3 popular social media strategies that won’t work on TikTok

The strategies you use for standing out on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube won’t work on TikTok. In fact, if you want to capture the attention of its 800 million monthly users, you need to do the exact opposite of what you’re used to doing.

1. Authenticity over authority.

Even if you spent a decade at a prestigious university training to be an astronaut, it’s better to do your videos in your sweatpants than your lab coat. On TikTok, people demand personable, relatable content. Being raw and candid on this platform will help people get to know you as a person. The ‘know, like, trust’ factor comes into play here, more than ever before, as you reach out to huge audiences and attempt to connect to your target following.

Keep in mind that the average viewer knows within a few seconds of watching your video whether they want to continue watching or not. That’s why your personality needs to shine through. If the viewer likes the vibe you're giving off, they will stay and watch. If not, they will swipe on to the next offering. That means that you are appealing to people who are drawn to you rather than a product.

2. It’s OK to trend-surf!

It’s drummed into us that we should always come up with original content and that copying is plagiarism. Not on TikTok. TikTok is a platform of collaboration, creative liberty and breaking social norms. Here, it is OK to rehash the content of other creators and make it your own. 

Spend about twenty minutes a day watching and commenting on videos. You’ll quickly pick up on the latest trends — like the song or filter everyone is using at the moment — so you can duplicate those in your videos. Noticing trends and popular videos can be a valuable way to figure out what your viewers want to see and boost your engagement.

3. Go broad, not deep.

I'm sure you have heard the saying “find your niche”. It’s standard advice in business as well as for other mainstream social media channels. On TikTok, while it is important to know who you are talking to, you actually want to keep it more broad. 

Unlike traditional platform formats, people don’t have to be actively looking for your content to find you. The platform’s unique algorithm rewards great content with excellent visibility regardless of the account’s previous performance, meaning you can become "TikTok famous" almost overnight with one great video: you don’t need to have millions of followers to go viral. It also goes beyond showing the viewer more of the content they actively seek out: it learns what the viewer may be interested in seeing and pushes it towards them. This gives you the potential to reach a much larger and broader audience than ever before. All you have to do is talk about what you love, and TikTok does the rest.