tiktok challenges

Try These 15 TikTok Challenges to Generate Engagement in 2023!

These days, many brands that want to reach GenZ are turning to TikTok for content marketing. And the ones that haven’t are probably considering it. One reason for this is that, as a heap of analytics data has demonstrated, TikTok is wildly popular with younger consumers.

However, working on TikTok is much different from interacting on TikTok. Not only is it an import from Asia, but it has a very different culture. Then, the content parameters are rather different from the ones you’ll find on their competitors.

Taken together, the challenges of working on TikTok mean that many brands struggle to garner the engagement that they need. While working with influencers is one way to cope, even influencer-backed brands need their own organic engagement.

One of the best ways to incite engagement on TikTok is by issuing challenges. Not only are they effective, but challenges are the original method of interacting with other creators on TikTok.

What are TikTok Challenges?

Challenges are the main way in which TikTok creators encourage people to join a discussion or interact with their content. In other words, they challenge people to create videos performing a specific action or task. It’s a kind of trend that is accompanied by relevant hashtags that give them visibility and sometimes virality. 

Even if you don’t use TikTok, the chances are that you’ve heard of TikTok challenges before. News articles will occasionally talk about TikTok challenges that their people, especially teenagers, to do things that are unwise or destructive. For instance, the “devious licks” challenge encouraged young people to steal items from public spaces. It was a major problem in school districts a file back, but fortunately, it’s no longer popular.

With that said, most TikTok challenges are fun, amusing, or otherwise harmless. The inappropriate challenges that go viral are in the minority.

What are the Main Types of TikTok Challenges?

There are several different TikTok challenge types, each of which has its own character. Challengers suggest a different kind of task based on the challenge type and the sponsor if any.

Community challenges: Start from a viral question or trend that’s doing the rounds in TikTok. They are completely organic, niche specific, and do not usually go viral across the platform. You can expect the actions in a community challenge to be appropriate for the niche rather than being a generalized topic.

Niche challenges: Communities (tied to specific interests like beauty, fashion, gaming, etc) within TikTok have their own unique challenges that go viral with their audience. They might also mention a brand or product when the item is especially useful to that constituency. However, the challenge is not centered around the brand.



Branded challenges: Campaigns created by brands to promote their products and raise awareness. They are usually done in collaboration with content creators. In other words, these are excellent opportunities for influencer marketing because influencers will frequently introduce the challenge. Then, it’s relatively easy to track success based on the associated hashtag use, comments, and a few other factors. You’ll even get some content that can be repurposed in other places, like YouTube Shorts or even commercials.

What are the Benefits of TikTok Challenges for your Brand?

While it’s easy to talk about TikTok challenges and how easy they are to make, it’s a little different to understand. However, this is very important because who wants to put resources into something that won’t help very much? Let’s look at the different benefits of starting a TikTok challenge.

Brand Awareness

The first benefit is brand awareness, and in some ways, it’s one of the most valuable. This is true, especially when you consider that learning about something is the first step in the sales funnel. Making TikTok challenges to boost brand awareness is easy, and it can involve a lot of creativity. In fact, you can ask people to portray your brand or product in ways that are funny or creative. Then, you can take other steps to move people further down the sales funnel.

Further Reading: From Starting to Going Global: 5 Amazing Secrets for How to Get Followers on TikTok (for Brand New Accounts)

Increase Engagement

If your TikTok page is short on engagement, then TikTok challenges can help improve the situation. This is especially true if your challenge is creative or makes people laugh. After all, many people go on TikTok so that they can be entertained or show off their skills.

A great thing about TikTok challenges for engagement is that you can use almost any type of challenge to accomplish your goal. The challenge doesn’t even need to mention your brand.

Earn User-Generated Content for Your Brand

I’ve talked a lot about the value of user-generated content. When people spontaneously discuss products and services, it helps the brand gain social proof and be seen as something valuable. Otherwise, a lot of potential customers may decide that the brand is being portrayed in good light just because it’s the brand doing the advertising.

Promote Your Product

Shameless plugs aren’t always bad. After all, that’s what we often do in advertising. But if the brand promotion is done tastefully, even a shameless plug will seem highly appealing. There’s nothing like people being entertained and realizing that the source of entertainment is ultimately your brand. It’s kind of like the seasonal Coca-Cola commercials with the polar bears — associating your brand with something positive yet unrelated.

