BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon’s TikTok For Bands and Labels: A Primer


TikTok is a really interesting and exciting platform. Unfortunately, most bands and labels have absolutely no clue how to use it. With this short primer, I hope to demystify the platform for those of us who are DIY lifers.

via GIPHY

 

KPI To Track On TikTok

-Likes (Perhaps the biggest and best for virality)

-Comments (Crucial to engage with)

-Follows

 

How TikTok Works

The beauty of TikTok is that there are two feeds. One feed is the feed of people you are following. This functions basically the same as your Instagram feed. It’s content from people you follow with a few ads in there. The second feed is the ‘for you’ page which is all the best stuff going on at TikTok at that moment curated to your tastes. This is where you can go really viral. Remember, there are basically no bands on there, so you can quickly be first to market.

 

The For You Page starts off by showing your content to people in your geographic area, if they like it then it will show it to more people. This is part of why post time is so important on TikTok. Another big part of getting on the for you page is understanding what is trending and how to create content that jives with that but is still unique to your brand. We will cover this in the next section.

 

Trends

You can discover the TikTok trends on the Discover page. There they compile all the things that are currently popular on TikTok. You can watch the top videos in the trends. What you want to do when creating content is to look at those trends and then find a way to emulate some of them in a way that makes sense for you. From what I understand the top videos here are the top across all TikTok, not just curated to you.

 

What this means in practice is sometimes you have a trend like #JustDanceMoves or #TheatreKids that doesn’t really apply to a black metal band. However, there will always be trends you can adapt and create for. Stuff that’s trending right now that a band could do could be #RoomTour (Where creators show off their rooms, a band could show off their studio) or #OurType where creators show different things they are interested in. You could easily tailor that to bands or genres or even types of gear.

 

As a final note – you can’t just take the hashtag and then run with it the way you can on IG or Twitter. You need to structure your videos in a way similar to what other trending videos are doing. This means using similar types of text and similar sounds. You always want to make sure you are using trending sounds where possible, even if they are on mute.

 

Actionable Steps For A Label

-Have everyone in charge of creating content watch this guys videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuR8L5fK6ZXyApcL7vMcv0g – I am aware he’s obnoxious but he’s REALLY good.

-Determine what content you can restructure and cut into TikToks. The Earache Records TikTok is a great example of this. They got 12k followers and their content isn’t that curated to the platform.

-Identify which relevant bands have TikToks who you can do Stitches from.

-Determine what kind of content you can make, see how you can adopt it to trends.

-Look at some of the trends that seem to always be there (#weekendvibes, #mondaymotivation, #foodtiktok) and identify what content you can easily run around that

-Look at the top videos in your most relevant genres, see how you can emulate them or build on those ideas.

-Cut videos to a format that makes sense for TikTok

-Reply to every comment.

-Run LOTS of ads here because it is a platform where the volume is on!

 

Actionable Steps For The Band

-Have everyone in charge of creating content watch this guys videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuR8L5fK6ZXyApcL7vMcv0g – I am aware he’s obnoxious but he’s REALLY good.

-Determine what content they can restructure and cut into TikToks. The RiffLord TikTok is a great example of this. (Linked: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJxexqH6/ )

-Identify 5-10 relevant creators in the bands genre they can do stitches and duets from.

-Look at the trends and think about how you can adapt them to your band. What can you film that matches them?

-Create 5-10 TikToks just to get the hang of the app.

-Cut videos to a format that makes sense for TikTok.

-Reply to every comment.

-Do video replies to best comments to fuel engagement and show connection.

MATT BACON

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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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