnoxious the next — like, say, wearing fedoras or Kreepa’s “Oh No.” Every second, new trends are emerging, and old ones are dying. It’s the circle of life.
So how do we keep up with the latest TikTok trends? How do we stay hip? (First order of business: stop saying “hip.”)
If you’re looking for inspiration, read on: we’ve put together a guide to the best TikTok trends of 2022.
Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.
What is a TikTok trend?
A TikTok trend can be a sound, hashtag, dance or challenge. Even how you edit your post can become a trend (like this swanky transition type). Once a trend starts to gain traction, users “hop on” it by recreating a trending TikTok video or theme.
According to TikTok, some of the top trends of 2021 were whipped coffee and a quick and easy skincare routine, while niche communities that spiked in 2021 included Witchtok (20 billion views) and ArtTikTok or TikTokArt (11 billion views).
Is there a difference between TikTok trends for creators and TikTok trends for businesses? In short, no. Any trend is fair game for any user of the app, and often businesses and entrepreneurs successfully adapt trends made by creators.
Why are TikTok trends good for marketing?
I know what you’re thinking. Something like: I’m a faithful reader of the Hootsuite Blog, and I know that being genuine, unique and finding my niche are essential building blocks for successful marketing. So how does doing something that everyone else is doing help me?
Hopping on a trend (and putting your own spin on it!) is an accessible strategy for creating content that immediately resonates with people. Trends are instantly recognizable, like the first three notes of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” And ultimately, that recognition can make you money.
Trends were made to be modified
Scrolling through the app, you’ll notice that while TikTok trends are always identifiable, not all videos within a trend are the same (that would make for a very boring feed).
Users putting their own spin on trends is the best part — and they often get rewarded (by the algorithm) for breaking conventions. For example, this ring light “Infinity” trend became a hotbed of thirst traps, but some of the greatest videos are made by users who don’t even have a ring light.
Advertising on TikTok is hotter than ever
According to Hootsuite’s 2022 Digital Trends Report, the average amount of time an internet user aged 16 to 64 spends on social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes. That’s a lot of time to be advertised to.
And Kantar says that TikTok ads are more enjoyable than ads on other platforms. In fact, much of that positivity has to do with trendsetting.
21% of people surveyed by Kantar said that ads on TikTok were more trendsetting than ads on other platforms, and businesses can capitalize on that by hopping on the trends. The more seamlessly your ad fits into the rest of the person’s feed, the less likely they’ll be to get annoyed and skip it, and using trends in ads is a surefire way to blend in.
Read more about advertising on TikTok in our complete guide to TikTok Ads.
14 of the most important TikTok trends of 2022
Because of the fleeting nature of TikTok trends, it’s difficult to pin down specific trends that will be popular in 2022. But don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered: this list covers the hottest general trends as well as tips for identifying current trends.
So read on, get inspired and adapt these trends into a solid TikTok marketing strategy!
1. Trending dances
TikTok is known for creators who know their moves — and in fact, many of the highest-earning TikTokkers are dancers.
But thanks to trending dances, you don’t have to be a professional to execute the perfect choreography. TikTok dances are usually short, sweet and entry-level, so amateurs can learn them with little practice. This leaves a lot of room for putting your own spin on it—for example, tearing up the floor in a giant teddy bear costume.
A quick scroll through the app will show you what dances are trending now, but you can also look up the hashtags #dancechallenge, #dancetrend or #trendingdance to find what’s popular.
Once you’ve found a dance you like, tap on the sound to see other interpretations of the dance — you might even find a tutorial.
2. Edgy humor
There’s a reason why TikTok is so popular with the under-30 crowd: the short videos and highly scrollable nature of the app make it perfect for humor, snark and sass. And while many content creators and savvy social media marketers have found ways to turn TikTok into a business, the platform’s main mission is to “inspire creativity and create joy.” So don’t take it too seriously. In fact, the edgier, the better.
We like to engage in some edgy humor ourselves on Hootsuite’s TikTok account:
At its core, a glow-up on TikTok is a “before” and “after.” Many creators will post a few photos or videos of themselves as an awkward teen, then a final, current clip. (Usually, one where they look confident and awesome).
These types of TikToks are great for the wait-for-it factor: users are more likely to watch the whole video to see the end result.
Glow-ups also work great for generating positive engagement. This example is at 716 thousand likes (and counting!).
But glow-ups don’t always have to be about the teen-to-adult transformation. You can make a glow-up about your art, your home renovation or your small (but growing) business.
4. Seamless transitions
Another element that’s unique to TikTok is the transitions within videos. The in-app editing tools make it easy to switch from one clip to another in a way that looks like magic.
This can be as simple as keeping your lighting the same and keeping your camera in the same spot, as in the example below:
They can also be more complex. Think flipping your camera around, dropping your phone on the ground, zooming in and out — truly, the sky’s the limit. When someone really nails a transition, it’s almost impossible to watch the video just once.
You can try and figure out how to recreate a trending transition by reverse-engineering, but it’s easier to look up a tutorial, like this modern-day to old-timey transition trend (here’s the result from the tutorial).
