• Hector Santiesteban

Podcaster’s Guide to Tik Tok

It seems like everyone (and their mother) is making silly dance videos to post on Tik Tok. Just recently my mother-in-law started posting Tik Toks - so I know that it’s not just for young people anymore.

But you may be sitting there asking yourself if you need to get on Tik Tok to promote your podcast. But you're also probably wondering how you need to start learning how to dance.

The good news is you don’t have to buy any expensive light fixtures or memorize any dance routines. Tik Tok has matured enough in their audience and also the variety of content formats.

The most important thing to realize is that Tik Tok is not going away any time soon. And the short-form video style that its popularized is here to stay. So even if Tik Tok isn’t the biggest platform in 5 or 10 years, it’s one of the biggest right now. Getting started now will help you learn how to to storytell in a different medium while growing your audience.

So here are some general tips to get started.

Create a Page

Even if it’s just to lurk other pages and learn what the platform is about, you should get started and create a page. You can create a profile for you as an individual/host of the show or you can create a page for your show. Either way works. You can even create a fake profile that isn’t associated with anything just to learn the platform.

Learn How It Works

Some of Tik Tok's features you'll notice from other platforms while some are unique to Tik Tok. Like Instagram, Tik Tok profiles default to a “public” page where everything you post is public. Unlike Facebook and Snapchat which are “closed” social medias, Tik Tok’s has an open platform. This part of the platform's appeal that has allowed so many people to go viral.

Tik Tok only has two feeds: the “following” feed that shows the pages you follow and the “For You” feed that is like Instagram’s explore feed. This feed will show videos that the app thinks you are likely to enjoy. The more time that you spend on the platform, the more likely the app is to know which videos you will like. The more videos you post - the more likely it is to find people that will enjoy your content.

Create Original Content

Users on Tik Tok can sniff out when something is not native to the platform. Users are willing to trade the production value usually needed on Instagram for the authenticity they're used to seeing on Tik Tok. Simple, DIY videos seem to consistently outperform high-production effects and highly edited videos.

Promote Your Episodes

Tik Tok videos are limited to 60 seconds so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to post entire episodes. But you can find the most entertaining, memorable, or insightful piece of the podcast and put that on Tik Tok. You can also post behind the scenes content of you or the production of the show. You can even hop on some of the trends and make something that is relevant for your show.

The good thing about the platform is there aren’t any “rules.” And people are open and willing enough to try things and also give feedback on stuff that’s not working. You’ll know if something s working based on the number of interactions and engagements you get.

Tik Tok Trends

Trends are a unique phenomenon that has arisen from Tik Tok’s platform. Because individuals can reuse sounds and even others videos, it makes it easy for everyone to put their “own spin” on a particular video. Trends are helpful because it gives someone a starting place on what kind of content to create. You can adjust the “trend” to match your unique perspective or audience.

Trends are also helpful for hosts because they tend to get more weight in the algorithm because of their popularity. “Sounds” are the audio tracks that accompany the videos and these can be reused and are often what helps the video go viral.

Here's a great article on how to use "Tik Tok Sounds.'

Use Your Bio Wisely

Similar to Instagram, Tik Tok gives users the ability to have a short description in their profile and a link to their website. Tik Tok also allows users to link their Instagram and YouTube channel as well. Tik Tok limits your description to only 150 characters. So you’ll want to make sure that you get the most out of your description and that it properly conveys your show.

Get Creative

Like previously mentioned, you don’t have learn dance routines or do lip syncing to be successful on Tik Tok. The platform is new enough for you to be able to experiment and try different types of content. Plus, the algorithm doesn’t penalize you for making something that people don’t like.

The key is to be consistent with your output, authentic to strengths, and listen to your audience. They’ll let you know what type of topics and even format works best for them. The variety of videos on the platform are endless. There are videos on Tik Tok with people’s faces. There are videos on Tik Tok with only voiceovers. Test out some different methods and see what works for you.

Use Hashtags

Like other social platforms, you can tag your content to let the app know what your content is about. This will allow other people interested in your content to be able to find you. Tik Tok’s algorithm pays attention to what type of videos users watch the most. Then it tries to feed them more of those videos. Tagging your video with the proper hashtags will increase the chance it's shown to the right people. But unlike Instagrm, you want to keep your hashtags limited. Tik Tok’s limits its captions to 150 characters so we recommend using 5-6 hashtags and a short, intriguing caption.

You Can Start With 0 Followers

Marketers and businesses are so excited about Tik Tok because of its ability to get traction outside of your followers. Tik Tok recommends content from anyone - even people you’re not following. That means that you don't need follwers to get your content seen. You can leverage Tik Tok’s algorithm to get you views and traction.

Comment on Other Videos

Tik Tok rewards engagement and interaction. That means that if you comment on someone’s video, then they’re more likely to share your video to more people. Tik Tok wants people interacting and commenting with each other, not posting and ghosting. That's when you post, leave, and don't reply to any of the comments.

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