When it comes to TikTok, there seem to be two primary relationships tied to it: those who have adopted the platform and spend hours on it scrolling, and those who have stiff-armed the platform and have worked to avoid it. However, since the app’s initial launch in 2016, TikTok has rapidly gained popularity, reaching over 2 billion mobile downloads worldwide in 2020. Therefore, it may be safe to say that the latter group is beginning to dwindle.
One of the platform’s biggest draw-ins is its personalized algorithm that dictates each user’s For You page. It pays attention to what you watch, how long you watch it, what you like, what you comment on, what you’re not interested in, and generally how you interact with the app and each video. When all of these elements come together, it creates a curated feed for its respective users, and it only learns more and improves over time. The app also strategically groups content and similar users into communities that allow for like-minded themes and perspectives to be shared and celebrated.
Not only is TikTok a prime place to be entertained, informed (though not always credibly), and offered new perspectives, but it also incentivizes users to make content in hopes of achieving virality. Before our eyes, we have watched young adults and teens continually gain popularity on the platform, even to the point of gaining real-world fame in the realm of modeling, reality and talk show features, music artistry, and more. While that isn’t necessarily everyone’s goal, there are also opportunities for users to be paid if their accounts generate enough activity– which is a reality on many social media platforms today.
TikTok has recently updated the requirements to be a member of the creative fund. So, if you’re looking to make money on Tik Tok now is the time to do it! They are one of the leading social media platforms when it comes to paying their creators competitive wages!
An integral part of TikTok is its implementation of music and sound clips, which is the leading source of trends. The app is uniquely able to offer the use of copyrighted music (as long as it is from their website), which was perpetuated when artists and record labels realized how beneficial it would actually be for them as well.
As explained by the Cold Wire, “Each time someone uses an artist’s song on the platform, the artist is given some royalties from TikTok. When you create a TikTok post with copyrighted music, you are costing the company money.” In addition to money from TikTok, this also acts as free mass marketing, and the next thing you know, that song gets millions of downloads and/or purchases. This is a reality that has sent a number of music artists straight to the top, including Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo, and Lil Nas X.
So what’s the secret? While it may not boil down to just one thing, there are a variety of tips and tricks to help achieve video popularity. One tip is to strategically use popular hashtags in your post. How are you supposed to know which hashtags to use? Well, lucky for you, there is a website designated to popular TikTok hashtags!
When it comes to popularity, there are generic hashtags, such as #love, #like, and #fyp (for you page) that are likely on the list because they can be so universally used, with music or with anything else. There are also hashtags that speak to the music that is popular and trending in our current society, such as #hiphop and #rap. TikTok posts with those music genres, in particular, are more likely to get watched/listened to and liked due to these standards.
For a boost on your next post, refer to this list and consider implementing some of these popular 2023 hashtags for music:
As you can see, there are endless amounts of different hashtag variations to choose from (or even just makeup)! While the above list is nowhere near an all-inclusive one, it offers 16 great options to get your posts noticed and a boost in your likes and views.
TikTok’s search bar, also very freely shows trending video styles, sounds, hashtags, and more. Take advantage of this! While on one hand, it may feel like your video is just one of many in the sea of trends, it is also more likely to be seen compared to an unrelated, obscure video. It is important to remember that every viral video started the exact same way! Don’t sell yourself short, and be willing to implement your own personal touches.
A large component of using hashtags to increase the chance of viewership is understanding current trends. TikTok has entered an era of vulnerability. The songs that go virtual pull on the heartstrings of its audience. However, there are two sides to the story. Vulnerable and honest songs trend year-round. Unfortunately, that is not the case for every genre or style of music. The summertime tends to chart more upbeat songs. Some popular hashtags used during the summer months include :
Popular hashtags are constantly changing and if you want to stay in the game you have to understand the current state of social media. TikTok has revolutionized the music industry—an indie artist could go from 1,000 followers to 15K overnight. Despite that, one viral song won't turn you into a pop star overnight. You have to walk a delicate balance between overplaying your song and promotion.
There has been a recent TikTok trend of people sitting in their car and saying, “Have you ever (insert activity or feeling) well I wrote a song about it” and then the song plays. The song is typically unreleased. Following this trend, several hashtags emerged such as:
Deciding on a hashtag can be tricky and overusing them can defeat the purpose. When picking a hashtag think about the trends on social media in the current moment. Would your audience know about those trends?
When it comes to musicians trying to get noticed and popular via TikTok, there may be a more curated strategy depending on the artist’s goals. It is important to acknowledge relevant themes in your music, while also nodding to similar genres and artists—if you are unknown to most people, building some kind of association is helpful.
Also, remember that one of the biggest keys is consistency! TikTok is a big platform. Therefore posting multiple amounts of content on a regular basis will help you get noticed, even if it is similar variations of videos. Also don’t be afraid to dedicate some posts to introducing yourself, shouting out a previous post, or promoting a new song you just put out. Making yourself continuously seen and more known will pique people’s curiosity about you.
Also, in this context, make use of all the platforms that are available to you apart from TikTok as well. Release your music in multiple places, such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, SoundCloud, et cetera! Once you do that, you can use social media sites to promote your music and give more insight into your process, what your music means to you, or anything else you may want to share about it. There are unique opportunities for this kind of marketing today, so take advantage!
Regardless of what your TikTok goals are and how they relate to music, I hope that what you have read here has proven itself helpful. Now it’s time to strategize and plan for your next video!
Find the perfect trending song, do your thing, pick and choose your hashtags, and rise to the top. Good luck and happy filming!