Marketing music on TikTok: Going viral or a black hole spiral?
Few apps have seen the meteoric success that TikTok experienced over the past three years, dramatically impacting the music industry in the process. Here, we guide you through who’s on TikTok, and a few best practices for getting set up on the platform.
Guest post by Molly Weeks of The Orchard’s The Daily Rind
TikTok has been a standout app the past few years, tripling its size since 2018. 2020 was a game-changing year for the app, bringing in even more users while the world was stuck at home and eager to engage.
With currently 800 million active monthly users, TikTok has been downloaded by over 1.5 billion users worldwide. Part of its allure is that it is unlike other social platforms. TikTok is made for self-expression in whichever way the user wants to portray themselves.
Who’s on TikTok?
Though the main demographic and primary audience for TikTok are users 16-24 years old, its philosophy is true to its word when it states that it’s an app for all ages with varying communities. No matter which direction you turn, you can always find your people; with a projected 1.2B users in 2021, that isn’t too hard to believe. Also, what else were we supposed to do during quarantine?!
With that being said, the TikTok interface is very straightforward; being user-friendly is most definitely one of the platform’s strengths.
First thing first, let’s get your profile up and running; they always say your first impression is the most important! Grabbing the attention of the platform’s users by establishing yourself with some strong initial content is key. In regard to your profile page, you should include:
- A profile image that is good quality.
- A bio that represents how you’d like to be portrayed.
- Social handles to facilitate finding your other social accounts.
When you open the application, you are provided with your For You Page feed, which is content curated ‘for you’ based upon your personal engagement. TikTok’s feed is algorithmically developed based on each individual’s specific interests, behaviors, and overall engagement.
At the bottom of the screen, you will see your menu bar. The menu bar provides you with the option to discover, create your own TikToks, check your inbox and edit your profile and settings, while always directing you back to your For You Page (aka Home Screen)! The Discover Page, is the central location for all things trending. Here you can find hashtag trends, suggested sounds and the most popular videos circulating the platform.
Knowing which hashtags and sounds are trending is incredibly beneficial when it comes to putting out content that has the greatest potential for engagement and views. However, the content on this app moves fast! It is important to know what is current and to hop on it quickly before it moves onto the next.
Ready, Set, Tok!
Though the platform is known for taking pre-existing content and putting your own personal spin on it, it is also great to experiment in posting original content. You never know what will resonate with your audience and it can’t hurt to practice some trial and error.
One major point to note is that TikTok content does not have to necessarily portray your “best self”– content should be raw and genuine. Unlike that of the other social platforms such as Instagram, TikTok encourages you to post those embarrassing moments, or unfiltered videos. Focus on relatability and comfort; the more a video resonates with the users viewing it, the more likely that they will engage. Show your true self (in the most appropriate way possible of course).
You can never have too much content and there is no special formula to the way you portray yourself. Some important content related points we like to reiterate to artists looking to get involved with the platform are as follows:
- Stay authentic, don’t be afraid to pave the way for a new challenge/trend.
- Join in on challenges that resonate with you
- Show off your true personality
- And most importantly, have fun!
The Creator Portal
Still feel like you need more help with your content? TikTok has launched their Creator Portal in an effort to bring education and best practices to the forefront for those who create.
This portal is a one-stop-shop for creating on TikTok – from mastering the basics to building your community and brand on TikTok. The Creator Portal has content relevant for artists, labels, and brands alike.
Whether you’re new to TikTok or a seasoned creator, there’s something for everyone to learn on the Creator Portal; it will be continuously updated with fresh content! You can access it all, anytime, on TikTok.com/creators, in-app under Settings & Privacy (Support section), or on TikTok @creatorportal!
Live and Let Live! (for over 1k followers)
Another new feature is the ability to go live on the platform. In order to go live you must:
- Have over 1,000 followers
- Be over the age of 16 (if you are 18 or older viewers can send you virtual gifts throughout your Live that you can exchange for cash.)
- Gifts are fun emoticons you can send to a TikToker during their live to show your appreciation. When you “Recharge,” your purchase is turned into coins which you can spend on these gifts
How to go Live:
- Open the TikTok app
- Tap the + button at the bottom of the screen
- Tap the Live option under the record button
- Enter a title for your live stream
- Click Go Live to begin the stream
- When finished press the X button to end the live
There’s so much you can do on the TikTok platform, from duets, starting a new trend, utilizing your music, and more! For a full guide on how to use TikTok from start to finish, more information on all our tips and tricks, how to get verified, and a look into TikTok’s insights/analytics, check out our complete Best Practices, below.
Duet you soon!