If you've been hanging around my social media or mailing list for a while, you probably know that I'm a huge advocate for TikTok as a tool for growing your fanbase. While Spotify playlists had their moment, and we've all felt the struggles of Instagram and Facebook, TikTok has emerged as a secret weapon for independent musicians like us.
So, why the TikTok hype? It all boils down to TikTok's unique recommendation algorithm. Unlike platforms that prioritize numbers, TikTok focuses on content quality. Most TikTok users discover new content through their "For You" page, which serves up videos based on an algorithm that tailors recommendations to users' interests, giving us that sweet hit of dopamine.
The magic lies in understanding your audience, crafting videos that resonate, and using those strategic hashtags. Meaning TikTok, you can reach a massive audience without needing an army of followers. Another great thing is some of the best TikTok successes come from low-budget videos! It’s important to remember that TikTok growth often starts slow and steady. Your first video might just get a hundred views, the second a bit more, and so on. But as you keep pumping out content—each one promoting your latest song to the right crowd—every like, save, and comment fuels the algorithm. This means TikTok starts pushing your videos to more people who share those same interests. The more you post, the more people get acquainted with your music. They start recognising your songs, increasing the likelihood they'll check out your tracks beyond TikTok. And if you're lucky, your music could become the soundtrack of choice for user-generated videos, pushing your popularity even further. I know that personally the TikTok algorithm certainly works for me. I’m always being recommended bands that I like and if works on me, it's definitely doing its magic on countless others. I recently saw a TikTok featuring the song "Basement" by Covet and over the next few days I was seeing loads of videos featuring this song which made me go and re-listen to that band for the first time in ages. What's great is that this mini-revival of the song, which was released back in 2012, was entirely fuelled by user-generated TikTok content.
So I am encouraging you to ride the TikTok wave while it's still rolling. Change is inevitable, and independent musicians often face uphill battles. So, embrace TikTok's potential to keep your journey consistent and fan base growing.