With 3.5 billion downloads and over 150 million users every day in the US, it’s safe to say TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
TikTok’s popularity didn’t happen by chance. With its work-of-art algorithm and opportunities for anyone, even newbies, to gain popularity, TikTok has earned its status as an industry leader.
In this episode, I’m talking all things TikTok. Why it’s my favorite app, why it’s so great for individuals who love video, and how it’s becoming more and more viable as a tool for business owners when they are willing to go the unconventional marketing route.
In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:
- Why TikTok’s algorithm is a work of art
- TikTok Frustrations
- The TikTok Congressional Hearings
- TikTok updates for business owners
- My viral TikTok clients
- The raw you on TikTok
- The other side of mass appeal
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- “With TikTok, and I've said this before on the podcast, but with TikTok, I feel like I am discovering new content in a way that I haven't discovered content in a long, long time. You know, even with content discovery platforms like YouTube, you kind of have to know what you're looking for first before YouTube starts recommending things for you.” – Andréa Jones
- “This is what I love about TikTok. It's everyone's on even footing. You can have zero followers start posting today and get views on your videos.” – Andréa Jones
- “The update that TikTok is making actually makes sense. Like, for example, one of the updates they did in the past year was expanding the captions. So it used to be that you could have a hundred characters, and now you have over 2000 characters when it comes to typing out your caption. And so that is a clear win that something people ask for that they gave us.” – Andréa Jones
- “People don't want the fancy studio. They don't want to see all the setup. We wanna see the real, the raw, like reality tv. There's a certain polish to it, yes, but it's like real people, right?” – Andréa Jones
- “The key here is that Lily is using content and a strategy that is focused on conversions. So for her, millions and millions of views mean nothing if they don’t actually convert, right? I mean, I shouldn't say nothing because millions and millions of views does mean something. But then to follow that up, she has this conversion-focused content that talks about her podcast, that talks about her lead magnets, that talks about her offers, and she does it in such an elegant way.” – Andréa Jones
- “I want you to think about before someone enters your world, before someone hires you, before someone pays you, what questions are they asking themselves? What are they thinking about? What are they feeling? What are their hopes and dreams? What are their fears? How are they failing? How are they succeeding right now? If you can answer some of those questions, then you can start to create content to where they are now instead of creating content for where they should be, when they're ready to buy from you.” – Andréa Jones
Episode 219 – How I Helped 3 of My Clients Go Viral (Over 3 Million Views!)
Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:00):
Pop quiz! Which of our favorite apps has been downloaded over 3.5 billion with a B times and has over 150 million Americans using it every single day? It's TikTok, friends. We're gonna talk about TikTok in 2023. I'm gonna share some stats. Yes, I'm gonna talk about that mess of a congressional hearing, and I wanna give you a few tips and tricks for how you can use TikTok for your business. Let's dive in.
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:57):
Y'all know I absolutely love TikTok. I scroll through the app so much that it gives me that cute little notification that says, Hey, your thumb must be sore. You're, you've been scrolling a lot. And I go, TikTok, I don't care. I'm gonna keep scrolling because I truly just enjoy the experience on the app. And it's been a long time since I've, since I've actively enjoyed apps outside of work. So I like my work, I like what I do, but I'm typically not scrolling on Instagram when I'm not working, if that makes sense. Like, too much of a good thing can be bad. But with TikTok, and I've said this before on the podcast, but with TikTok, I feel like I am discovering new content in a way that I haven't discovered content in a long, long time. You know, even with content discovery platforms like YouTube, you kind of have to know what you're looking for first before YouTube starts recommending things for you.
Even if you just log into YouTube for the first time, it's probably gonna show you some of the most popular videos but it won't really figure out your niche interests until you start putting in search terms and it starts recognizing those. Whereas TikTok's algorithm is a work of freaking art. Tiktok knows that I am super into drag race, so every single drag queen give them to me. I want to watch all of them. Tiktok knows that I love spicy romance novels, the spicier the better, but totally like, you know, happy ending focused. And it gives me all the book talkers that review those books. What I'm trying to say is, the algorithm knows me. Okay. And so I actually personally enjoy the app. And as a business owner, I think it's great and a fascinating study in users and how users wanna consume content because marketers haven't really messed it up yet.
Like, as a marketer, I think my highest video has gotten like 30,000 views or something like that. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things. So when I think about it from a marketing perspective, I'm like, oh, my content has to be dope in order for the audience, the general public to like vote on it with their attention. And I think this is where a lot of people get super frustrated with TikTok because their content does not have mass appeal, meaning your content is super niche and your audience is niche as well. And they will absolutely start to understand that, and TikTok will deliver your content to them. But if TikTok delivers your content to that niche audience and they don't like it, the public has spoken. And so this is what I love about TikTok. It's everyone's on even footing.
