TikTok Tracks: How Social Media is Influencing the Charts!
TikTok is responsible for influencing so many key pop culture moments over the past few years, one of the biggest areas being music. From new artists bursting onto the scene to older artists in need of a revamp, TikTok has been an incredible marketing tool for the music industry.
A social revamp
One of the coolest ways we’ve seen this happen is when a song goes viral as a ‘sound’ on TikTok and reintroduces an old song. It’s done crazy things for songs that were released when Gen Z wasn’t even born.
We’ve all seen the trend using Snoop Dogg’s Sensual Seduction song, where two people (or pets, objects etc) are made to be looking between each other and deciding on something. Everyone and their nan jumped on this, with big names such as iluvsarahhiiii and Dami Hope using the song and trend. But would you believe that song was actually released in 2007? We didn’t at first.
The same can be said about Kate Bush’s Running up that hill, released in 1985, the song became no1 in the UK charts in 2022. While the song increased in popularity due to featuring on Netflix show Stranger Things, the song also became hugely popular on TikTok, with nearly 3 million videos using the song.
A band that got a Gen Z makeover was Abba. When the musical legends released their Voyage album in November 2021, you’d think that would be their shining moment. However, Angeleyes which was released in 1979 became a TikTok hit when it was made into a sped-up version and used on viral videos across the app.
TikTok has also been the place of catapulting artists into the limelight, one great example is GAYLE. The 18-year-old has quite the story, in 2018 her name was pulled out of a hat during a songwriting pop-up event, and after a few years of independent singles, she was signed to Atlantic Records.
GAYLE was already very active on TikTok and in July 2021, she posted a video asking her followers for help on a new song. The top comment on the video was from Nancy Berman asking her to “write a breakup song using the alphabet”. Now if you’re into your viral songs, you know that shortly after abcdefu was released and became a huge hit. Not only did the song blow up on TikTok but it then subsequently hit No1 in the UK and the US.
Now the funny thing about that comment from Nancy is that it turns out, she is a marketing manager at Atlantic Records. TikToker Daniel Wall did a whole video on this and Atlantic Records actually came back and said “It was simply a playful comment as both she and GAYLE knew the song was about to drop, with the track and the video already recorded.”
Either way, TikTok’s use within this was influencer marketing at its finest.
Career (dance) moves
Another artist whose career was helped by TikTok is Doja Cat. Now one of the most notable female rappers in the world, her journey to stardom actually jumped in 2018 when she released Mooo! and became a viral meme. The novelty song helped catch attention online and so, capitalising on this, released her second studio album Hot Pink. The album featured the widely popular Say So track which has more than 10 million videos attached to it on TikTok and is the subject of a viral dance.
While Queen B is never one to need help, the release of her RENAISSANCE album this year has been all over TikTok. In particular, Cuff It has become the background for a viral dance trend with the likes of Sabrina Carpenter and The Famileigh joining in.
“That TikTok song“
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head and simply said to someone “oh that TikTok song!”? Us too.
Some songs are simply good background music for cute videos on the platform and when we hear them on the radio (yes, radio) it can surprise us that they are actual songs and not just made for TikTok.
Take Sunroof by Nicky Youre and Dazy, for example, now immediately you might be like “who?” but you soon realise it’s been all over your FYP and is still no5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Disrupt actually used this song on our first ever TikTok!
Shoutout to World’s Smallest Violin by AJR too, which you’ll recognise the last 30 seconds of as a trend!
For a lot of creators, jumping on a viral trend can really suit their content. Creators in spaces like comedy, lifestyle and fashion have the flexibility to take a trend and run with it. But for those with a specific niche like movies, gaming or education, it can be a lot harder as it wouldn’t fit in as naturally.
Krystal is a DJ and education creator with over 530k TikTok followers. She uses her platform to talk about things that schools don’t teach. On using trending sounds she says:
“I don’t feel obligated to use viral sounds but I know it helps a lot of people. I feel like my niche (education) doesn’t rely on trending sounds as much as other niches like comedy, fashion, or thirst trap TikTok.”
Does she think there is value in them?
”I definitely think viral sounds do help with views. If the video is good enough people automatically see your video at the top of the page when they click the sound and you go viral. My niche doesn’t rely on sounds that much, but when I do jump on a trend it does work out a lot of times. However, if the trend has nothing to do with my niche then my TikTok will perform poorly.”
TikTok trends can be great inspo for influencer marketing creatives. If a brand wants to be positioned as lighthearted and entertaining, using a viral trend within an AD is a great technique.
Not only does it make the content feel more organic, meaning more eyes on the brand but it also makes for great entertainment, that can be repurposed onto brand channels too.
Disrupt has lots of creative minds on the team who are always happy to come up with fun strategy and content ideas for campaigns. Get in touch if you need some inspiration!
There are so many notable “TikTok songs” it can be hard to keep up, but don’t worry – they’re all on the Disrupt playlist!