Trendy or tacky? “Hawk tuah” is enjoying virality on TikTok (and beyond), and agents are getting in on the trend. Rachael Hite is here to tell you why that’s a bad idea for your professional reputation.

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School is out and summer antics are in full swing, and the latest TikTok trend is a good reminder that shenanigans should stay in your social media “drafts” and not become part of your professional marketing strategy.


Let’s take a look at how this viral TikTok trend got started, how agents are co-opting it for their marketing and why I believe it’s going a “hawk-tuah” far to include this type of social media trend in your professional marketing. 

How hawk-tuah went viral in 2024

How did this trend get started? Video creators “Tim & Dee TV” (@timanddeetv) asked young Hailey Welch, who was out with friends, “What’s one move in bed that makes a man go crazy every time?”

To which she now-infamously responded with fervor, “You gotta give them that hawk-tuah, and spit on that thing.”

Her Tennessee accent, girl-next-door looks and naturally uninhibited response created the perfect storm for this TikTok to go viral.

One could argue that this TikTok is funny because it’s true, which is why many people will be sporting hawk-tuah merchandise well into the dog days of August. (Both Hailey Welch and Tim & Dee TV sell the merch.)


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A post shared by Tim & Dee TV (@timanddeetv)

Hmmm … good for Hailey Welch? I just hope this girl is getting paid fairly and saving for retirement. Having one funny moment of your life endlessly reproduced all over the internet can’t be easy.

That’s another lesson for agents and others who have a professional reputation to worry about: When you make a statement to anyone who’s recording (even if you’re just having a night out with friends), it can come back to haunt you.

How agents are jumping on the trend

Now agents are getting in on the action. Below are a few examples:

While agents never fail to impress me with their marketing creativity, applying this viral trend to opening a lock box is content better saved in your drafts (or not created at all). It definitely doesn’t belong in your mainstream marketing.

Once you post it, it’s out there. You can’t take it back, and you have no idea how many folks will see it. It takes a fraction of a second for someone to screen capture and repost.

So right now young Hailey Welch is showing up in all kinds of memes, stitches and any other medium that someone can work her likeness into.

The lesson to learn?

Impulsiveness can be the key ingredient to a bad day on social media. There is a reason the surgeon general is calling for a warning label on social media.

Let’s take a moment to learn from Hailey and perhaps create some strategy to protect your brand from potential pitfalls.

6 golden rules for staying out of trouble online

As agents, you work with the public, so you have to keep a lid on your social media presence and avoid problems. For most agents, “less is more” is the best philosophy when it comes to cashing in on virality.

  1. If you would be embarrassed explaining to a loved one why you needed to post it, it’s probably something you shouldn’t post.
  2. If you are feeling upset or emotional, you probably need to stay off social and not comment or post at all.
  3. If you are at a party drinking, be aware of your surroundings and who is filming and taking pictures.
  4. If you are drinking, you should not be posting.
  5. Make sure you are familiar with any social media policies your brokerage might have.
  6. Less is more. Save posting for when you have something with a strong call to action or a solid message. Don’t just post for attention. Always weigh the risk versus reward when posting. Know your audience.

It’s also worth noting that Inman contributor Jimmy Burgess has a full library of content devoted to helping agents come up with videos and content that moves your business forward if you are so out of ideas for content that you are tempted to jump on trends like this.

Final thoughts

Sex sells, regardless of whether it’s fair or ethical; its track record is undeniable. I challenge agents to think outside the box and consider how a piece of content will “age” over time.

Ask yourself if you’re doing it for the views and attention or if you’re truly trying to grow your business.

Rachael Hite is a former agent, a business development specialist, fair housing advocate, copy editor, and is currently perfecting her long game selling forever homes in a retirement continuing care community in Northern Virginia. You can connect with her about life, marketing, and business on Instagram. 

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