Using TikTok Trends to Leverage Your Business

Wednesday, 17 March, 2021

TikTok is the latest and greatest social media platform, and you’ve no doubt heard about it from friends, family, and colleagues. If you’re anything like most business owners, then you’ve probably thought about leveraging TikTok in your marketing efforts, here’s how.

tiktok on mobile phone

TikTok is dominated by ‘trends’ that come and go very quickly. These trends vary greatly and invite users to evolve them over time until they naturally lose momentum. Because of the virality of TikTok trends, it makes sense to explore how your business can gain exposure through using them. The following will look at a few famous TikTok trends and give you some advice on how to leverage the platform for your business.

TikTok Trends That Have Gone Viral

Before you can leverage viral TikTok trends for your business, it helps to get more familiar with them. Regarding the café and restaurant industry, here are some popular TikTok trends involving food and drinks.

TikTok Food Trends

pancake cereal with berries

1. Pancake Cereal: A TikTok user recorded themselves cooking a batch of miniature pancakes and eating them in a bowl, like cereal. This trend is an excellent example of simple but effective TikTok content – it’s novel, humorous, and memorable.

2. Ramsay Reacts: Gordon Ramsay’s mainstream appeal comes from his entertaining criticism of lousy cooking, with his judgements often featuring some colourful language. This TikTok trend features the celebrity chef reacting to amateur cooking videos from other users, with predictable but hilarious results.

Tik tok baked oats

3. Baked Oats: One of the latest trends we've seen go viral is Baked Oats - an easy breakfast trend that makes what looks like a scrumpotious looking cake a healthy breakfast! See the delicious examples above where people easily mix oats, baking powder, plant milk and a range of toppings. Who knew oats could look like a dessert!

4. Ice Cream Bread: Ice cream bread is a combination of two simple ingredients: self-rising flour and ice cream. This trend is stereotypical of many popular TikTok food trends (novel, easy-to-make comfort food).


TikTok Drink Trends

dalgona whipped coffee

1. Dalgona Whipped Coffee: Widely remembered as one of the first big TikTok drink trends, the Dalgona whipped coffee trend was adored by coffee enthusiasts worldwide. This type of coffee has been popular in Korea for some time and was given global exposure through TikTok.

2. Life-Changing Coffee Creamer Hack: Some of the most popular TikTok trends are referred to as ‘hacks’, informing people of a convenient trick they wish they had thought of themselves. In this TikTok, a woman demonstrated how the lid of a coffee creamer bottle could be used to break the seal, something with which she had previously struggled.

3. Starbucks COVID Taste Test: Whether having Starbucks at work or on the weekend, everyone expects a distinct taste experience. This viral TikTok features a teen who realises that she has COVID-19 when she complains she can’t taste anything from her caramel and vanilla-infused saccharine drink.

What’s the takeaway?

TikTok trends related to food and drink share a few key traits:

• Have a novelty factor – out of the ordinary.

• Easy to replicate – relatable to a mass audience.

• Have a humorous or indulgent aspect to them.

How Hospitality Businesses Are Successfully Using TikTok

Hospitality businesses that use TikTok successfully are creating content that offers something unique and shareable. Pushing the extremes with different foods and drinks is an easy way for many businesses to generate content that attracts eyeballs. Rather than try to manufacture a viral TikTok trend, many hospitality businesses will follow what’s already popular and see if they can put a twist on it. The average TikTok user won’t have access to the same commercial facilities as a commercial kitchen, and many businesses use this to their advantage.

Alternatively, a business does not need to produce TikTok content itself to benefit from it. If a particular food trend achieves viral status, a café or restaurant owner may incorporate it into their menu. For example, not everyone will make ice cream bread at home, but many would probably try it if they saw that a local café or restaurant was offering it (there’s a chance they’ll also share it on social media, generating even more attention).

Hospitality businesses on TikTok are also looking for talent amongst their staff, many of whom use the platform habitually in their personal life. Employees are a great resource that many businesses tap into when it comes to viral marketing. Discover more industry trends and insights from Nestle here.