TikTok: How and why you should jump on the viral app NOW
As we have all probably seen across other social media during this quarantine – TikTok has entered the class of social media and quickly established itself as one of the most popular kids in class. At the time of writing TikTok has more than 800 million active users! TikTok is currently the most downloaded app in the world. And no, it’s not just for teenagers.
Many creators, entrepreneurs and brands has jumped on the app and the results can be mind blowing. I grew 5k followers in one week on the app, and I have videos reaching up to 1 million views!
I’ve been growing steadily since then and the results are just amazing (you can follow me on @camillamalm).
My advice is to jump on the viral app – NOW. Let me cover what the app is, why I think you need to be on it and how you can get thousands of followers, go viral and use it to grow your business.
So what is TikTok actually?
I had absolutely no clue what TikTok was in the beginning. TikTok is an app where you share short videos. Most teenagers (and others) chose to dance or do lip syncing parodies to cute sounds while wearing small crop tops. But lately more and more influencers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, brands and even lawyers and doctors has joined the viral phenomenon!
TikTok is way more than just dancing and parodies. Now that people (in their 20s and 30s) have started to get their eyes open to TikTok the app is boasting with tips and tricks within all niches you could possibly think off! There are lawyers, doctors, plant owners, marketeers, photographers, painters, cute animals, and so on!
TikTok is a great platform to share engaging content, as it all happens in small videos. The standard video format from TikTok is only 15 seconds, since this is the sweet spot, but you can film or upload videos of up to 60 seconds. The app has filters, transitions, sounds and many other things to expand your creativity, but it also lets you upload external videos. You can see that many creators are using this feature (including yours truly), since some editing just cannot be done in TikTok – but TikTok’s own editing features are also more than enough for most!
Why should you be on TikTok?
And why should you jump on it now? Here’s some great advantages to join the app sooner rather than later:
Early adopter advantage
Just like with Instagram, many of the biggest accounts were really fortunate to grow in the early days before the market became too saturated. It’s the exact same with TikTok – and I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be too late to the party again! Join now and grow while it’s still easy.
TikTok might be the new Instagram
Some social media experts have already been calling it – TikTok is the top competitor to Instagram. Some brands are already starting to look to TikTok for influencer campaigns. Not only does TikTok posts often get a much higher reach than Instagram posts, but there’s also in general more engagement.
Growth on TikTok means growth elsewhere
One of the great advantages of TikTok is the easy way of creating a follower circle to your other platforms, such as Instagram and your website, as it’s easily accessible from your TikTok profile. Since I’ve joined TikTok I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a lot of new followers on Instagram – primarily from the Nordic countries, as those are my main followers on TikTok.
How to go viral on TikTok
There’s a much higher chance of going viral on TikTok than on any other social media. The algorithm for TikTok is just crazy and many people is discussing and analyzing the exact reasons for posts to go viral and how it actually works. Here are my two cents:
Create quality content
Like any other social media it is quality over quantity. You need to create content that is either funny, inspirational or educational. You need to have good lighting and good sound.
Keep it upbeat
Since there is so much content on TikTok, it is important to catch the audience straight away – and keep them interested. Try to keep your videos short (15-20 seconds), but if they’re longer they have to be continuously entertaining and interesting. For example, if you’re making a top 5 travel tips list, spread out the most interesting tips so it’s always interesting for the viewer.
Choose a niche and stick to it
Just as with growing on any social media you need to find your niche and stick to it. This can be travel, makeup, fashion, family or whatever interests you. The reason you need to stick to it is, that if a new potential follower discovers your profile, it needs to be clear what you bring to the table and what value you offer.
If they see a bunch of different content, such as one video with travel, one with a make-up tip, two with TikTok dances and then one with food, it’s not exactly clear why they would follow you. That way you also have a higher chance of an engaged community, as your followers will be interested in your videos more than if you just post random stuff.
Analyze your top performing videos
If you have a video that suddenly goes viral – hurry up and create more content like it! Now you have an indicator that works, so you gotta roll with it.
I had a video about Denmark go viral (it’s about to hit 1 MILLION VIEWS!), so I quickly filmed another video just like it. The other video didn’t go as viral, but it still got 275k views, which is pretty good. Now I have created a number of similar videos with other countries and they all rank between 15k-160k views.
Keep your audience in mind
Go to your analytics and take a look at who your followers are to understand them better and create content for them, that you think they’d like.
My followers have been changing a lot since I started my account. In the beginning, TikTok only pushes out your content to users in the same geo-location. In the beginning my audience was 97% from Denmark and the other 3% from Norway, Sweden and Finland. So I knew that content about these countries would probably perform well, so I created the video about Denmark that then went viral.
Now my followers have changed, and they are from a bit all over, because TikTok eventually will push your content out to other countries if it goes viral in your own geo-location. But by now I have established my niche, so just stick to that and you will see a continuous growth in your followers.
Use trends, such as hashtags and songs
If you see a trend that fits or you can make fit to your niche, do it! It is the best way to go viral if you combine all of these tips and then adapt it to a trend or a popular song. But if it does not fit to your niche, then it’s better not to do the trend – such as dance trends, as you have very little chance of going viral with those.
