Discovering TikTok and hitting 1.4 Million views in a single video

in #socialmedialast year (edited)

View this post on Hive: Discovering TikTok and hitting 1.4 Million views in a single video

TikTok is a new video sharing platform that is probably the current fastest growing social media app. Although 60% of TikTok users are aged 16 to 24 there are more and more older users catching up, including celebrities such as Will Smith or Jimmy Fallon.

Last August (2019), I downloaded the app out of curiosity and started to watching the content from my personal feed they are calling the For you page or FYP that is powered by an AI that decides what each user will be seeing in their feed. Content are in average 15 seconds long and up to a maximum of 60 seconds. They are mainly entertaining content that goes from totally pointless or silly to very entertaining and funny, you can sometimes even learn a thing or two from them. Content consumption is very easy, all you need to do is slide up from the FYP and you get the next content that the AI think you would be interested in, watch it and interact with it and it will tell the AI that are interested in that type of content. You can also tell it to not show that type of content in the future.

I started uploading my own content to see how it would go and for the first three months I uploaded things like:

  • the Bottle cap challenge where you have to try kick the cap of a bottle of it
  • martial arts clips
  • kayaking and fishing clips
  • responding to other users' challenges

The response was not great in average a few hundreds views and almost no engagement.

My TikTok profile

My first TikTok content

Why should I pay attention to TikTok?

Marketing potential

Before we continue, you might be wondering why even pay attention to TikTok, it's mostly for kids and teens after all.

So lets see some stats. As of February 2020

TikTok is available in 150 countries and has over 1 billion users

  • It has about 800 million monthly active users back in November 2018.
  • The app has been downloaded 1.5 billion times world wide in November 2019
  • There is an average consumption of 52 minutes per user launching the app about 8 times a day
  • 83% of the users have posted a video
  • 60% are between the ages of 16-24. 26% are between the ages 25-44.

More numbers on:

So 26% are 25-44, out of the 1 billion users that represents 260 million users. That is not negligible marketing potential.

I'm starting to see local businesses coming on the platform and post their own content linking their bio to their Instagram or Youtube profile driving traffic over to their long form content.

Influencers can even earn money directly or indirectly from TikTok by either earning TikTok coins (yeah, they have a coin!) during a live stream or selling their products.

52 minutes average content consumption per user per day on TikTok


There is no revenue sharing on TikTok yet, but people are making money in other ways:

  • growing accounts and selling them
  • selling products while doing live streams
  • doing live streams and receive donations from viewers (tipping with TikTok coins basically). Converted into Diamonds that can be cashed out via Paypal.
  • manage influencers campaigns
  • buy ads on the platform
  • management services to TikTok creators
  • consulting services (advices on how to get more hits etc...)

My experience so far

As for me, I'm just posting content for fun and to learn more about the platform and see how I can use it. I spend quite some times every day to watch content:

  • to discover new comedians
  • enjoying video effects editors
  • listen to musicians performance
  • watching pen spinning and begleri experts
  • etc...

In December 2019, a fire engine came around our street to receive donations and my video of it now has received 26K views and 2746 likes. Since, I could not manage to replicate the same amount of traffic. Until the end of January during my trip to Vietnam. I got sick with a Dengue fever and during about 10 days, I stayed most of my day in bed drained of my energy. Due to that we had to cancel our flight back to Australia and get new tickets. There are times of the day where I was feeling better and times where I felt like shit. During the good moment, I was browsing content and tried to post videos differently.

There are different type of content on TikTok:

  • regular videos
  • duets where you respond to another user's video by recording yourself doing the same thing or complementing them (like while singing)
  • reactions that are similar to duets but to record your reaction to other's content

This time I tried posting duets and started to see my traffic increasing a little bit reaching the thousands of views instead of few hundreds.

In February, I posted a duet to a pen spinning clip from another user from Vietnam. That clip received 4.6 million views, 354 thousands links and 1019 comments. In the first hour, my duet got to a couple of thousand views and in the same day it got about 7000 views. It continued to grow slowly for the next few days and then suddenly a new wave of viewers found it and it is now at 1.4 millions views, 163 thousand likes and 280 comments. Most of the viewers were however from Russia showing that this topic is quite popular over there. That new traffic got me to 8403 followers from only a handful and a total of 173 thousand likes across all of my content.

