As some of you may have noticed I’ve been taking TikToka lot more seriously in the last couple of weeks. Once I hit 10,000 on Instagram, I had to find a new project, and it seemed like a serious growth opportunity for me. With that in mind, I wanted to share some lessons from my getting my first hundred followers.
I’ve spent a ton of time in the last few weeks watching Youtube videos about this and talking to my enormously helpful kid sister about TikTok content. The big lessons I learned were to create content contextual to the platform, take advantage of trends, and that authenticity is prized above all on TikTok. It’s pretty interesting.
Creating Content Contextual To The Platform
TikTok really leans on people creating content that makes sense for its platform. What this means is, broadly speaking, full-screen videos that have a lot of cuts and text on the image. It also likes content that is in the 16-23 second range.
There are a lot of reasons for this, but this is what TikTok is presently optimized for. If you use this as a basis you are going to get somewhere. Ultimately what I have found is that TikTok is a good place to build the base content and then share it on other platforms. My TikTok-type videos do GREAT on Instagram for instance!
Taking Advantage Of Trends
This is how your not so bright neighbor suddenly has 10k TikTok followers overnight – just by following the trends. There are people who have gone from literally 0 to 500k followers in just a matter of months because they took advantage of the trends properly.
TikTok will actually tell you the trends in the ‘Discover’ page. You need to look through them and find one that makes sense for what you are trying to do. For instance, yesterday #roomtour was trending. It was just a challenge where you take photos of the different rooms of your house. A metal band might appropriate that by showcasing their studio, or showing how metalled out their home is.
Authenticity Is Key
What’s really exciting to me about TikTok is that while it exports content well, it does not import content well. That is to say, your old IG videos won’t do well on TikTok. It takes a lot of work to make a good-looking TikTok outside of the platform too.
What this means is that creators can’t just pay some social media manager to post content for them. They actually have to create content that is relevant to the platform themselves because again – TikTok doubles down on authenticity. If you can’t share your authentic self and share how trends or challenges match up to you… well, you’re going to miss out.
Suffice it to say… TikTok is certainly a challenge but it’s one worth learning. Ultimately if you make a point of creating content that makes sense for the platform, takes advantage of trends, and prizes authenticity, you will get somewhere fast.
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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