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TikTok Trends to Know for 2023

Among the several social media platforms taking center stage in our world today, TikTok continues to dominate in both influencing user behavior and purchasing habits, as well as leveraging business exposure in a whole new way.

While we've already covered the five reasons you should be on TikTok if you're not already, the platform is one that evolves quickly, making it hard to keep up with the trends. To help narrow the focus a bit, we've examined TikTok's recent "What's Next 2023 Trend Report" to share what the platform itself predicts users will gravitate towards in the coming year and tips for putting those trends into action.

The platform predicts that while users have been influenced by their "For You" page (FYP) to take simple actions like purchasing items or trying a new hobby or recipe, 2023 will likely see that influence continue to deepen. The report predicts three trends in particular are going to be dominant for the year:

Tailor-made content that inspires people to take action.

The report found that among people who took an off-platform action as a result of a TikTok, 92% say they felt a positive emotion that ultimately resulted in an off-platform action. Similarly, 72% of those who took an off-platform action say they obtained reviews from creators they trust on TikTok, more than any other platform. This is especially important when thinking about your marketing efforts and working with travel media or influencers who, by sharing their own experiences, can broaden your reach to new customers.

The report offered advice for getting in on the action, sharing key signals to pay attention to and use to your advantage:

  • Show, Don't Sell: Tutorials that feature personal stories and fun storytelling styles; seeks to build trust through honesty and specificity. Popular hashtags to try: #Storytime #POV. For travel professionals, this could mean sharing a travel story or experience where something unexpected happened and you found humor in it or found a creative solution.
  • TikTok Investigates: Content that uncovers truths and debunks myths, in turn building credibility and trust. Popular hashtags to try: #ExpectationVsReality #FactOrCap. Travel professionals could use this as an opportunity to debunk travel myths and show customers what an experience is really like.
  • Customer-to-Creator Pipeline: Pay attention and cultivate relationships with creators who are already making content that could fit into your niche. The report found that 65% of users say they always rely on online reviews and creator recommendations to decide what to buy online, so try your best to find a place within that realm for your business and travel experiences. Popular hashtags to try: #MustHaves #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

Content that offers meaningful self-care amidst an endless cycle of public health issues, work-life balance struggles and personal hardships.

TikTok's findings indicate users are seeking levity among all the heaviness of the world today. With travel being a popular form of self-care for many, there's great potential for content showcasing potential travel experiences and "escapes" to picturesque destinations to translate into actual customers for your business. Keep in mind: 4 in 10 users say "lifting their spirits" is key in motivating them to make a purchase.

Some key signals to pay attention to while creating content, indicated by the report:

  • The Memeing of Life: Popular memes, whether through imagery or sound, spread like wildfire on the app. Some popular hashtags from 2022 include #CornKid, which saw a charming boy muse about his favorite vegetable, and #TeenageDirtbag, which prompted users across generations to share their pictures of when they were a "teenage dirtbag," set to the popular 2000 track of the same name by the band Wheatus. Don't be afraid to find the latest trending sound and put a creative spin on it from a travel perspective.
  • Well-Being Your Way: Users are always looking for strategies for everyday life, whether it's for something like a skincare routine or working remotely. Some popular hashtags from 2022 were #InnerChild and #HotGirlWalk, which inspired a whole mass of people to set out and walk for their mental and physical health. Travel professionals could get in on the trend by highlighting wellness travel experiences and other self-care aspects of planning a fun getaway.
  • Little Luxe: Content highlighting rewarding yourself has shown to be popular with users of all budgets, as it demonstrates how "luxurious" experiences are not limited to just a select privileged few. Travel professionals can showcase the "luxe" part of their experience offerings, whether it's a free bottle of champagne upon arrival to a hotel, a limo ride to the airport, or even a custom behind-the-scenes experience at a popular attraction. Popular hashtags to try with this trend: #TreatYourself and #UnwindWithMe.

Hyper-niche content that creates specific communities.

While it's no surprise that groups of people with things in common find and relate to each other online, TikTok users take it one step further by not simply having that one general thing in common, but several other factors, as well. The report cites an example of #TiredMoms, a group of people who are mothers but who are also talking about the struggles they experience in facing the same day-to-day stressors as each other.

"TikTok is not a town hall meeting. It's a space where people can find new ideas on how to explore their passions and live their lives," the report states. "And as people seek out ways to break the status quo, they'll look to peers and role models who have the confidence to live life the way they want to."

The difference between community building on other sites vs. TikTok is that more users are likely to look beyond the aspirational and take actionable steps to make their desires a reality (ex. finally booking that bucket list trip after seeing someone who is relatable in some way doing the same). Key signals for this trend include: Ask TikTok (videos that teach users something new); Destination: Growth (videos highlighting the value and growth born from varied perspectives and life paths); and Bestie Behavior (videos of everyday activities that end up being both relatable and accessible).

Travel professionals can take advantage of the latter trend by creating content every traveler will relate to, such as packing for a trip (ex. #PackWithMe), shopping for trip supplies (ex. Shop with me for our upcoming Maldives trip), or planning insight for the trip itself (ex. The best time of year to travel to Italy).

There are endless ways to elevate the marketing for your travel business by engaging and getting creative on TikTok. Which trend will you try out first?

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.


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