Wondering how to setup a TikTok account for musicians?
Almost immediately after a Chinese company called ByteDance purchased a budding lip-syncing app called Musical.ly in November 2017, the app was replaced by what we know now as TikTok.
Since then, TikTok has revolutionized the music industry — the app has changed the way people consume music, how artists create music, and how the public decides which songs climb the charts.
Though the future of TikTok was grim in late-2020 when it risked being banned in the United States by the Trump administration, those days are now long gone.
With most of today’s biggest musicians getting their start on TikTok, the platform has now become one of the most influential social media platforms for the music industry — so let’s get you prepared to get in on the fun.
What Is In This Guide
Getting Started With Your TikTok Account
If you do not already have a TikTok account, setting one up is very easy!
First, you have to download the TikTok app on a mobile device — TikTok is currently available on Android devices via Google Play or Apple devices via the App Store.
Once you have downloaded and opened the app, go to ‘Me’ on the launch page, and choose a preferred method to sign up for your TikTok account — the methods include connecting with Facebook, email, or your phone number, and will be used if you ever need to recover your password or get locked out of your account.
After that, you are ready to customize your profile, connect with millions of users, and explore the unpredictable online world of TikTok.
Branding Your Profile
On TikTok, there are many ways to customize or brand your account — most of your branding will have to show through in your content, and match how you brand yourself across other social media platforms.
Below are some things to consider when branding your profile to come across as more professional and personable when users around the world come across your profile.
Your Name and Username
There are millions of users on TikTok, so you should pick your name or the closest name that is available to the name you release music under for your username.
If another TikTok user has taken the username that you wanted, consider adding an additional letter or an underscore in your username until you settle on an available name.
Profile Photo or Profile Video?
On TikTok, you have the option between choosing a profile photo or a profile video for your account.
This is the image that will show up on your profile, on your posts, when you comment, and when you create a video with your own sound.
Both options are great for their own reasons, so play around and have fun with the video option to see if you prefer having a video over a static image.
Keeping Your Bio Short & Sweet
TikTok has a limit for how many characters they let users put in their bio, and it is not very big. You’re going to have to condense your bio to under 80 characters, so you’re going to have to be concise.
To make your bio pop, consider adding some emojis that can represent what you would typically say in words like the flag of the country you are from or a music note to state that you are a musician.
And since the bulk of TikTok is for entertainment, if you’re comedically gifted you may also want to write something funny.
Linking Out To YouTube and Instagram
TikTok has integrated features so you can link out to your Instagram and YouTube accounts directly from a button on your main profile.
To add your Instagram account or YouTube account, click the ‘Edit Profile’ button on your profile and add your account usernames at the bottom of the screen for them to be linked up!
Finding and Establishing Your Niche
The first step towards becoming successful on TikTok is to establish a niche for both your content and your audience.
After posting consistently over time, you will organically find an audience on TikTok and understand what type of content your audience likes best.
Your Target Audience
When starting out on TikTok, reference your overall marketing strategy plans to understand who you are trying to reach with your content on TikTok.
TikTok is known for its oddly specific algorithm on its ‘For You’ page, so once you begin to capture and retain a loyal audience many more will come flocking.
As you continue to post on TikTok your target audience may change, so always keep an eye out for what content has kept your users engaged and which videos fell flat.
The Right Hashtags
If you don’t already have a following on TikTok, it’s unlikely for people to find your videos without using hashtags.
Most creators on TikTok use the hashtags ‘#ForYou’ or ‘#FYP’ (which stands for For You Page) in hopes that their video will be discovered by the masses. However, to find a niche audience you will need to use niche hashtags.
When brainstorming some effective hashtags to use for your videos, think about the geographical location you are trying to reach and what the content you are creating is about.
For example, if you are currently based in New York City and are posting a video about the process of recording a new song, some good hashtags to use for your video could be: ‘#NYC’, ‘#RecordingSession’, ‘#Music’, and ‘#NewYorkCity’.
Finding Similar Artists and TikTok Creators
Before you start cultivating your own following on TikTok, you should familiarise yourself with some of the apps successful creators and draw inspiration from them.
Some musicians on TikTok disguise themselves as regular creators on the platform before plugging their music, and you can reference their videos before they leveraged their following to get an idea of the strategy that went into going viral.
Final Thoughts On how to setup a tikTok Account For Musicians
Big labels may have the money to pump into big TikTok campaigns, but due to TikTok’s unique algorithm, smaller artists have just as much of a chance to go viral on the platform as a label artist.
This is why TikTok is one of the most exciting social media platforms for independent musicians and is definitely not one any musician should be neglecting. Your journey on TikTok will be a rollercoaster, but with consistency and some hard work — anyone has a fair shot at going viral.