Boon or bane? Businesses tap into TikTok trends to attract younger audiences

TRENDS ARE FLEETING

Businesses face inherent challenges while promoting on TikTok due to the fleeting nature of trends.

According to The Business of Fashion, TikTok trends run in 90-day cycles and last for six months at most.

This can be resource-intensive and time-consuming, especially for smaller businesses with limited marketing budgets and resources to constantly adapt and update their strategies to remain relevant.

“TikTok trends are quite elusive as the content that appears on each individual’s For You Page (FYP) differs based on their content of interest. “There’s no fixed frequency of when TikTok trends would surface,” noted Din Tai Fung’s spokesperson.

“As users of TikTok ourselves, the way we keep track is to incorporate it into our daily digital consumption and track the trend as it comes,” said Din Tai Fung’s spokesperson, but added that TikTok trends and the content created could sometimes be a hit or a miss with the local community.

Dr Chaidaroon said he believes that jumping onto trends will increase a brand’s visibility only over a certain period of time before it becomes “saturated”, with common backfires including brand fatigue, loss of brand uniqueness and brand avoidance or resistance.

Hopping on the TikTok trend bandwagon is “fast and easy” as it doesn’t have to be created from scratch, says Dr Wong. But when certain types of content do not match a brand’s identity, customers may get annoyed instead.

“I think marketers need to be sensitive themselves in order to select things that can really represent their brand and also to connect with their customers,” she said.

PRISM+’s Mr Tan noted that although going viral with TikTok trends is great for visibility and helps to give a “fun voice” to the brand, virality is “somewhat like hitting a jackpot”.

“Videos that typically do well on TikTok are generally authentic, and less polished, which is challenging for a brand to fit into for more commercial purposes,” he added.

“Rather than producing content in the hopes of one video going viral, we think it is more important to produce content regularly and consistently to slowly build and communicate with your audience.”

Mr Tan also noted that brands have to carefully balance between creativity and authenticity for TikTok’s organic content, in which they are still trying to explore.

Nailsbynanako’s Ms Lee pointed out it will be an issue when one keeps chasing trends.

“At the end of the day, everyone starts off on TikTok because they want to blow their business up, but then they will start falling down the rabbit hole of cloud-chasing,” said Ms Lee.

“You will lose sight of who you are and what you’re even doing it for … You have to be posting for the right reasons.”