We started the @kapwing TikTok channel in late November 2019. Two weeks in, we had made 21 videos, had >600 followers, and gotten >21,000 likes. Two of the videos we posted in the first two weeks got more than 50k views.
After the first month, we passed the 1000 follower milestone. After you have 1k followers, you can start hosting live videos and accepting donations, so it's possible to monetize your audience. Also, having that many fans means every one of your new videos immediately gets more viewers. Almost all of the videos we have posted have gotten >500 views.
Now, in late December 2019, we have almost 2900 followers, 39 videos, and 22k likes. Since we serve modern creators, we plan to continue experimenting with it for the first few months of 2020. In this article, I'll share our tips for how to go viral on TikTok and get followers for your account.
1. Post a lot of videos
The key to TikTok is volume. Let yourself get creative and unleash the wacky, unfiltered part of your personality. It's very hard to predict which videos will do well, so you have to post a lot. Often, you'll spend a lot of time create an amazing video, and it flows when you publish it. Other times, you'll post something that isn't your favorite, and it will take off.
We posted 21 videos in two weeks. Volume is the name of the game. Here's the first video we made, a simple screencast with no music.
2. Watch videos to get inspiration
There's not one kind of video that does well on TikTok. You'll find everything from very polished, put-together artsy videos to the lowest effort clips reminiscent of Vine. But, because the app doesn't have specific interest feeds, you'll need to appeal to a wide audience. Usually, that means staging an unexpected twist or filming something crazy or explaining something that could be mind blowing. Some people are successful showing exceptionally beautiful things (incredible nature, attractive people, or amazing experiences), and other TikTokers specialize in #hacks or practical lifestyle how-to videos.
The more time you spend on TikTok, the more you'll start to notice trends and get inspiration for your own projects. We started a spreadsheet where we started brainstorming ideas for videos. Some of our ideas included:
- Show how to use Kapwing with a "screencast" style video for simple tasks
- Use Kapwing on an in-car tablet
- Introduce people in the office
- Do a dance move tutorial wearing Kapwing swag
In one of our most successful videos, a Kapwinger - Peter - showed off his incredible pen spinning skills. To make it more unexpected and surprising, we staged the video to reveal his skills at the end.
3. Try out trending formats
From the discover page on TikTok, you can find trending sounds, dances, memes, or formats that you can copy with your own style or twist. On TikTok, it's simple to hop in and put your own spin on things while building off of a familiar format.
For example, we created a #HOCO transformation video using the popular svensven39 soundtrack.
4. Stay in tune with news and current events
Our most popular video was a response to the Tesla truck unveiling. Sometimes, hot hashtags can get your video attention. We spent lots of time absorbing trends before the event, and we knew that a lot of people would be talking about the event online, so we were ready to come up with ideas and film a video. Our video got more than 100,000 views.
The song that we used – GoldLink by Crew – is commonly used for videos where people transform themselves into funny pictures or memes. But we still had the "shock factor," the twist that surprised people even when they thought they knew what to expect, by including the actual video clips of the Tesla truck.
5. Make an immediate impression
Because TikTok is designed for casual viewers, videos have to immediately catch the viewers attention. The viewer waits only about 1-3 seconds before judging your video and swiping to the next one. If you can "hook" the viewer immediately, they're more likely to watch to the end, and TikTk is more likely to feature your video in front of more potential fans.
Here's an example where we asked users to "stop scrolling" so that we could get their attention immediately.
6. Edit videos outside of TikTok
One way to stick out on TikTok is to use video editing techniques that aren't possible in the app, like merging with part of a YouTube video or adding subtitles. You can use Kapwing's Studio create 9:16 collages and edit vertical videos quickly online, then publish those videos in the app. We make nearly all of our TikTok videos on Kapwing in a shared Content Marketing Workspace, then publish them to the TikTok account.
We used Kapwing (a free editing tool) to combine videos we filmed with clips imported from YouTube to make our best performing TikTok video (see #4). We've also made collages, side-by-side videos, memes, reaction videos, and before-and-after videos by using Kapwing to combine videos with popular images, videos, and audio. Using an online video editor like Kapwing helps you re-post content that you or other people have already posted.
Check out all of the TikToks that have been made with Kapwing using the #madewithkapwing hashtag.
Of the 36 videos that we've posted since starting our TikTok account, we've had four get more than 10,000 views:
- The Tesla Truck Transformation
- Peter's Pin Spinning Skills
- An Explanation of Celebrities Who Use Kapwing
- Making Videos Inside a Tesla Truck
These viral videos have driven engagement on our account and helped get exposure for our other, less popular videos. If you want to grow your fan base and get TikTok famous, you need to create a few videos that go viral, bringing more attention to your account.
Hopefully this article helps you rock your first two weeks on TikTok. It's taken some guts and creativity to get started on TikTok, but since it's such a new app there's a lot of opportunity to grow a fan base and get TikTok famous.
We will continue to update this article as we learn more about TikTok and have more successes/failures with our TikTok videos in 2020. Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have ideas or suggestions for how we can make Kapwing a better online video editor for TikTok creators.