Further Reading: 15 Legit Ways How to Get More Views on TikTok

Speak the Language of Your Audience

No matter who your target audience is, it’s almost always best to speak their language. That’s because, while you can sometimes get your point across by presenting the information a different way, it’ll be a lot less effective. People like to know that your brand is something that they can understand.

Build Meaningful Connections

Every time someone accepts your TikTok challenges, you’ll get a notification for that hashtag. This will help you meet new accounts online and can help you find influencers or fans. Over time, you can return the favor of engaging with each user’s content and create connections with people that you might be able to draw on later.

Further Reading: 6 Tips To Help You Find The Right TikTok Influencers

Create a Community Around Your Brand

Brand communities tend to be relatively loyal. After all, they spend time interacting with your brand and its products. They might even share what they know with people who trust their opinions. Besides the promotional value of communities, however, they are also a great place to get feedback. For instance, people may decide that they really love one feature of your product but that the other feature leaves much to be desired. You can share this information with your product development department so that you can address customer concerns efficiently.

Either way, your brand wins when there’s a thriving community.

Here are 15 TikTok Challenges to Generate Engagement in 2023

Now that you understand the potential benefits of TikTok challenges let’s look at the different types of challenges that you can create. Each of these options has different features and benefits for your brand and its community alike. In addition, the tone ranges from funny all the way to very serious.

1. In 2023, I Will Challenge

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The idea behind it is to make a video about what you will do in 2023. This could be anything from traveling to starting a new job. Users create a brief video and post it on TikTok – a perfect and thoughtful way to kick off your new year on the platform.

An “I will” challenge is also very versatile from a branding and community-building standpoint. Brands have used positive vibes on a personal level quite a bit lately, such as the Dove soap discussions about beauty. Because soap is less focused on how you look than makeup or grooming products, it was a very effective way to bring up the question of people being beautiful inside and out. For this one, mention your brand but don’t overdo it.

2. Core Memories Challenge

@rebecahuffman

Who else sat up and watched her 5 minute hair care infomercial?!🤷🏽‍♀️ Mirtha was everyone’s #Tia 😂 #corememories #fyp #trending

♬ Bundle of Joy (From “Inside Out”) – Benny Martin

This is an interesting challenge that requires TikTokers to capture memorable aspects of their lives to be visited down the road. It can also be a nostalgic way of looking back at the year gone by. Try this one around the holidays or perhaps during graduation season. Both are times of the year when people think back on their lives and get nostalgic.

For many older brands looking for younger audiences, the memories Challenge is a great idea. Many of us have grown up with brands that are parents loved and that we don’t necessarily use as much because we prefer something new. In this case, nostalgia can be an especially powerful motivator to look at the brand again. And give you more TikTok views than ever.

3. Journaling

Journaling is something we all struggle with, and a lot of us might want the habit to be a part of a New Year’s resolution. As people return to the office and work longer hours, it’s often difficult to sit down and think. Likewise, a lot of people ignore self-care when life gets busy. Starting a journaling challenge is a great way to remind your audience to start a meaningful activity in the new year. 

Journaling-related TikTok challenges are also useful because they help build your brand community. Not only can people’s relationship with your brand become stronger, but other members of the community can also get to know each other. And when the enjoyment of a particular product is part of the glue that holds the community together, community bonding should translate into more sales.

4. Learn Something New

@ramizeinn

#ad Now let’s see if peanut butter helps you calm that 🌶🌶🌶 #pbspicechallenge #learnsomethingnew

♬ original sound – Rami

Learning never goes out of fashion. Whether it’s a new hobby, a fun fact, or even a new perspective on an old interest, sharing information with other people can be a lot of fun. And using this hashtag and challenging your audience can be a great way to generate engagement.

The fact that people enjoy sharing bits of information with each other is probably one reason why versions of this challenge are often used at breakout sessions as icebreakers. Not only does it help people, but it also helps create memories. And if it’s that effective for professional gatherings, your brand should also be able to benefit.

Further Reading: How To Add A Sound To TikTok And 6 Tips To Make It Go Viral

5. Show Us Your Drawers

@thedrewbarrymoreshow

#ad Hey, @The Container Store! @drewbarrymore accepts the #ShowUsYourDrawers challenge. World, here’s her junk drawer! 🤷‍♀️

♬ Organization Affirmations – The Container Store

In a “show us your drawers” challenge, people get to show the world of TikTok what they have in any drawer that they use for storage. Often, this will be a desk drawer or a kitchen drawer that doesn’t include anything that’s private.

