Starting out is the worst. On any social media platform, even if your first video goes viral, it is hard! If you can't seem to figure out TikTok, then this post is for you!


Nowadays, Facebook remains my family-friendly platform. For happy birthdays, celebrations, news, gossip, and more. I never thought much about having a large platform on Facebook, until I saw how many friends and family members I really do have on there. Facebook will come in handy later though...


Instagram has been useful for updating my friends on my life. More recently I have been using tricks to grow my platform. Such as using hashtags and posting consistently. Also, bettering the quality of my content. I will continue on Instagram and share my tips along the way!


TikTok is where I really thrive! I started out on there making a couple of trends videos along with a ton of recipes. At the time, I wanted to focus on my cooking and sharing that with the world. Really trying to make it a brand. Well... those videos just weren't cutting it. So, I added some artwork, daily vlogs, traveling. They were doing better, but still not what I had in mind.


As I tried my hardest to think of new content every day, I had purchased some mining bags from KidsLoveRocks. I thought they would make for awesome content. So, I tried making the sifting videos as best I could. Making sure the lighting was as good as it could be, the angles, everything. I posted my first video of unboxing the package and got around 40k views on it. The first video on actually opening them got 11k. The next three after that got less than 7k views. But I kept going because I knew at least someone liked the content.


Part 6 of "Rocks, Crystals, & Gems", got 366k views. That's 366,000 people seeing one of my videos. From there on, I was set. The videos after that of the rocks got thousands of views. I was mind blown at the number of people that were liking my content and following me for more rocks! I created a few other rock series, recipes, travel vlogs, daily vlogs, miscellaneous, and more videos! My videos normally get anywhere from 500-500k views now. With a few exceptions of being over 11M and 1.4M views. Let me explain the crazy amount of space in the middle of that range.


TikTok videos are all over the place. Anything you can think of, someone can make a video about. The amount of variables that go into seeing which videos pop off and which ones stay anchored, is a lot. They have a special "algorithm" to determine that. Some people firmly believe in it, and others think it doesn't mean a thing. The most important things to keep in mind while making a video are the quality, quantity, hashtags, sounds, time of posting, and your audience.


Quality

The quality of a video is essential if you want it to go viral. Lighting is important. If you make a video where no one can see anything and all you get is shadows, that's not good. Now not everyone has a ton of money to spend on the proper tools to film. But we can compromise. Natural light from a window or filming outside is the most basic solution. Also, using extra lights such as lamps, screen lights from a device, or a flashlight on your phone! These are all awesome substitutes to ring lights. Although, if you can get a ring light, then GET IT! They are really good tools to use while filming.


The placement of what you film is something some people do not consider. If you film yourself painting on the floor of your apartment on the carpet, your followers may focus on the amount of dog hair or fuzzies sitting next to your canvas. We don't want that. Pick a place with good lighting, then put a table there or even a chair. Anything flat so everything is leveled. A countertop is great or a sidewalk even. Pick a place that will work for what you are doing. If I am painting, then I pick a table by a window. If I were to be filming a rock video I might pick the sidewalk, grass, or even the countertop. It all depends on what you are filming, but overall aim for a specific spot according to what you need to get the job done. Tv trays are a lifesaver too!


What are you going to set your phone or camera on? Tripods, ring lights, or a phone stand are the best options. If you can't get a hold of one of those, then check out amazon for cheaper options. You can set your phone against a wall, books, computer, or anything it will sit upon. Just make sure the speakers will catch your voice or sounds, you can do a test to make sure! The angle is everything. So, depending on what you are doing, try to make sure it really captures your content. Keep in mind, this is YOUR video!


I have an iPhone 6 that barely works. I can tell the difference in my videos compared to someone who has a newer iPhone, or a professional camera. Try to have the latest phone with a good quality camera for shooting. TikTok's filming section is a little iffy. When I film with their software (when you open your camera in TikTok) the videos will glitch more and it definitely shows. After many trials and errors, it works best for me to film smaller clips with my phone's normal video software. Then, go into TikTk and upload videos in the correct order, and you can edit the lengths, speed, etc.



Quantity

A ton of creators like to make series and mini-series so it gives their followers something to come back to and watch later. OR so new followers can watch a series and stick around for more. If someone new comes onto your page and sees only the first step of something, or the fifth, or any number, but your videos are not labeled as such. It can make it harder for the follower to follow along the little journey. That's why I label mine like " Rock Adventures", or "Declan's Mining Co. Part 1". This way, if someone liked that video, they can look for or wait for part 2 or another one with the same title.


You should also consider how much you want to post. I post every day, usually around the same time. Consistently making content allows your page to be full for your followers, and lets you create a schedule. Your followers will be able to watch out for your next video the following day, at a specific time. Timing can be tricky, as there are several time charts online that claim when the best times are to post. These are based on things like when people are on TikTok the most out of the whole day. You can google "best times to post on TikTok", to find time charts. I always aim for 9:30 AM-10:00 AM every day.


Hashtags

There are thousands of them, probably even millions. Hashtags are used on the majority of posts. Every once in a while you will come across a video without them. That video either blew up from the content or, a sponsorship, or never reached the light of day because people can't find it! Hashtags are the number one way people can find a specific category of videos. If I used the hashtag "rocks", then whenever someone searches "rocks", my video will show up, along with everyone else that has ever used the hashtag on their video. You can be even more specific though, such as using "Halloween2021". This way you can narrow it down to at least a year, instead of seeing every video with the hashtag "Halloween".


Your content should have hashtags pertaining to your video. Although, sometimes there are hashtags that are trending or pertain to a big campaign. Those hashtags are sometimes useful, and other times don't matter much. It is a 50/50 shot that will work if you use them.


Sounds

The first thing people will notice about your video is the sounds. Whether you don't add one, use your own, or add one! A sound is most popularly used for lipsyncing or dance trends. Or normal trends. I like to sync sounds to my videos so that they appear funny, or fit with certain content to spice it up! For example, if I make a rock video, I like to use a whimsical themed song like "Crystal" by Stevie Nicks. People can also use songs to find your videos. If someone clicks on a song, it will show all the videos that the sound is in. Using trending sounds will help more people see your video.



Audience

Picking a specific niche can help reach your targeted audience. In other words, you should pick a specific category for your content, and post videos related to it. Some examples are crystals, gardening, cooking, video games, and more! A few people choose to make lifestyle vlogs, which are videos about their life. I like to mix up my content to hit a couple of different groups of people, such as crystals and cooking. I also do lifestyle vlogging here and there.



Conclusion

It is ultimately up to you how you want to make your content. Or if you even want to make content at all! Everyone has started their platforms differently. Some are fully prepared and others are without a clue on how to even work the phone. With social media, anything is acceptable. The most important skill to have is creativity and passion for making your videos and sharing them with the world.


Stay tuned for my next Social Media blog post. I will elaborate on how to reach out to companies for products in exchange for reviews!


Now go make a video or two!



Follow me on TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest! Reaching 20k this week! Yay!