Once again, the music industry has been revolutionized by a piece of digital technology. Whereas the radio used to be the vehicle that broke songs and turned them into hits, TikTok, formerly known as musical.ly, has quickly become the premier conduit for the sharing, discovery, and the viral explosions of music’s newest, most popular artists.
Think of if the Beatles or Elvis had a direct line to their fans, without all the press and marketing middle-men, creating 15-60 second commercials for their biggest hits in-real-time as they come out. This is the world we live in today thanks to TikTok.
So how does your band take advantage of this music sharing phenomenon and give yourselves the best chance to go viral?
JOIN AND WATCH TIKTOK
This first thing may seem obvious, but it’s super important before you start posting clips and dropping content…they may fall by the wayside and never surmount the drowning affects of the algorithm when no one is noticing. Join TikTok, get set up, and begin watching what people are doing. Find the music and stuff you connect with most. The people who listen to, watch, and share that content will be watching along with you.
FIND YOUR NICHE – AUTHENTICITY
Once you get acquainted with the TikTok sector of your liking….get into it and start recording! Follow others, interact, lip sync or do covers over songs you like that are blowing up. Take part in the popular challenges of the week, upload your version of one of the dances everyone’s doing…just be present and use the platform. Play on it. Have fun. The TikTok community does not dig people who are solely using the platform to try to make themselves famous or go viral “on purpose”.
Authenticity is a strange thing to strive for, and is different for every person or band’s collective personality, but let it shine in all its humor, weirdness, and everyday beauty. People on TikTok want to be entertained by real people and good music. It’s about building a community based on collaboration and creativity, not striving for likes, comments, follows, or ticket sales.
MAKE TIKTOK MUSIC CLIPS: HOW-TO
1: Pick the best or most catchy 15 seconds of the song and upload a video with that clip.
2: In the bottom right corner is a profile photo button, click it.
3: Next, name it, in “Track Name – Artist Name” format so people can find it and recognize it.
STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES
Make sure to write the lyrics over the video, ideally flashing as the words go by so people can learn the lyrics to lip sync in their own videos, or collaborations.
Publish the lyrics: on genius and/or reddit so people can look up the words to the whole song. They will be looking!
Be consistent: The style of video, how it’s shot, its aesthetic, the type of humor, all these things contribute to the “feel” of someones TikTok clips. The more a person can know what to expect the more they enjoy it, think of how a talk show has a certain kind of humor or way it looks. Think of these as mini-commercials for your music. What makes your band unique?
Consistently post: Posting often and regularly helps the audience stay, and an audience that stays is an audience that grows.
Duet with influencers: interact with popular TikTok-ers in your niche and be part of the fun. See if you can get an influence to duet with you, or do a lip sync to your clip.
Create a challenge of your own: Make a dance, create a costume change theme, invent your own challenge. The important thing is make sure it isn’t too simple (people wanna try new things), make a deadline (so there’s a little pressure), and devise some kind of reward (A shout-out, a free download of the album) so people have an incentive. Make something that allows people to show out. They will show off!
A FINAL WORD ABOUT TIKTOK SONGS
All these things need to be taken into consideration for your to get the most people to view and interact with your song clip, but remember, its really about YOU, the artist or the band. People will hear the song but they will see you and they will follow or move on from you depending on whether or not they connect with you.
So have fun, put yourself into it and out there, and get to Tik-Tok-ing. Looking for more guidance on how to promote yourself on social media, on the radio, or otherwise? Call Planetary Group in LA at (323) 952-5050 or check out our music promotion guide!