This is a fun activity that may not have a lot of takers. Nevertheless, this challenge requires TikTokers to exhibit their drawers to the world. For the ones that are super organized, this could be a great challenge to flaunt their drawers. Try starting the challenge with a chore full of your products or by using an employee’s drawer that proudly displays their favorite branded item. This way, you’ll specifically encourage people to show that they are using your products.

6. Take a Picture of Yourself with this Item

@alyssasinacori_

I think this new Pepsi Max Mango flavour is my new fav 😍 #PepsiMaxMangoSummer #Australia #ad

♬ I Want That – Pepsi Max Mango

Another simple yet effective challenge. You need to take a picture of yourself holding onto one item or displaying it in some other way. So, if the item is on the table in front of you, and you can see that item in the video, it would still count. To set this challenge up, you might choose a particular product from your line, which would make the challenge more specific. Alternatively, you might say something like, “show yourself with your favorite Pepsi product.”

This challenge has several very good applications. For instance, it’s an excellent influencer marketing opportunity because the influencer can take a picture of your product and then ask people to follow suit. You can also use this TikTok challenge by having your employees displays their favorite product of yours and then inviting responses. You can even make the question open-ended and allow people to pick whatever item they will.

TikTok challenges that involve product pictures of this type tend to be especially powerful marketing tools. That’s because, at the end of the day, if people can picture themselves with something, they are more likely to want the item. If a wide variety of audience members answer the challenge, you’ll increase the chances of this happening.

7. Share Something that Makes You Happy

This is another easy challenge that can be used as a means to connect with your audience. All you need to do is share something that makes you happy. You don’t even need to associate your brand with these TikTok challenges unless you want to. Certainly, you’ll post every challenge on your TikTok profile, but that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be salesy.



Of course, dispensing smiles are often very memorable for brands. There are lots of legacy brands that use happy moments as a way to market their goods and services, often through improved brand awareness. Especially around the holidays, this is really popular, since families love to gather together and have a party.

Another great thing about this challenge idea is that the possibilities are endless. People smile about everything from pets or babies all the way to job promotions and great experiences.

8. Make Someone Laugh

@thezmanshow

How do you take your coffee? Make sure to follow for more laughs! #coffee #funny #skit

♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) – Echosmith

Laughter is contagious. So TikTok challenges that encourage laughter are usually very popular. But there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually laugh with each piece of content. One reason for this is that some people find certain jokes funny that may be considered inappropriate in other cultures or simply do not fit other people’s sense of humor.

However, this challenge does require some creativity on the part of each TikToker. Telling a funny story about something a user experienced, for example, can be a great choice. On the other hand, a different TikToker may invent a joke or create a skit that’s supposed to make people laugh. Meanwhile, everybody has a great time.

9. Tell Me About Myself

Among TikTok challenges, this is the most personal. TikToker needs to tell his/her followers about themselves. This can be anything ranging from sharing their hobbies to revealing what they love most. 

For a brand, this is a great opportunity to talk about corporate values. For instance, a brand of chocolate that pays extra for sustainably sourced cocoa can emphasize this fact about the brand. At the same time, from a user perspective, it’s a great opportunity for people to see the diversity of users who love a particular product.

Done right, this one can go far beyond the initial brand community.

10. Do Something Different Every Day

This is a great way to get people to try different things every day. If you’re into photography, then this challenge would be perfect for you. Likewise, a brand that wants to inspire people to get healthy can effectively leverage these TikTok challenges to spread healthy ideas around their community.

The best part? When people admit to their doing new things with your product.

11. Be Kind to Everyone

Kindness is always appreciated. This challenge encourages TikTokers to be kind to everyone. Sometimes, it’s as simple as helping an older adult across the street, while other examples of kindness might involve treating a bullied student or coworker with respect. Kindness is something that costs little, but it goes a long way and is often overlooked. Plus, this type of engagement with your brand makes it look better in the eyes of the public.

12. Celebrate Small Victories

@worryrings

Not everyday feels like this but it’s so important to remember the wins! #smallbusinesscheck #smallbusinessowner #victorious #celebrate

♬ 1D Night Changes – Anikii

Small victories are often forgotten, but they add up over time. Celebrating small victories is a great way to encourage your audience to look forward to the future. 

Want to take this up a notch? Talk about a victory in your company, such as winning an award. You could also have a key employee talk about when they got promoted or experienced another important milestone. Then, the point would be that most victories aren’t that large, and we should celebrate smaller ones just as much.

13. Try New Things

Sometimes, TikTok challenges can encourage people to step outside of their comfort zone. For instance, it’s important to keep learning new things. This challenge allows TikTokers to explore new things and learn more about them. Not only do they try new things themselves, but they can learn from other participants in the challenge.

