TikTok (and Instagram Reels) offer a much faster algorithm than any other platforms. Therefore, TikTok (and Instagram Reels) have incredibly high video discoverability features (for creators of all sizes) that have quickly made both platforms the main platform for fan engagement and music discovery.
For a music artist/label, current music trends/tips that help engagement (on TikTok) include:
- Push and use UGC to your advantage.
User-generated content refers to TikToks that have been created by existing creators that feature your brand (in this case your music). UGC acts as your bread and butter on TikTok. If you want to be successful on the platform, then engagement should be measured in this way. TikTok thrives on UGC so the more an artist triggers this response, the further they’ll get pushed out.
- Duets / If an artist you know has huge engagement, dueting on TikTok could push lots of engagement onto your page. TIP: For example, if you’re a producer, bring in a relatively popular vocalist on a duet with you.
- Covers / Covers can make and break artists also. By uploading a cover and using the right hashtags (later expanded on), you have a good chance of placing yourself within a fandom. TIP: Make sure the cover is right for you, and the audience that you’re trying to reach is right for you. Whilst opening yourself up to new audiences is important, when trying to establish yourself on the platform, finding an original and fully engaged fanbase is crucial.
- Versatility/showcasing talent / If you’re a musician, don’t be afraid to showcase the labour of your work. Show your audience how you create music and how passionate you are. TIP: It’s important to showcase your versatility as an artist. If you’re a producer or an artist, for example, make a beat or a track out of recorded sounds from your bedroom. Anything with a slight edge will pick up an audience and pull them in.
- Faster versions of tracks / If you’re just posting your song to TikTok with an engaging video alongside, then it might be worth changing the track’s BPM (30-50% higher). Due to TikTok’s audience having a relatively short attention span, faster versions of music are becoming increasingly popular.
- Hashtags / As with any social media, hashtags are important. By using them, new fans can be introduced into your music. TIP: The most popular hashtags for dance music on TikTok can be found here.
- Finally, stay up to date with trends and hashtags / As with any sector on TikTok there’s always trends to stay on top of. TIP: The easiest way to keep on top of this is by using TikTok’s analytics page.
The use of Instagram Reels can also help break an artist,
and these tend to follow similar guidelines to those that we’ve just outlined. Creating clear, concise content that is engaging will be sure to create an impact on the app, so using these TikTok methods can help increase engagement across both platforms.
Despite this however, Instagram Reels do not have the same music discovery features as TikTok. TikTok welcomes new music discovery and the use of “sounds” in user-generated content whereas Instagram still haven’t fully caught up with the copyright issues surrounding the repost of “sound” and require users to gain permission to use music.
Instagram Reels can be used to further push and engage your Instagram followers with new content, but shouldn’t be measured for music discovery in the same way that TikTok is. Instead:
- Music artists can use Reel Remixes (similar to Duets) in order to increase engagement (for original music).
- Instagram Advertising can push content out, and is a very efficient model to use.
- Artists can also create custom thumbnails on reels to create more engagement and brand alignment.
Please bear in mind that any music uploaded directly to TikTok will not gather any royalties. If you want to gather royalties on TikTok you need to distribute through a distributor like us at Cygnus Music.