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30 Days of TikTok: A Non-Influencer's Perspective

Practically every marketing guide and trend report will touch on TikTok. While its presence in the US waits in limbo–marketing departments need to plan on leveraging these powerful platforms that let users of 200 followers go viral.


I’ve been working in social media since 2010 and love to try new channels–though TikTok is far from new. In fact, as an in-house social media director, I’ve managed content creators for TikTok and even appeared in a few videos–from recreating famous movie lines to app tutorials.

But I’ve never posted daily, so I decided to post for 30 days straight in May. Throughout my journey, I discovered several valuable lessons that transformed my perspective.


Looks Don't Matter—Being Genuine Does

Contrary to popular belief, TikTok is a platform where authenticity and genuine connections reign supreme. While aesthetics may attract initial attention, the content and personality truly engage viewers. Being yourself and embracing your unique qualities is essential to building an authentic online presence. Now if you already put on a full face and dress like you’re going to Coachella every day– go forth. Be you!


As far as what this means to brands? Don’t assume you know what an influencer/content creator looks like and how to speak to their audience directly. The creator knows their audience better than you, so they’ll have fresh ideas on how to talk about your brand or product–of course, you get the final say, but be open. If you want inspo into what that looks like in action–check out Adobe's channel.


It’s about emotion on here, not your product. And 9 times out of 10, you’ll need to outsource your TikTok videos to content creators or an agency–this platform requires strategy, creativity, and trends. If you want to start collaborating with creators, let’s chat or use a program like Insense.


Hashtags Are Important

Unlike other social media platforms, hashtags are vital for discovery. Relevant and popular hashtags increase the chances of your content being discovered by users searching or following those hashtags. You can target a specific audience interested in your content by using niche-specific hashtags. Participating in viral challenges and incorporating relevant hashtags boosts visibility and engagement. Ride the wave of popular topics and increase reach.


Comedy Is King

Humor is a universal language that transcends boundaries. Incorporating comedic elements into your content greatly enhances its shareability and appeal. Embrace your inner comedian and experiment with different forms of humor to captivate your audience.


Like in regular comedy, timing is everything, so the cuts and music matter. If you don’t want to write a joke, use templates from Capcut (like the one below.)


Good Planning Saves Production Time

Yes, trends pop out of nowhere–but that just means what was planned is now moved to a new day. Crafting quality content takes time and often requires approval.


If you’re crafting the content yourself, allocate three hours at the minimum for production, including scripting, filming, and editing. Also, you’ll want more B-roll and goofs than you expect for editing purposes. Generally, when recording something, make sure it’s for at least 10 seconds so you don't have to re-shoot and have ample options.


Accept the Chaos

No day is the same on TikTok. Like Twitter, TikTok is the most in tune with what is happening in real time. Instagram trends copy TikTok. New templates are created overnight; think of photos from the Met Gala, Jonas Brother’s new song, HBO’s Sunday tv show hit will have a soundbite so delectable, everyone will use it.


Despite investing time and effort into creating what you believe to be exceptional content, success on TikTok can be elusive. Sometimes, your videos may not gain traction even when you follow all the best practices. It's important to accept the chaotic nature of social media algorithms and not let setbacks discourage you. Persistence is key, and success may come when you least expect it.


The First Five Seconds Make or Break You

In a fast-paced digital landscape, capturing your viewers' attention within the first five seconds is critical. Use intriguing hooks or a compelling introduction to captivate your audience. A strong opening sets the stage for viewers to invest their time and attention in your video.

 

All in all, I’m glad I took up my 30-day TikTok challenge. It reiterated my opinion that content creators deserve all the pay because growing and retaining an audience requires strategy, talent, and vulnerability daily. Remember, if you're considering venturing into TikTok or any social media platform, be prepared to build an influencer strategy. And sometimes, the best move is to do nothing… but claim your handle.





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