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TikTok: What Is It?

5While many unfamiliar with the platform may be quick to dismiss TikTok as yet another frivolous video sharing platform, the reality is that TikTok can be an amazing opportunity for artists to expand their fanbase.

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Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

If you haven’t heard about TikTok, you could be missing out on an amazing opportunity to expand your fan base as a musician. If you already have the app, i’m sure the first thing you think of probably isn’t your professional career as a legit musician out here in the real world, but hear me out, anything can be a tool for growth if you know how to use it.

What is it?

Essentially, TikTok is a social platform for making and sharing short-form videos.

6It used to be Musical.ly until Chinese company, ByteDance, bought Musical.ly and merged it into what is now TikTok. All Musical.ly profiles quickly moved over to TikTok overnight, and anyone who was already using Musical.ly woke up one morning with the TikTok re-brand where Musical.ly used to be. Thankfully for Musical.ly lovers, all of their profiles, including any videos already created were still there under the same user profiles.

RIP, Musical.ly

No need to mourn for too long though, TikTok is everything Musical.ly was and more.
With video filters, face filters, animated stickers, trimming tools, and more, you can create and share short videos with a huge audience and reach an almost ridiculous amount of people.

Why should you care?

Since the official takeover on August 2nd, 2017, Monthly active users of the app grew from 100 million to more than 130 million in the first three months. Now, there’s 500+ million TikTok monthly active users globally. When you combine downloads from both the Apple App Store and Google PlayTikTok was the sixth most downloaded app in the world in the first quarter of 2018. TikTok had more monthly downloads in 2018 than Youtube,FacebookWhatsApp, and even Instagram.

Not to mention it’s available in 175 countries, in 75 languages.

If you’re trying to grow your global awareness, TikTok is a very useful tool to look into as an artist. Although not everyone is a fan of the app, the age range for it’s usage skews towards 13-24 year olds. If that’s the target audience you’re looking for, you’re missing out on a huge audience!

Think about how fast trends grow on the interwebs. One day you’re living your normal life, the next day you can’t go to the grocery store without seeing a kid doing the floss dance in every aisle. Consider doing a popular challenge on the app to gain a bigger following and reach more people. Users are able to find your page by looking up these challenges in the app. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is proof that TikTok can launch a hit song.

You might even have fun doing it.

Ok, but how exactly do you use it?

Brace yourself, the app encourages only 15 second videos to coincide with the song clip you decide to use. This may hurt your music loving soul, but don’t tune out just yet. You can link the full song via Apple Music so interested viewers can listen to the whole song if they want to.

When you log into the app, there’s instantly lots of videos in your feed from whoever you follow. The point of all this is to not only watch the videos, but to react to them as well. Similar to Instagram, you can click the heart to like a video. Also like Instagram, you can leave a comment by hitting the “…” icon or share it to other platforms with the arrow button. This also lets you do a duet with videos. A duet will put your video alongside the video you are creating a duet with, then it will be posted onto your profile.

Try a duet with another artist’s video to collab and reach more people.

If you’re having trouble thinking of something cool to record, you can search for other videos to gain some inspiration or just browse around to keep up on what’s trending. If you or your followers want to, you can look up a specific song to make it even easier to find what you’re looking for.

When you finally have some ideas of what to post, it’s quick and easy to do so. You can search through your library to post a prerecorded video up to 60 seconds long, or record a new video through the app. Once you do this, it’s time to get creative. Choose to change the speed, filters, length and so much more to create the perfect clip.

To choose a track, click the music note at the top of the screen. You will be given suggestions based on trends and charting positions but can also search for any track in the TikTok library.

Now, the final step is to add any other filters, stickers, sounds, or any other last edits you feel complete your masterpiece.

Just like most other social media apps, make sure to write a caption and throw in some popular hashtags to make it easier for people to find your videos.

Let your creativity flow and connect with new followers in a whole new way with TikTok.

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