TikTok is great for showing what the current trends are. First of all, you can be sure that they will pop up on your For You Page, but when you want to film a video, it shows “Recommended songs” and “Trending songs”, so it’s easy to find them and choose them from there. It also shows you the number of searches for each hashtag when you type them in a video description or even just the search bar.
How your profile should look
Following the latest tip with picking a niche, your TikTok feed should now look like a bunch of related high value videos in your niche. You also need to have a killer bio, as this is usually the first thing anyone will see when coming across your profile.
Your bio needs to clearly state what you are about and what they can expect from you.
Take a look at mine and Jera Bean as an example:
Mine clearly states, that I’m a traveller – but also that I have a big Instagram, which can lure them over to my Instagram page. (The drafts are only visible to yourself, not when others visits your profile, which is why you can see drafts on my profile and not Jera's)
Jera’s bio (she’s one of my favourite pages for inspo and tips to TikTok) clearly states that she’s posting about tips and tricks for social media and TikTok.
We both have a professional looking profile pic – as in don’t use a mirror selfie or something like that – as well as a link in our bios. I have a link to my blog and Jera has a link to her Instagram, possibly to try to drive even more traffic to it.
You also need to be ON BRAND. Choose one or two colors for your videos text and stick to it. Do not switch between 6 different colors between every single video, it will just look messy and unprofessional.
Most common mistakes to make on TikTok
If you want to go viral avoid doing these things at all costs:
The odds of you going viral if you’re doing dance videos on TikTok is close to non-existing – unless you’re famous, a professional dancer or gymnast or something. I’m not saying you can’t dance on TikTok, but if your goal is to grow your following and potentially go viral, then dancing is a waste of time – no matter how hot and sexy you might look.
Think about how many users on TikTok is posting dance videos of the same dance and sound. It’s millions. At the time of writing there are more than 22.7 MILLION videos to Megan Thee Savage’s song Savage – which you have undoubtedly seen on your For You Page 100 times already. How should you dance video go viral amongst almost 23 million videos with the same dance? Let be honest, it won’t.
TikTok is simply too saturated when it comes to dance videos – but also, what value would it bring to your followers? Not a lot. So why should the follow you because you dance on TikTok, when they can just follow Charli D’Amelio (the account with most followers on all of TikTok)?
That’s why you will never see me dance on TikTok – and because I honestly think I’m too old for that, haha :-)
If you’re just on TikTok to have fun, go for the dancing! But if not, then drop the dancing.
Using the wrong hashtags
As on all social media you need to use relevant hashtags only! Stop using hashtags like #fyp #viral or the weird #xyzbca. Those hashtags are overused and are used by everyone (that does not know how social media works).
The #fyp hashtag has at the time of writing 2031,8 BILLION views! If you didn’t know better, you’d think that sounds great – but think about the chances of your video being found between 2031,8 billion other videos?
Stop trying to reach far and wide with hashtags and use hashtags that are relevant for your niche. That way people that are actually interested in your content can easier find your content and that’s what you want.
Just as on other social media you also need to use hashtags on different levels, such as some with less than 500k views, some between 500k and 5 million views and some with more than 5 million views. That way you optimize your hashtags and chances of being seen.
Filming in bad lighting
Just as when you’re taking photos for Instagram or any other purposes – unless it’s important for the aesthetic of the photograph – do not create content in the dark. Lighting is always key for creating content, and it truly is on TikTok.
TikTok is still manually pushing out the videos posted on the platform and the evaluate all videos. Your videos will perform much better if they are filmed in a good natural light and not at night. You yourself will also look way better in good natural light, so there is really no reason for you to create content in the dark.
You don’t post often enough
If you want to grow, it’s not going to be enough to just post once a week. You need to post every day if you can. I know it sounds hard, but it’s worth it. I have been growing 2-3k followers a week pretty steadily just by posting almost every day.
What I do is, that I write down a bunch of ideas for videos and then once a week I film them all in one day. That’s called batch-content. Now you have batched a handful of content that you can then post throughout the week. I also try to edit and put in text on that day, so they just sit in my drafts, so I can just post them when I feel like it.
You don’t reply to your comments
Just as with any social media – reply back to your comments! Don’t be ungrateful or rude and reply back to your comments! These people actually took the time and commented on your content – the least you can do is to take a few seconds and reply back! Even if it’s a simply “thank you”, it goes a long way.
Of course, if you have a viral video and it gets +5000 comments, it can be hard to respond to them all, but you can at least try – or at least give them a like.
I have also noticed on TikTok that people are genuinely happy to get a respond – because they’re probably not used to it. I have always thought it was so rude not to respond to comments and I hate when I see Instagrammers not replying to their comments. Don’t be rude and just be nice and respond! :-)
That was my take on TikTok! I hope you can use any of these tips – it’s just good observations I’ve made over the past month or so, and nothing is 100% confirmed by TikTok.
Please come follow me by @camillamalm if you’re on TikTok – and say hi in the comments, it always makes me happy :-)