You can have zero followers start posting today and get views on your videos. However, as a marketer, I wanna spend the rest of this episode talking about it in the perspective of business owners and what this means for you as a business owner. Now, I cannot dive into TikTok without talking about the congressional hearing that just happened. I'm pulling up my notes on this, so if y'all hear me click in, I don't wanna get any of these facts wrong. On March 23rd, the TikTok CEO, Shou Chew, went to US Congress to defend TikTok and US lawmakers really berated him, <laugh> and ask him a ton of questions about TikTok and how damaging it is and how it's spying on us. I highly recommend you all look up clip clips of this hearing because it is wild. The questions that they asked, like one of the congressmen asked if TikTok is tracking how our pupils are dilating and reacting to videos and sending that information to the Chinese government they were asking if they connect their phone to wifi, can TikTok then take over their wifi?
They were asking lots of questions about children's usage of the app and how TikTok prevents that. And spoiler alert, TikTok does what every website and app does in 2023, which is have gated content, meaning you have to enter your birthdate so that they can see if you're an adult or not. That's pretty much how we all use the internet. It's up to you as a parent, I think, to watch your children's use. And TikTok is doing their part. We all gotta do our part anyways, watch over <laugh> the notes from that hearing. But the most interesting thing about this is the positive kickback from this congressional hearing. Now, this is not the first time a social media app has had to present in this way. Y'all remember Facebook did this and the backlash when Mark Zuckerberg had to defend Facebook was wild at the time.
People were making fun of how he speaks. People were saying he's an alien, and some of the ways that he responded were quite odd in my opinion, but very similar to this one. The difference is that TikTok people like Meta aka Facebook, there's quite a love hate relationship there. And so when we think about the end user, our t target clients, our customers, our, the people who we wanna buy our products and services, they thoroughly enjoy TikTok and they like using the app. I think this is important information as a business owner because sometimes we wanna be active on apps that we personally like. And y'all know, I'm like, if you like the app, then you will definitely spend more time there. But there is a part of this where we have to consider the end user as well. Where did they like spending their time and what types of content do they like consuming?
How can we marry those two ideas? And so when, when this large number of people publicly supports the app that they enjoy using, I think as business owners, we need to turn on our ears and listen up a little bit to the people who we wanna serve, right? So I love the positive response from this. If you wanna see more examples of this, I'm gonna put a link to Shou’s Instagram or TikTok. I almost said Instagram, y'all. I wanna put a link to Shou’s in… I almost said it. I wanna put a link to Shou’s TikTok because everyone is leaving lots of positive comments on his work, which is like his post, which I think is just great. Like, like when when Adam Mosseri gives an update, he does not get this positive reaction. Okay? When Elon Musk updates the app, not a positive reaction, shoutime is his TikTok handle, which is also cute.
But a lot of people are loving him. And so for CEO of a company to have this positive of reaction, pay attention, all right? In the past year, TikTok has made quite a number of updates to the app. And in my opinion, a lot of these updates are very pertinent to business owners. And especially they're geared towards helping us create better content and they're geared towards helping the user experience. I cannot say the same for Meta or Twitter <laugh>, and I'll probably do whole episodes on their updates as well. But the update that TikTok is making actually makes sense. Like, for example, one of the updates they did in the past year was expand the caption. So it used to be that you could have a hundred characters and now you have over 2000 characters when it comes to typing out your caption.
And so that is a clear win that something people ask for that they gave us. They also gave us things like sounds for business. If you have a business account like I do, sometimes it can be challenging to find trending sounds or trending audio that's not copyrighted. And so they created a whole way for us to do that. They even added in things like scheduling videos right within the app or on the desktop version. So when we think about the updates and improvements they're making, they definitely have the end user in mind. All right, we're gonna take a quick break when we come back, I wanna revisit some of my viral clients and then bring some observations to you that we've had over the past year for how you can leverage TikTok for your business.
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And we're back. So I'm gonna link in the show notes to the original episode where I had three clients go viral. Since that episode, I have had one other client go viral that I'll talk about in this episode, but honestly, we don't manage their TikTok, so I just wanna be clear about that. All right, so my client, Graham Weaver, was the first client to go viral on TikTok after we started managing TikTok for our clients last year.
And I just looked, and out of his top five videos, the one that we posted, actually, almost all of the ones that are viral are ones that we co-created with him. And they were during that time that we were really pushing hard on his TikTok. So this was April, May, June of 2022. Now I'm pulling up his account. Now, his most watched video had 8.3 million views, and the one that first went viral for him now has 4.5 million views. But looking at his top five videos, they were all videos that we co-created with him. The thing that I wanna note as well is how many followers he has, because followers on TikTok don't matter. So tip number one, don't pay attention to your followers. I would say push for a thousand followers so you can unlock some features like TikTok Live. But we don't really need followers on TikTok because as I mentioned before, TikTok pushes your video out into the feed, into the For You page, no matter how many followers you have, the public decides if they wanna watch these videos.
