Like many other adults who were bored during lockdown, I download Tiktok and started playing around with it.
And like pretty much every adult, I had no idea what I was doing – technically I still don’t.
So what is Tiktok?
It’s an app and a social network.
Users upload videos up to 60 seconds and can add text and background music within the app itself.
That’s all you really need to know.
It used to be Musical.ly until it merged with a Chinese app called – I think it was ByteDance(?).
It grew as Tiktok massively last year amongst teenagers and early 20-somethings.
And while some of the older population (which for Tiktok does mean 25+) were on it, it only really started to accelerate during lockdown when a lot of us were bored and wanted something else to do.
How do you use it?
I would spend some time getting familiar with it before you start posting on there.
When you start, all the content will come up on your ‘For You Page’ which is where you discover new content, ceators, trends – and get a lot of your ideas from.
When someone’s video is on your For You Page you can swipe up to move on, you can like it, leave a comment, share it or follow the creator too.
(If you don’t like a type of video, hold your thumb down on it and hit ‘Not Interested’ so Tiktok knows to show you less of that type of content.)
As a consumer, that’s all there is to it.
For making content – It’s literally as simple as what I just said above.
Record up to 60 second video clips of whatever you want to talk about or feature, add a short caption and some hashtags and that’s it.
When you hit upload, Tiktok will take it to the For You Page and other people will see it.
How quickly it grows and how many views it gets will depend on the engagement with the video, the watch time and the number of shares.
What kind of content works on Tiktok?
Honestly it’s such a broad scope but there are some things that seem to go down well:
- Dances that are currently part of a trend
- Pets – same for pretty much any platform though…
- Things that have that “satisfying watch” kind of feeling (look up Oddly Satisfying on Youtube if you’re not sure what I mean!)
- Things that have a “reveal” at the end – helps with watch time
- Emotional real life stories – fighting racism, homophobia, calling out trolls too
- Informative videos that combine with a trend
Anything else you need to know about Tiktok?
Some bullet point nuance points for you:
- Organic reach is higher on Tiktok than other platforms but that won’t always be the case
- Hashtags are to help categorise what your video is about – so the algorithm has some idea of who to try to put the video in front of
- If you’re going for a niche, you need to be patient – the algorithm puts content in front of a relatively random audience on the For You Page so it will take time to get in front of the right people in the right audience – so you need to grind at the start. A lot. (Sometimes you will just get lucky though)
- When you’re starting out, it’s best to follow other small accounts on your For You Page that also have a small following – and follow more people than they have followers so they’re more likely to follow you back and you can start to get some followers.
How am I doing on Tiktok?
Out of all social networks it’s the only one I’ve been able to cultivate something of a following on.
Some of my videos about calorie swaps went big – up to 650k views and my account was growing quickly from that.
Since then I pivoted to a more broad health and wellness approach to tackle eating disorders and mental health.
My account growth stalled HARD.
But I had my biggest ever video last week – over 800k views – about poached eggs made in the microwave.
Apart from that though, almost al my videos have been relative “flops”.
But like I said you just need to be patient and consistent and turn up and do the right things and wait for the right content to land in front of the right people.