Can you make money on TikTok?
Well, moving in and out of lockdowns is proving to be challenging to say the least! As one of the hardest-hit industries, the world of entertainment has provided a much-needed lift by harnessing the power of social media. Giving us treats such as the live streaming of west end performances, ballets, and concerts.
With continued social distancing measures preventing a return to live venues, now could be a good time to explore a new medium! A potentially lucrative one that could provide an income stream and a platform from which to better bounce back after restrictions have been lifted.
I’m sure you will have experienced the phenomenon that is TikTok. Having been described as the social media sensation of lockdown, it’s huge! As of 2 May, there were 800 million active users worldwide and the app had been downloaded over 1.5 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. That’s quite an audience to experiment with.
Launched in China as Douyin in 2016 TikTok was the fourth most popular iPhone app downloaded in 2019, surpassed only by YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. In the US alone 2 million more women (8.2 million) than men (6.1 million) now use TikTok and it’s estimated that roughly 50% of its global audience is under the age of 34.
Why is it so popular?
It seems that the platform uses an algorithm that can effectively send a video viral based on the level of engagement. In essence, it’s a brilliant platform for promoting new material. If you’re looking to engage with Generation Z then TikTok is the way to go by combining music, filters, and effects into a 15-second video with the addition of challenges and hashtags.
Who has the most followers?
Loren Gray was TikTok’s most successful account outside China, an American singer and social media personality with 42.8 million followers – that was until 25 March 2020 when Charli D’Amelio, who turned 16 on 1 May, overtook Loren with 52.6 million followers. I don’t know about you but I think that’s quite a platform. A social media personality and dancer, Charli has, in just 10 months, achieved amazing success on all platforms and in January was signed with the talent agency UTA. She also appeared in a Super Bowl commercial. Variety reports that 102 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl on 2 February 2020 – need I go on?
It would be wonderful to think that given all of the talent we have in the UK, we could one day see someone in the top 50 TikTok account holders and reaching a global audience!
We do have Arshdeep Soni, a magician based in Shepherds Bush who in May had 6 million followers (for context as of May 2020 Ariana Grande was at no: 50 with 16.5 million). From planning his ideas, rehearsing his magic to fit the right moment, and then editing his work, Arshdeep says it does involve a lot of time as he has to really consider the tactics needed when deciding the best time to post. How fortunate that time is the one commodity we can really utilise to our advantage during lockdowns. Although Soni posts on Instagram and YouTube, his biggest audience is TikTok.
Best platform for you?
There are clear links between the demographic and the most followed TikTok stars. One family, the Harfins from Scotland, currently has 1.9 million followers. The family includes sons Harrison and Finley and their Mum Felicity. Having become TikTok stars, Felicity has used excellent entrepreneurial skills to tap into a potentially lucrative business, giving clients from Mattel to the Brits a chance to be included in their videos.
Let’s be honest, only when you have followers in the hundreds of thousands can you dream of developing a healthy income stream but by making direct contact with brands you can add them into your videos and this is the best way to gain revenue via TikTok. Try Influencer Marketing Hub for helpful information about which influencers you should be following and how to create your profile, it will also give you help about using gifting and brand partnership to earn money.
As with all social media platforms, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone ‘gets’ the latest craze and for some people ‘trolling’ and ‘hating’ others has become somewhat of a full-time occupation. Work on your resilience and surround yourself with the things you love most and of course, be kind to yourself.
Take care in there and remember, if TikTok is the new social media sensation during lockdown, you could become it’s latest star!