Can TikTok really benefit musicians?
Updated: Oct 28, 2022
TikTok has been taking over as the most popular social media site for the past few years but , it only really took off with us ‘old folks’ during lockdown 1.0. Personally, I didn’t think anything of the platform - I honestly thought I would just see what it was about and see if I could find some artists that I wouldn’t be able to discover through the other social media platforms... Now I’m obsessed! I have made a few videos, (mainly to annoy my kids), but more interestingly, I have discovered songs and artists that I would’ve thought nothing of if I had seen their Twitter handles clubbed together in some tweet.
So, after hours of scrolling, I made a list of all the artists that I had seen and created a playlist of the songs I had heard. Out of around 40 artists there was 1 from the UK! This got me thinking…. Can this platform help UK artists as much as it is evidently helping our US counterparts?
If you are signed up to our newsletter, you might have seen my section ‘TikTik Artist Of The Month’ - here I select my most seen artist - the one who either has a new single out or is about to go on an awesome tour. These artists tend to have a lot of followers and in turn create viral videos which end up on my 'For You' Page but, how do you promote on TikTok , and is it worthwhile for a UK artist?
I am yet to see a big influx of Country talent from the UK on TikTok however, my favourites include Laura Aston and Laura Beckwith. I really hope to see many more coming through on my 'For You' Page soon. A couple of things that I have noticed through watching various artists is that they all support each other and often co-write together too. With everything opened back up in the US, it is much easier to share videos of performing at festivals, at songwriting retreats and even the behind the scenes excitement such as travelling on tour buses. Additionally, some bigger country artists look out for new talent on the app, Jimmy Allen being one of these. He has recently duetted with Ashley Cooke - after seeing her new song on TikTok, he duetted the video and asked her to get in touch. He has also just released a song with Noah Schnacky, who is also viral on TikTok. Tim McGraw is constantly on the lookout too.
Check out your fellow artists on the app, even if you don’t think it’s for you. If you do fancy reaching another type of audience I have some information which may be helpful to you.
I found a ‘21 tips for success’ blog on CD Baby which I found very interesting and would like to share with you all.
Here are a few tips I have pulled from the blog:
1. Put your music on TikTok: Distribution services now offer this platform as part of the service. Every time a user uses your music, you get paid!
2. Follow other musicians: Learn from them and see what they do with their creative energy. It might not be your cup of tea but, it will give you an idea of what potential fans look for within the platform.
3. Don’t stress about being perfect: The best videos are the blooper reels!
4. It’s not about your song; it's about your musical moment: All songs have that catchy memorable hook, usually within the bridge or chorus! Find it and use it over and over. This will inspire listeners to lip-sync or create dance moves to it. Most viral videos are only 15 seconds long so be smart!
5. Treat TikTok like a community: Just like other social media platforms, support other artists, use their sounds in your videos, duet with them or stitch their videos and shout out your support.
For the other tips and suggestions check out:
One thing you need to be sure of when trying to get your music out there to more people is your goal. Why are you using the platform? What is it that you want to achieve? TikTok is not a huge money making platform itself. There are ways to make money through going LIVE and sponsorship deals but, these are not guaranteed and are harder to do for a smaller account. If making money is your only goal then maybe this platform isn’t for you however, if you want to reach a wider audience to help boost streams and downloads then this can definitely help.
Upload your own music and allow other people to use your sounds. This exposes you and your music to larger audiences. Only a 60 second snippet will be used and usually this is cut down to 15 seconds for those quick, fun, lip-syncing, dancing videos. You can also create your own hashtags to go alongside the sounds, and these can also be used across the other platforms to create a wider reach. My son has added his YouTube channel to his TikTok profile so people can easily click to subscribe. He was also able to create the YouTube shorts out of his TikTok's easily. This is something to consider if you are a big YouTube user.
Over on Musicianport.com, Jake L spent 5 months trying to reach 100K followers and this is what he did:
1. Focused on a specific niche: I’m assuming you're all either country artists or country fans so you already know your niche. I personally use country songs in my videos, unless it's another trend, and use the country hashtags to reach the right people.
2. Post consistently: Just like all other social media platforms, this isn’t necessary but it really does help keep you engaged with your audience. It is recommended around 3-5 posts per day. The best thing about TikTok is the vast variety of content that you can use. There are trends, duets/video replies, performing music, vlog style/personal videos and fun skits available at any time of the day. Mix it up and see what happens.
3. Understanding the TikTok Algorithm: Just like everything else, the algorithm changes all the time. Look at what is working, what type of videos are showing up on your FYP and what hashtags are being used.
4. Increase the quality of my content: With anything, quality gets better over time so don’t stress if it’s not perfect straight away. The longer you use the app features, the easier it will become and those higher quality videos will take less time. Artists and Vloggers will already have tripods and ring lights - use them to your advantage.
5. Go LIVE on TikTok: Even if this is just talking to your audience, creating a Q&A section or singing, engage with your audience, introduce your music to your new followers and really get out there.
Good luck and let us know how you are getting on!
If you are already on TikTok let me know your handle, mine is @jac_delnevo! Connect with me and I will duet or stitch your videos. Scarlet River Management is also now on TikTok @ScarletRiverManagement…. We would love to share your videos so please send them across and we will post on our page. Send some clips to any of our social media pages or me and Rachel directly.