Before you enter, this article is not the one-stop-shop on how to go viral on TikTok. This article will give you tools to add to your TikTok toolbox to produce content that is entertaining, on-brand, and will give you the confidence to start creating regularly on TikTok.
But first, let’s get into some stats.
According to SproutSocial, there are 1 BILLION people on the app. That is a lot of people, and we will get into that. TikTok is the #1 downloaded app and is being hailed as being the new “Google” and compared to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. People are flocking to the app to be entertained, to learn things, to do research, to shop, and to find out about things they didn’t think they needed to know. And with such a large user base, TikTok ads are a force that could potentially replace Facebook ads.
It is no secret that TikTok is the place to be but at first glance it can be extremely overwhelming. As a social media manager, you’re probably managing multiple profiles, all with different content strategies, posting cadences and overall strategies. How on earth can you fit TikTok and video creation into the mix?
The good news is it's easier than you think. Trust me!
Fun Fact: I never posted a video online before March 2021. Now, I have made hundreds of videos totalling over 3+ million views and have created a community of over 170K fans. I get it, we are all not hot buttery pretzels, but the point is, there are 1 BILLION people on this app and you need to take advantage of it.
1. I don’t have time: Well, you do, if you start to prioritize where you put your energy. Since platforms are prioritizing short videos, you should be too.
2. I don’t know how to work the app: That’s okay. TikTok has made it super easy to edit videos right in the app. You can even download other video editing apps that can help you get comfortable with editing video. And also: Youtube.
3. My product/service/brand isn’t cool: The cool thing about 1 BILLION people is that there are people out there that are inevitably interested in what you have to say and offer.
Now that I’ve convinced you to start thinking about TikTok, let me take you through the anatomy of a TikTok. When you are creating videos, they are not meant to be perfect. They are meant to be imperfect, can you believe that?! All of the videos that we post on Auntie Anne’s are shot from my IPhone11! Ironically enough, we’ve noticed that our overly produced videos don’t perform as well. The same could be said for those building personal brands.
The anatomy of a TikTok is comprised of 8 things:
Let’s dig in…
Think of this as your “why?” Why will (and should) people follow you on Tik Tok? What do you offer to people on this app? And there are a lot of answers to this question. Some could be…
You get the gist. For Auntie Anne’s, our purpose is to give you pretzels on the small screen, outside of malls, airports, etc. We want to make you crave a pretzel and order just one more…by posting videos that make you SMELL the pretzel.
The purpose is your North Star. This will help guide the content you produce. It’s your strategy piece. It’s here to help you figure out your role on the app for the 1 billion people you could potentially reach.
Ah, yes. The 1 billion people we keep talking about. Yes, that is a lot of people, and no, we are not going to talk to all of them. There are so many types of people on the app. So many communities. So many interests. So many reasons people use this app. You have to figure out what audience you want to dig into.
The beauty of Tik Tok is that you can start big and work your way down. Your content will find the right eyes and that’s when you will start to create your community. But in the beginning, you need to figure out who you want to speak to.
If it’s a younger audience, that will help dictate the content, the trends, the design, etc. If it’s an older audience, again, you can figure out how you want to speak to them. If it’s a niche audience like for example, #MomTok, you can start researching the videos that are part of that community and see what works and read the comments and understand what that certain audience likes and resonates with.
Don’t get overwhelmed with the trends. They come and go and there will always be another one you can jump on to. It's important to jump on the trends that are right for you. For example, dancing is a huge part of TikTok but you will never see me dance in Auntie Anne's content because 1. I can’t dance like that 2. It does not make sense for the brand.
If you’re a small but mighty social team, I don’t want you to feel like you have to jump on every trend. You don’t! You need to figure out what is right for your brand, your purpose, your audience.
Tips for Tackling TikTokTrends:
I’ll keep this section short and sweet, just like how your videos should be. SHORT AND SWEET. The most important part of your videos should be in the first couple seconds and how to stop them in their FYP to watch your video.
Here are some examples of videos that really do a good job utilizing the first couple seconds to make you stop and watch:
I spoke about trending sounds in the “trends” section but let your sounds work for you!! Choose sounds that have lots of views. Use them as often as you can (when it makes sense). I always feel like a music video director when I find a song that matches so perfectly with the video. Have fun with it.
And for those with legal in their ear, there is a check mark at the bottom of each video you post where you acknowledge that you are using the songs. You can always upload original sounds, if this is an issue…(and a reason you’re not on the app).
This is using text, choosing colors, filters, transitions, etc. USE IT. Reading on a screen is the quickest way to get your message across. But make sure your text is centered correctly unlike THIS and THIS.
The love/hate relationship we have with hashtags is real, right? But, sorry to break it to you, it’s how people find videos on Tik Tok. Think of your hashtags as keywords for searching. Use a plethora of hashtags at first, general ones and more specific. See what works.
I started using 5 hashtags on each video (including trending ones) and as I kept getting views, I only started to use #fyp and #auntieannes. This is your chance to explore different hashtags and see what works!
This is probably the most important part of TikTok. You've heard it goes down in the DM's, but on TikTok it goes down in the comments. This is where we get to have the most fun. This is where we can get that 1:1 interaction with fans and brands. I saw Lizzo talking about being an auntie and my comment got over 26K likes…on a comment. This is where you can put your brand in front of people that wouldn’t normally see you. Use every square-inch of the app!
One more thing to think about is post timing. There are tons of "social media gurus" who tell you the "perfect posting time" but I've had videos go viral in the morning, noon, and at night. I can't say with 100% confidence if timing is important on TikTok because of the algorithm. While you're starting, you should think about when you are posting. Luckily, if you have a business account, the analytics can tell you when your followers are online, and it's usually at night. Start there
This might all seem overwhelming, but I know how you feel. You're probably nervous and thinking "What do I do with my hands?". Don't worry. Take a deep breath and start slowly. The important thing is just to start. But here are my top takeaways
The beauty of social media is that what works for Auntie Anne's might not work for you, and vice versa. But it's a place to test, learn, and most importantly have fun. TikTok is the perfect place to do all of that, and show off your personality. People are coming to TikTok to learn, have fun, and to be entertained. As a user, ask yourself what kind of content do YOU want to see and go make that. At the end of the day don't take yourself too seriously and remember to just have fun!
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