Now, the first video for him that went viral, the reason that it went viral is still applicable today. That video went viral because it felt real. It felt like you were kind of looking into a conversation and you were getting insights to something without it feeling like someone was telling you what to do or kind of, you know, overexplaining something. It was a two-part video. So the second part of that video also got quite a number of views, but the first part got the most views. And so when I think about business owners, how we approach this we can't be like Gary B and have people follow us around all day, but what we can do is give an insight into what our business is like. Think of TikTok or social media as a mirror. We wanna have reflected on social media what it's like to work with us.
So for example, a couple episodes ago I mentioned that I bought all this fancy camera equipment from my office. I spent hours trying to put it together. It didn't look that much better. So I got really frustrated and started like fine-tuning. I bought a different lens for this, a different light for that. At the end of the day, the amount that I spent, which was thousands of dollars, and the amount of time that I spent didn't equal the output that I wanted. Plus it felt like I was putting on a little bit. And as these videos have shown, people don't want the fancy studio. They don't want to see all the setup. We wanna see the real, the raw, like reality tv. There's a certain polish to it, yes, but it's like real people, right? So I think that's the key takeaway from his account.
Okay? Second client, Dr. Karin, she went viral in September of 2022 and her viral video is still her most watched video, but she's had a few that have gotten some views since then. So her most viral video was six seconds long, 2.6 million views now, and it was using a trending sound. So I do think trending sounds have mass appeal. So second tip for today is finding an angle with their content that does have mass appeal. And I will tell you, this is something that I struggle with a lot. The content that I produce, what I talk about is so niche, business owners who need marketing support, like that is such a small group of people in the grand scheme of things. Out of the three point, however, billion people, I think 3.5 billion people that have downloaded the app, I think I'm talking to like less than a million, right?
So when I think about that, you know, in the context of what I'm working on, if I were to create something that, you know, I wanted to reverse engineer to go viral, it'd probably be something about being like a working mom or organizing my day or something like that, right? Something that has a little bit of mass appeal. So when you think about your goal on the app, if your goal is to convert people, going viral is not necessarily going to do that. But if you have client content that's specific to the people that you're talking to, you have a higher chance of actually converting them. So the mass appeal is great, it can work for you, but it doesn't necessarily lead to conversions. So that brings me to my third client who went viral, Date Brazen. She went viral in June or May of 2022 at 1.7 million views was her highest video.
It's still her highest video today. And she's a great example of conversion focus content. So as soon as she went viral, her podcast topped the charts, she started producing these live events that keep selling out. And she's been talking a lot about how dating is an act of self-care. And this is a topic that does have mass appeal. It's a topic that a lot of people can relate to if you're struggling with dating. And so her content actually works really well here. But the key here is that Lily is using content and a strategy that is focused on conversions. So for her, millions and millions of views mean nothing if they actually convert, right? I mean, I shouldn't say nothing because millions and millions of views do mean something. But then to follow that up, she has this conversion focused content that talks about our podcast, that talks about her lead magnets, that talks about her offers, and she does it in such an elegant way.
So for example, instead of saying, come to my live event, she takes clips from past live events, stitches them together, and then talks about the value of that live experience. And that is key when it comes to creating content for TikTok. Anything that feels like you're selling something, people's radars go off and they keep scrolling. I mean, think about how you interact with ads. Do you ever stop on an ad and go, oh look, it says ad Let me watch the whole thing. Now, as soon as you sniff out that it's an ad, you keep scrolling, right? And so your audience is doing the same thing as soon as they feel like, oh, she's about to sell something. They keep scrolling, especially people who do not know you. And remember, TikTok videos go out mostly to people who do not know you. So with that in mind, I want you to think about before someone enters your world, before someone hires you, before someone pays you, what questions are they asking themselves?
What are they thinking about? What are they feeling? What are their hopes and dreams? What are their fears? How are they failing? How are they succeeding right now? If you can answer some of those questions, then you can start to create content to where they are now instead of creating content for where they are, where they should be, when they're ready to buy from you. Because sometimes those aren't the same thing. So I'll use Lily as an example. She talks a lot about dating as an act of self-care. However, one of her most popular videos talks about Tinder and dating apps because to get to the point of dating is a self-care thing. You may wanna start with, oh my gosh, I signed up for Tinder and it was a hot mess, hot mess express, right? <Laugh>. And so her audience goes, oh, I know Tinder.
I know that feeling of Tinder. Now she can go. If you feel like this, then we can talk about dating as an act of self-care. If you just start off with dating as an act of self-care, people go, I feel like she's trying to tell me I'm doing something wrong. I already feel bad. Let's keep scrolling. Okay? So if you are a personality-backed brand and you found this episode helpful, tag me on Instagram. I wanna hear your thoughts. Let's continue the conversation. And if you're on TikTok, send me your links. I would love to check out your TikTok. And I'm at TikTok at onlinedrea, thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of The Savvy Social Podcast. I'll see you back here very soon. Bye for now.
So if anyone confuse go to tiktok
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