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The rise in short-form video content has made audio an integral part of the social media experience. In fact, 88% of TikTok users have expressed that sound is essential to their experience. Trending sounds – whether they’re clips from movie audio, popular songs, jingles or original sounds recorded by users themselves – enhance videos and make them more engaging. If you aren’t using trending sounds in your brand’s TikToks and Instagram Reels, you’re missing an opportunity to increase the discoverability of your content and optimize your reach.

Below, we’ve created a simple guide to trending sounds: what they are, how you can find them, and how to leverage them to grow your brand’s social media.

What Are Trending Sounds?

Trending sounds are popular audio tracks used by social media users to elevate their social media content. Trending audio can range from sound effects, movie snippets, audio clips from TV shows, popular songs, and original recordings.

These different types of audio can boost post engagement. A trending sound becomes well-known and familiar, so when a user who might not have previously engaged with your brand comes across one of your posts with a trending sound, they’re more likely to engage with that piece of content due to familiarity. Additionally, trending audio associated with a trending challenge – like a dance, skit, or lip-sync – can make a piece of content more relatable, as other users might have seen or participated in the challenge themselves.

Finding trending sounds for short videos on TikTok and Instagram.

How to Find Trending Sounds

Between TikTok and Instagram, there are actually a few ways to look for trending sounds to pair with your content.

On both apps, you can discover trending sounds by checking what popular influencers in your niche are posting. There might be a specific lip-sync challenge or skit that prominent influencers are doing to engage with your shared target audience. If the audio or concept is trending, find a way to adapt it to your brand.

Another general way to discover trending sounds on both platforms is to search hashtags. Search hashtags related to the sound that you’re looking for (like #reelsmusic, #instasound, or #fyp for TikTok). You can also look for popular hashtags within your niche and check to see if the top content for that hashtag includes any commonly-used or trending audio.

Where Are Trending Sounds on TikTok?

For You Page

When you open the TikTok app, the first screen you’re brought to is the For You page. As you scroll, keep your eye on the bottom of the screen where content audio is listed. Most posts will have a musical note icon next to the audio name and some will have the TikTok icon. Audios with the TikTok icon next to them are trending sounds. When you come across a trending sound that you want to adapt to your own content, tap the audio and select the “save” option in the next screen.

Sound Search

Sometimes, popular audios won’t have the trending icon next to them. If you come across a song, challenge, or lip-sync that you want to vet for your content, take a closer look at it. When you tap on the audio, the next screen will show you how many times the audio has been used. You can browse some of the content to see how recently the audio has been used as well. If an audio has high, recent usage, it has solid traction and could be on the verge of trending.

Sound Library

Lastly, if you’re in the process of creating a TikTok post, you can search specifically for trending sounds. Tap “Add Sound” at the top of the screen. Then tap the search icon (magnifying glass) to the right of the screen. Scroll down to the “Playlist” section, and select the “TikTok Viral” playlist to browse the most recent trending sounds. As you browse sounds, any with the blue TikTok icon next to them are trending.

How to Find Trending Sounds on Instagram

Reels Feed

As you scroll through the Reels feed on Instagram, keep an eye on the audio listed at the bottom of the screen. Similar to TikTok, audio will typically have a musical note icon next to it. Audio with an angled arrow next to it is a trending sound on Instagram.

Sound Library

Additionally, when you’re in the process of creating a Reel or post on Instagram, you’ll have the option to add audio. While TikTok doesn’t list whether or not a sound is trending or how many times it’s been used in that initial window, Instagram does. Trending sounds with less than 100K uses can increase your exposure and give you a better chance at standing out since that sound isn’t too saturated yet.

How to Use Trending Sounds to Optimize Your Content

Trending sounds increase the discoverability and relatability of your content, which makes it easier for regular users to connect with your brand on social media. As you search for trending sounds on Reels and TikTok, here are a few things to keep in mind so that you can make smart choices that will bring you the best results.

1. Choose Relevant Sounds

Make sure you’re choosing sounds that are relevant to your niche and target audience. If you’re a fashion brand and you stumble across a trending sound that is popular among the food & drink community, while the audio might in fact be trending, you’ll probably end up exposed to the wrong audience. Look for trending sounds that speak to or are already being used by your target audience and industry to increase your visibility where it counts the most.

2. Join a Challenge

Trending challenges go beyond the audio itself. Whether you’re copying a dance, lip-syncing with a classic TV show scene, or performing a popular skit, challenges are the ultimate way to increase the relatability of your video content and make your brand feel more accessible to average users (aka: your target consumers).

3. Be Original

In addition to participating in trending challenges, you can catch a viewer’s eye by creating your own original twist on a familiar sound. The key is to make sure your content remains relevant and provides engaging value – education, information, or entertainment – to your viewers.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to use trending sounds on more than one piece of content. If a sound is trending and speaks to your target audience, make the most of it while you can. If the sound is associated with a challenge, you can create one video following the challenge and another video using the sound as a soundtrack.

4. Use Popular Hashtags

In addition to using hashtags relevant to your niche and video, check to see if there are any popular hashtags associated with the trending audio. Using related hashtags will help the TikTok algorithm further associate your content with the trend and increase your chances of going viral.

Work with Sway Group

Trending sounds can help content stand out and reach a wider audience on TikTok and Instagram. The best way to make the most of trending sounds is to have a smart, data-backed social media marketing strategy. If you want results, work with Sway Group!

We are a full-service influencer marketing agency and have been partnering brands with targeted, professional influencers for more than 10 years. When you work with Sway Group, a dedicated team of social media experts will ensure your campaign’s creators are using on-trend pre-cleared, royalty-free tracks from TikTok’s audio library to optimize your content. Our quality assurance managers will make sure deliverables align with your brand and comply with FTC Guidelines.

Whether you’re trying to increase your brand awareness, boost engagement, or drive sales, Sway Group can help you accomplish your business goals on TikTok.

If you’re ready to see results, contact us today!