My most popular pen spinning video on TikTok

After several attempts I'm starting to understand the potential "recipe" for going viral on TikTok. Most of my pen spinning videos were averaging 1500 views while three others reached 46K, 14K and 17K. The common points are:

  • most of them were duet
  • all of them are using audio track from other TikTok users.

TikTok audio tracks

When you upload a video to TikTok, you can either keep the original audio from your video file or you can choose to sync it with:

  • the audio track from the video from another user
  • audio clips provided by TikTok

TikTok sound usage page

This allows TikTok users to do funny lip-syncing for example. When watching a video, you can click on an icon that takes you to the list of other users who are using the current audio track and are offered the opportunity to re-use that track (sound) in your own video. Some TikTok singers got very popular this way, their performances were re-used in thousands of videos that took them to fame. Ajay Stephens, for example, has his performance of Memories by Maroon 5 re-used in more than 854 thousand of videos:

K Camp's Lottery(Renegade) song also got popular thanks to Jalaiah Harmon who created a dance performance on it.

If your content using that audio track gets popular it will also be showing on the top of the list of videos using this track. For example the "Thank You" by MKTO track above was used by only 980 videos and at 26K views, my little fire engine video clip is ranked #4 on that page. Another way of attracting more viewers.

With only 8000+ followers, I couldn't reach a high number of views without the help of TikTok FYP AI algorithm. However, when I'm using an audio track that is very popular my content gets pushed to other user's For you page which means more reach. Making duet to popular videos also seems to help. TikTok's FYP algorithm favors the viewers, not the content creators. It will only injects your content to other user's 4U page if it thinks that user is interested in it. It is doing so by analysing what content users are watching and engaging with. So things that count are:

  • has the user watched the entire video
  • how many times has the user watched the same video (repeated watching) in loop
  • has the user liked the content
  • has the user commented on the content
  • has the user visited the author's bio after watching the content
  • has the user re-used the content's audio track
  • etc...

Based on these and the sound and the tags used in your video, the algorithm will push it to the right users. The best way to increase the reach is to have a lot of followers obviously but to get there you need the help of the algorithm. One of the TikTok famous users is a teen girl named Charli D'amelio, her profile today counts 30 million followers (yeah million) with a total of 1.7 billion likes across her content. She is mainly posting her dance performances and people seem to like them.

Charli D'amelio performing the Renegade dance with its creator Jalaiah Harmon

Based on this information, I will be experimenting new content using popular sounds and duet and see if I can increase my followers count even further. Once I can get consistently get a high amount of traffic, I could start linking to my other long form content including Steem posts or even subtly promote Steem like here:

Promoting Steem on TikTok

The thing is creating 15 seconds to 60 seconds video is super easy, some spend hours editing but a lot of popular content were created without hassle and the app offers the basic but yet effective editing tools already. Just be yourself, posting something fun and experiment.

My TikTok account: @quochuync

Some other Steemians on TikTok

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Thank you for mentioning my small post, much appreciated! Also so that was a very good article....I tested Tik Tok a lot and found many things... duets like you said work very well but things like politics or serious opinions about something do not work.
For Example I had a meme video about Brexit exact 1 day after the official ...exit.. so the video got 15.4 k views n 5 hours but got deleted. This was a very good lesson for me ... On Tik Tok works PG jokes and songs, opinions work too but they have to be very mild.
And last detail...there is the thing with the many CEOs are saying that Tik Tok app is tracking us ( camera) but to be honest this is not the only app that does this...most of them do this ..most of them use our data.
Still I believe that Tik Tok can help us and even Steemit .
Just make funny...or be the opposite...
As I understand there is a way to monetize your videos...after having 1k followers and start to do live video.
There is this diamond that can be exchanged to usd.... but I did not test this yet soon as I test this feature I will write more about the subject.
Once again very good article man and I wish you all the best!

True, like in a lot of centralised platforms, there will always be topics that won’t do well. Have you tested TikTok vids with light opinion (or delivered in a fun way) but with your bio linking to a stronger opinion on another platform?