5. Being vulnerable
Calling this a “trend” sounds like accusing creators of being vulnerable to get views. That’s not the goal here — there’s a genuine need for honest content on TikTok.
We live in a heavily edited online world, but TikTok has a special corner for vulnerability. It’s not uncommon for users to post videos of themselves crying or in remembrance of a loved one. Sharing difficult stories can really resonate with people and make them feel less alone. Look at the overwhelmingly positive and reassuring response to this video:
It’s perhaps less of a trend and more of a social movement away from the “everything’s perfect!”-ness of the internet. Either way, it’s a good thing.
These TikToks are really simple to make and can blow up in no time. Simply type a prompt asking viewers of the video to “make the comments look like [something creative].”
For example, this one asks clever commenters to come up with their best family-vlogger Youtube video titles.
It generated nearly 40 thousand comments, including gems like “WE ACCIDENTALLY SOLD OUR BABY!?!?!? *MOM CRIES*” and “we broke up… (part 94)…”
Similar TikToks ask for the search history of someone who just started watching anime and girls commenting on their best friend’s Instagram post.
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7. Making TikToks with your family
This one goes hand in hand with being vulnerable and genuine—there’s nothing quite like a good cameo from Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa. For example, just try and watch this family dance blooper without your heart exploding.
Because so many TikTok creators are millennials or Gen Z, it’s refreshing (and fun) to see older people on the app. The trickiest part of this is convincing your family to participate, but if you’ve got one good sport, you’ve struck gold.
8. Referencing current pop culture
Score some likes, comments and shares by tapping into an already-huge fan base. Trending TV shows and movies often spark their own TikTok trends (for example, two lines of dialogue from Big Mouth is now a sound used in over 90 thousand videos, and a song from In the Heights became the tune of choice for hundreds of thousands of gossipers).
When Squid Game swept the world in 2021, it sparked dalgona-making tutorials, musical mashups and many, many, many tracksuits. This is just one of the millions of examples of how creative TikTok users referenced the show:
9. Documenting a day in the life
While “No one wants to see your avocado toast” is the chant of choice for grumpy anti-Instagrammers, the truth is, a lot of people want to see your avocado toast.
There’s something satisfying (see trend #11) about watching someone’s everyday routine, whether they’re a second-grade teacher, a lawyer or a couple who lives in a van. This “realistic day in van life” has been liked over 2 million times!
Lots of these kinds of videos romanticize the mundane, but there’s plenty of room for humor in this video format too. If you’re a creator who gets lots of questions in your comments (see trend #10), a day in the life video can answer a bunch of those at once.
This is a simple way to create an ongoing dialogue with your followers. Use comments on already-posted videos to inspire new content, like this calligrapher did:
Establishing a reputation for replying to comments will only increase the number of comments you get on each TikTok (and comments lead to more views, likes and followers).
This is a great method for content generation if you’re using TikTok for your business. For example, waterproof sneaker brand Vessi used a comment as an opportunity to show people that their shoes are machine washable.
11. Satisfying videos
This just might be the most universally liked and least controversial genre ever: the satisfying video. Whether it’s soap cutting or cake icing or freezing bubbles, there’s something super therapeutic and gratifying about this kind of content.
Like the day-in-the-life videos, these are a celebration of the mundane. So odds are, you’re already doing something that’s satisfying to watch (even cleaning a stove can be captivating).
12. Catering to different niches or subcultures
If you can dream it, it is a TikTok subculture.
That stove cleaning reference above is just the beginning of cleantok, an extraordinary side of the app that’s totally devoted to cleaning. The list goes on: there’s gymtok, planttok, dadtok and swifttok (Taylor’s version, of course).
You can try and find the subcultures yourself — any word and then “tok” is usually a good bet if you’re going in cold. But simply scrolling through the app and liking or commenting on videos that resonate with you is the best way to make sure your For You page shows you the sides of TikTok you want to be on. Find your people, then give your people what they want.
13. Behind-the-scenes videos
We love an inside scoop, and behind-the-scenes videos are ideal for education and for making viewers feel like they’re getting something exclusive.
Ontario, California-based Logan’s candies gained five and a half million followers by posting TikToks showing how their sweets get made—it’s a truly mesmerizing process.
If you’re a creator who makes something physical (like art, food or fashion) and markets it on TikTok, a behind-the-scenes video can give your brand an extra dimension. You can even make a behind-the-scenes TikTok explaining how you made a TikTok.
Here’s a deep-sea diver explaining how she made the below video without becoming an actual ghost.
14. A strong (personal) brand
It always comes back to this, doesn’t it? Having a strong brand (whether it’s for your business or yourself) is always in style. Viewers appreciate consistent content — if you’re immediately recognizable, you’re doing it right.
Creators like Emily Mariko have made an extra-identifiable brand (so much so, in fact, that it’s inspiring satire).
No matter the trend, stay true to yourself. To quote everyone’s mom (probably), “Just because all your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.”
Trends come and go so quickly. You could come across one that excites you at any moment — just make sure you jump on it, and fast!
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