If you want to do more than increase engagement, you might encourage people to try your products or to use them in a new way. And as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Further Reading: TikTok Ads Guide: 7 Steps to Get Started (and 6 Opportunities You Don’t Want to Miss Out On)

14. Challenge Others

@destinee.irons

Join me on my 21 Day Business Revamp Challenge! Write down 21 things you need to do for your notary business and every day cross that one thing off your list ✅💻 the challenge starts today and ends October 31st! #21dayschallenge #businessrevamp #notarytiktok #remotenotarytok #notarysigningagent #notarybusiness #remotenotarybusiness #entrepreneur #smallbusinessowner #buildingabusiness

♬ Young Folks – Shindig Society

Not all TikTok challenges involve users trying something and stopping there. In this situation, users are encouraged to not only do something but encourage other people to do it. Whether it’s a friend or family member, this challenge is a great way of encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone.

This kind of challenge is especially good if you want to highlight corporate values or an initiative you’ve started.

15. Use an Interesting Word

@4words.de

Here’s another phrasal verb for you: To branch out. 🌳🌴🌲 Branches are the parts of trees which stick out from the main trunk. 🌲🌴🌳 The meaning changes in the phrasal verb. To branch out means to add a new activity to a business. You can connect the activity with ‘into’, for example the bicycle manufacturer is branching out into cycle helmets. . #4words #businessenglish #b1 #communicationskills #learnenglish #englishteacher #learningenglish #phrasalverbs

♬ original sound – 4Words

Using an interesting word is a great way to engage your audience, especially if your brand centers around literacy, words, or academia. For the last brand category, a word game can show highly-intelligent TikTokers that they are important and give them a sense of belonging.

Want to do it really well? Insists that the word is used properly in a sentence or that responders explain what the word means. For the right audience, this can be very entertaining.

There are a couple of ways that you can find the latest TikTok challenges. The easiest way is by searching for the hashtag #challenge. You’ll get a wide variety of trending challenges and maybe even get some inspiration for your own.

The other easy way to find challenges is by scrolling through your FYP. Each user’s feed is customized, so you’ll mostly see challenges that are related to things you already watch. In the case of a brand, that will often be their industry.

Finally, you can sometimes find out about challenges when other people mention them. That isn’t necessarily going to be an appropriate challenge for your brand, however.

Conclusion

TikTok challenges are the bread and butter of this emerging platform. They are also a great way to reach out to your audience and create both brand awareness and engagement. In fact, anything that can help build the kind of brand community that your company needs is worth trying. What’s your favorite type of TikTok challenge?

Hero Photo by Charles Chen on Unsplash

TikTok Challenges FAQs

What are some TikTok challenges?

Some TikTok challenges are “The Renegade”, a dance challenge by Jalaiah Harmon that went viral. Other popular TikTok challenges include #DontRushChallenge, which enables people to create compilation videos based on different themes; #FlipTheSwitch, where users pair up with someone else and switch their clothes while lip-syncing to Drake’s hit song; and #SmoothCriminalChallenge, which requires participants to enact Michael Jackson’s iconic performance from the music video.

What’s the viral TikTok challenge?

The TikTok challenge is the internet’s new favorite pastime! This fun and addicting challenge involves users creating videos to certain songs, often accompanied by specific dance moves or effects. The challenge is gaining traction quickly, with many popular influencers participating in their own versions of the challenge.

What is the deadliest TikTok challenge?

The deadliest TikTok challenge is the “skull-breaker challenge”. This challenge typically involves two people holding down a third person, then as the third person jumps in the air, both people on either end let go of their hands and leave them to fall back to the ground. The risk in this challenge comes from the impact that landing back on the ground can have on your brain, which can be life-threatening if done wrong.

What is the weirdest TikTok trend?

One of the weirdest trends on TikTok has to be the ‘Savage Challenge.’ This challenge requires people to lip-sync a single line from Beyonce’s song “Savage,” accompanied with a fierce facial expression. It can range in difficulty, as many users add their own background music and additional stylistic touches.

What is the 7 second challenge TikTok?

The 7 second challenge is a fun and creative TikTok trend that has recently become popular on the app. It’s taken over both newsfeeds and stories alike! In this challenge, users are presented with seven seconds of incredible tasks that may range in difficulty from drawing an image to dancing a certain style. It’s a great way for people to showcase their skills, let loose, and spread some joy during these unsettling times.

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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