[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Rich Nardo.]
TikTok is probably the biggest ‘buzzword’ floating around the music industry thus far in 2020. Everywhere you look, people are preaching the importance of breaking on TikTok for young artists. As is usually the case, it’s not as easy as people seem to think it is.
There is no magic bullet available to ensure an artist goes viral on TikTok and the platform’s usership tends to be adept at sniffing out those accounts that are strictly there to market to them. It takes a concerted effort to build trust on the site and then convert that to fanship off-platform.
Here are six important steps that should be taken into consideration if you want to start using TikTok to get the word out about your music.
1. Build An Organic Following
If you skip this step, you will fail unless you have an absurd budget for influencer marketing. Any sort of movement around your song will likely get rolling thanks to those people who follow you making use of your song. You have to work at participation on the site and engaging with your fans in order to set yourself up for success around your music releases.
2. Share Your TikToks on Other Socials
Want to start building a following? The best place to start is with your existing fanbase. Make sure you’re sharing your TikTok videos (directly from TikTok) to your Instagram Story and Twitter feeds. This will make sure your fans know you’re using the platform and hopefully encourage them to follow you there as well.
3. Participate in Hashtags and Challenges
Unlike Instagram where people tend to stick mostly to scrolling the main feed of accounts they follow, TikTok users make use of their “Discover” feed when scrolling. Keep an eye on what hashtags and challenges are trending and, if you can do so without coming across as contrived, make your own applicable video.
4. Diversify Your Content
This doesn’t mean you need to be doing comedy one day and epic landscape videos the next. What it means is that your entire feed shouldn’t just be clips of your music. As mentioned earlier, TikTok users will sniff that out and, unless they’re already a fan of your music, they won’t want to follow. Upload some behind the scenes videos that are fun and playful or show your artistic side.
It doesn’t necessarily matter which direction you go, as long as you’re honest and create content that will appeal to your fans and provide genuine insight into who you are.
5. Be Creative With Your Calls-To-Action
Unless you’re an established artist, just putting your music up on the platform is not going to cause a stir. Once you’ve started building your follower count up, think of a challenge or other creative video that fits the vibe of your song and post a video using a hashtag that fits it. Make sure to interact with the other people that are early adopters to your challenge.
This can help get the wheels turning in terms of inspiring people who aren’t already fans to come across your song/challenge in their feed and maybe make their own video.
6. Choose The Right Time to Incorporate Influencers
If you have a little bit of a budget, getting someone with an established following on TikTok to use your song is a great way to spread the word. That being said, it probably won’t single-handedly cause your music to reach millions.
The best course of action is to work on building your organic following, create a challenge that you post to your own channel and then pay an influencer to do the same in order to help spark a bigger reach for the challenge.