How to find trending sounds/effects for Instagram Reels (it works for TikTok too)

April 5, 2022

Using trending sounds on Instagram Reels can increase your reach. Here’s how to find the latest trends.

Janet Murray Courageous Content Podcast Headshot

Do you ever watch Instagram Reels and TikToks and wonder how some creators seem to be onto the latest trending sounds and effects – before anyone else is?

Maybe you don’t have a clue what trending sounds are (or how they could help you get more eyes on your content) but you’d love to find out.

In this episode of the Courageous Content Podcast, I share tips on finding trending sounds on Instagram (and how it can help):

Here’s what I cover:

What are trending sounds?

If you haven’t heard of trending sounds, here’s a quick explainer. TikTok– known formally as – relies on sounds uploaded by users or artists for use by other TikTok creators.

These are often samples/remixes/mash-ups of popular songs. Voiceovers and voice effects are popular too. And trending sounds often lead to trending dances.

While no one truly knows how the algorithm works on both Instagram and TikTok, it’s generally believed that videos that use trending sounds get better engagement and reach.

How your competitors can help you find trending sounds

Checking out competitors’ accounts – those with big/engaged followings in your industry – can be a great way to find trending sounds.

To find your competitors, search topics you know your ideal customers/clients will be interested in. For example, if you’re an expert in property investment search you could search ‘flips/rentals’, ‘property investment risks’, ‘property versus shares’ or ‘how to find an investment property.’

How your competitors can help you find trending sounds

Instagram’s weekly trend report (and how it can help)

Instagram releases a weekly report with trending sounds.

Each Report includes a roundup of the past week’s trending content—such as filters, sounds, music, hashtags, and challenges.

These reports sometimes also highlight a creator’s account.

The social media scheduling Later publishes a weekly update for both Instagram and TikTok – both of which are definitely worth following.

Weekly Instagram trends from Later blog (updated every week).

Weekly TikTok trends from Later blog (updated every week).

Using TikTok to find trending Instagram sounds

When it comes to trending sounds, TikTok generally leads the way.

TikTok trends typically find their way over to Instagram within a few days. So one way to get ahead of the game is to do your ‘trending sounds’ research on TikTok.

And there are tons of TikTok creators who specialise in ‘breaking’ new trends. One I follow is @wavewyld.

Bonus tip: if you’re scrolling through your For You page on TikTok and the same song/trend comes up three time…it’s probably trending!

Searching manually to find trending sounds (and why it works)

There are tools you can use to keep track of trending sounds – for example, TokBoard for TikTok. Personally I find them mixed in terms of accuracy.

As with Instagram hashtags, there is a danger of getting reliant on tools – when your common sense and understanding of your ideal customers/client can take you a long way.

For example, searching for the best performing Reels in your industry/space can show you the best performing Instagram Reels in your industry/space (and highlight popular creators). You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Look at your ‘Explore’ page. Instagram serves you up what it thinks you want to see (based on previous activity on the app). So the Instagram Reels that pop up in the right-hand side of the page will typically be from the ‘top’ creators in your space (who are likely to be using trending sounds)
  • Search hashtags that are relevant to your ideal clients/customers
  • Follow hashtags that your ideal clients/customers follow (and check them regularly)

But don’t get ‘hung up’ on trending sounds.If you like a song and think it will appeal to your ideal clients/customers…just go for it! That’s exactly what I did with this Instagram Reel using Craig David’s 7 Days.

I’ve re-posted it several times now and it always goes down well with my followers.

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