The thing is understand how it works and make it work for you.

Thanks for the comment

Posted using Partiko iOS

It's not that new, my daughter has been on it since it was musically (or I'm not sure how it was written but the whole thing was a domain). It's not just for kids and teens, they just get into it the most because they all want to do those trending dances XD My daughter is usually showing me a variety of interesting things that she finds on there.

Most important question, are you having fun with it? :D

No it's not indeed. I do understand why younger are attracted to it.
I do have fun with it, at least for now :-D

Pass, I don't want to install an app and be monitored by authorities that can't be trusted

Fair enough

Posted using Partiko iOS

Does steem have a tiktok account?

I don’t think so

Posted using Partiko iOS

my guess: once you gain massive leads TO steem, they will lower your ranking. #randomguess

People get massive leads to Youtube and Instagram from TikTok and it's fine. As long as it's win win for both side I think it should be fine.

youtube, insta <> steem - mark my words, you will see

Youtube ans Insta yes. Especially with Facebook and it’s Libra. But for now, I think there is value for TikTok to be a driver to other platforms, that’s value for them, brings more content creator on their platform.

Posted using Partiko iOS

i think Tik Tok makes young people addicted and traines them to be modern day mannequins

Great. Just followed you there. I wrote about tiktok before, I also think that's a cool place to promote steem there !

I saw your follow and recognised the name and followed back

Posted using Partiko iOS

Actually you are right tiktok is the best platform in which videos are getting viral so fast. In tiktok people are also showing there talent which is very important for them and we must appreciate them.

Yes. It’s a great opportunity for talented people to get known

Posted using Partiko iOS

Nice article thanks. TikTok is an incredible platform... I was experimenting too... but I spent most of my time watching videos.

My account: steemitri


Hehehe remember to share your discoveries 😊

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thank you for information. 2 fays ago I installed tiktok. I just testing app. I have 36 old😀 Its funy and positiv!

Posted using Partiko Android

And most of content are super short so you can quickly decide whether you want to watch it all or not. Not like those 20 minutes videos on Facebook where you wait and wait and nothing happens or only happens during the last 5 seconds 😅

Yes it is very special on TikTok but it makes fun.
Maybe in the future Steem and TikTok have a cooperation with each other.

Who knows

Posted using Partiko iOS

I always thought what if the TikTok video creators get rewards like steem from a platform which are very funny, creative to watch.

Some people have suggested that someone should create a Steem dApp that does what TikTok does and I think it's a great idea.

Also, one could maybe reward a TikTok creator with tips using something like SteemTipper, not sure if SteemTipper still works.

It’s already here....and been here....with a real coin with real rewards traded against steem. Appics fills the tic Toc roll easy. I use it everyday, it’s great and the rewards are nice.

Appics is closer to Instagram than to TikTok. The user experience is different.

Totally agree! in south korea, we see a lot of younger people using it like teenagers who are full of creativity. Their clips are so funny to watch~! It provides a different kind of value from youtube.

I'm seeing a lot of very popular young Korean teen dancers and their moves are just awesome. Some of them have a Youtube channel linked to their TikTok profile and get $$ via Youtube ads.

King Min Su on TikTok

TikTok users are happy to spend money to buy TikTok coins to rewards their favourites authors. If there is a Steem version of TikTok and it manage to attract people then they could also be happy to buy Steem or another Steem based token to do the same.

definitely~! then Steem should be ready to make an easy way to create an id. I am pretty sure this is going to be a very popular dapp and am ready to curate awesome clips~! :)

SteemTipper's website is down so I guess they stopped running it.

@quochuy, Without any doubt Tiktok is current Trend. In my opinion on Tiktok Creative Promotion plays the game changing role. Stay blessed.

Posted using Partiko Android

And it’s not too late to jump on the TikTok train

Posted using Partiko iOS

I’m doing it now. Thank you for the info! There’s nothing like the feeling of having a piece of work go viral. Especially when you didn’t really expect it. I also found this SEO app to go with it that might just help someone get some traction. Here it is:


That’s right.
Wow a hashtag suggested, nice find! Thanks

Posted using Partiko iOS

I wished Steemit has a mobile app too

Posted using Partiko iOS


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