How to Use Trending Sounds

Ever wondered what makes a sound go viral? Check out our blog to learn about trending sounds and how to incorporate them into your content.

Written By:

Lita Luse
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Ever since short-form video content became the status quo, the way we consume audio has changed. Trending sounds (or, songs and sounds cut up and used as backing audio on TikTok or Instagram Reels) seem to be known by everyone – even those who aren’t active users. They get stuck in your head and before you know it, you’re singing ‘Oh no, oh no‘ on a daily basis. This is what differentiates TikTok and Instagram from other social media platforms like Twitter and Youtube. If you want to ensure your short-form content is a success, you really should pay attention to trending sounds.

But what exactly are they, and why do they matter so much? Let’s explore the reasons why in the article below.

Understanding trending sounds of TikTok and Instagram

Did you know that almost 90% of TikTok users listed sound as an important factor for the TikTok experience? Whether you like them or can’t stand them, they’re a critical part of how the social media platform works. Just imagine – if all the sounds disappeared, the content wouldn’t have any meaning at all. TikTok is based on remix culture. That means many videos are made with the same sound, though they might be interpreted differently.

When thousands of users make a video using the same sound over and over, it becomes trending. The same applies to Instagram Reels. Once a trend emerges, it typically passes through TikTok first, to Instagram in the space of a few days. To get ahead of the game, we’d suggest looking for trending sounds on TikTok as your first port of call, then using them on Instagram.

Tips for using trending sounds

So, now you understand why trending sounds are important to add to your videos. But what’s the best strategy to incorporate them into your content? After all – there are so many options to choose from. So, here are a couple of tips to make the most of them.

Check the numbers

Before choosing a sound for your video, first check the numbers. When looking for trending sounds, you will most likely also see songs and phrases that were popular some time ago, but they won’t help you much now – their time has passed. Always pay attention to when these trending sounds were added onto the platform.

Stay true to your brand

Although trending sounds are a great way to get more exposure and, ultimately, also more success, remember to stay true to your brand. TikTok and Instagram Reels are all about authenticity. Just because a sound is popular, you don’t have to jump onto the trend. Making a video that has no relevance whatsoever to a popular sound isn’t going to guarantee it goes viral, even with the weight of being trending behind it.

Think about your own audio

Why not be a trendsetter yourself? If you have the right ingredients, you can create a trending sound too. Collaborate with other artists, use your sense of humor to ‘meme-ify’ songs that previously topped the charts, listen out for catchy advertising jingles on the TV or radio, and popular videos doing the rounds on apps like Twitter. Make sure the sound is simple, clear, and entertaining.

Going viral with sounds is not a walk in the park. Understanding which TikTok or Instagram Reel sounds to use and which might become trendy in the future is not something you can learn overnight, but applying our tips is a great way to start. 

You can also check out our other tips for content creators here.