TikTok has taken the social media world by storm, changing how apps view short form video content and accessibility. New information wrapped up in 15–30 second videos completely bulldozed gate kept boundaries in higher education courses, many folks taking to TikTok university early on in the pandemic to learn important coursework and skills necessary for the workforce.
Moving forward, TikTok continues to be dedicated to information sharing. As a person who strives to be helpful on the internet, and am always looking to learn something from every experience, I wanted to make a solid point of not only existing on the TikTok platform, but creating content.
What I learned in 30 days of TikTok
It is exhausting trying to be everywhere all at once
As someone who teaches people how to use social media, this TikTok challenge, hosted by my friend Brianne Huntsman, only emphasized what I’ve already been aware of subconsciously about content creation.
Creators dedicated to hopping on trends, using sounds before they go viral and rushing to post to catch the tidal wave of views procured with the perfect sound quickly become burnt out and take 3–4 weeks off from creating content.
People are nosy as fuck
We already knew this about the internet, but TikTok viewers are especially CURIOUS motherfuckers. Videos that focus on “day in the life routines” and POV from specific professions are often highly discoverable on the FYP because people are fascinated with other people’s lives.
Personality makes or breaks it
If you were a youtuber kid, or even a blogger, I think those folks are more aptly prepared to provide interesting narration and info dumps. This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t share less enthusiastic videos, but once my content strategy focused on sharing opinions vs general facts, I found my audience was much more engaged and discoverability on the FYP increased by about 10%. In other words, if you really don’t like talking to the camera, TikTok is likely going to grind your gears.
You don’t have to stick with trending sounds
This was a moment when I went “no — DUH” after I realized what I was seeing. Most social apps reward users with boosts to entirely original posts. It’s why in social media we discourage scheduling posts through third party apps because it tanks the number of eyes likely to see your post. TikTok loves music, but videos with original sounds do better on the platform because they’re new, and TikTok isn’t sure how to categorize them.
Editing is worth the extra fifteen minutes
When I first started this challenge I was determined to make it as simple as possible for myself. Just show up, post it, get moving on with your day. Now that I’ve been posting consistently, I’ve started to spend extra time not just making sure my captions and stickers have the right tinting, but taking into consideration tips and tricks from marginally more successful content creators on TikTok who emphasize the importance of jump cuts and slow zooms to emphasize points and keep the viewer engaged.
Gen Z doesn’t own TikTok
TikTok content creators of all ages have found success on the platform by creating their favorite content doing what they do best. Many times by keeping it simple yet surprising, folks of all ages find and connect with their target audience before they really know who they’re trying to connect with. Many content creators started on a whim, and were overwhelmed to find such a positive and interested response from their viewers.