4 things to DO NOW before TikTok is banned: The Breadcrumb Strategy

As a bill advances in Congress fueled by new anti-U.S. statements from China that could ban TikTok, it’s time for every musician, label, and music marketer to contemplate life without the wildly popular app.

If losing all your followers scares you (and it should), it’s time to set up camp elsewhere while you can still reach existing TikTok fans and ask them to follow you on other platforms.

It’s time to adopt the breadcrumb strategy.

#1 – EMAIL & SMS: Mixed in with the content building an audience on TikTok (or any social platform) should be breadcrumbs leading fans to sign up to get emails or text (SMS) messages and follow your content on another short video platform.

#3 – YouTube Shorts vs. Instagram Reels: Since your TikTok fans fell in love with your short videos, it’s essential to post them somewhere that the US government is not contemplating shutting down.

YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels are the two TikTok competitors gaining traction and are part of a larger ecosystem that will continue to improve and benefit your marketing efforts.

Which one is better? It depends.

Many artists already have a following on Instagram, so posting to Reels feels familiar. Its new direct-to-fan broadcast chat Channels that will make it possible to message all followers is also a plus.

But YouTube Shorts may be the answer if you’ve posted long-form videos to YouTube.

#4 – BANDSINTOWN: If you play any live shows or plan to, include Bandsintown in your mix. There is never an algorithm standing between you and your followers and their free email service combines messaging both your email list and Bandsintown followers in a single no-cost workflow.


Ultimately where you promote your music is about where your fans spend time, where you feel most comfortable posting, and hopefully where you already have some following.

But even if you’re starting with no followers, the time to hedge your TikTok bet is now.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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