By now you’ve probably heard of TikTok. It’s an app where you can make short videos along with music, filters and other effects to share with your followers and others using hashtags, similar to Instagram. I’ve been experimenting with growing a following on there so I wanted to share some tips for how artists can use TikTok to expand their audience.
You may think the app is only for teenagers, but now you can find Millennials and even Grandmas amassing huge followings on TikTok, and having a great time doing it.
How to use TikTok for Artists
Create an account and simply observe. Watch videos that come up on your “for you” page. At first there will be a lot of different subjects but as you “like” and interact, the algorithm will begin to show you more videos attuned to your interests.
As an artist, you will want to follow other artists to get inspiration for the kinds of videos you can make on TikTok. You can find them with hashtags or by connecting with people from your other social media channels.
Start experimenting. It takes time to learn how to use the different tools, filters, add music and so on. You can create videos and save them as a draft, then go back and decide which ones to post. Don’t be too concerned with perfection. People like to see “real” and “unfiltered” life on TikTok.
There are some great tutorials on Youtube for how to use the various tools.
Once you’ve figured out how to use the app, check the Discover page for trending hashtags. Many are tied to a particular song or video style. You can work these trends into your videos, like the “wipe it down challenge”. Don’t feel obligated to do this but it might give you some ideas for videos and help you get more views.
ALWAYS attach a song to your video. Use “Trending” songs where possible.
Add a couple of hashtags, but don’t go overboard. If you did a challenge or trend, make sure to include the hashtag for that trend, plus a couple of other relevant ones. 3-4 hashtags per video is enough.
Cross Share your TikTok Videos to Other Platforms
You can download your TikTok videos to your phone to share them other platforms. For example, Pinterest. You can add a link to your TikTok profile, or your website. I’ve seen a huge increase in my Pinterest stats since posting short drawing or painting clips I created in TikTok.
You can also share your videos to Instagram Stories directly from the app, and more recently Instagram Reels! My Instagram followers love to watch my process videos. Instagram Stories can also be shared to your Facebook Stories as well with one click.
TikTok Video Ideas for Artists
Below is a list of video ideas to get you started sharing your artwork on TikTok.
Want a step by step tutorial on how to make short videos of your art?
Then check out my Skillshare class! How to Make Short Videos of your art for Social Media.
Keep in mind, optimal video length is around 15-30 seconds long.
- Process videos. Share how you create your art. This could be in real time or time lapse format (I usually create time lapse videos outside of the app , then edit in Tiktok after).
- Close ups of yourself creating in real time, again sharing your process.
- Finished artwork reveals. Start with your phone on the artwork and slowly pull out until it comes into focus. Or, place multiple art pieces on a table along to music. You can also stand holding one of your art pieces and slowly turn it around to reveal the piece (like my video above).
- Real life, behind the scenes. Show yourself and your personality. People love to see who you are and connect with you personally. You could have your artwork in the background and use text on the screen to talk about something like your struggles as an artist, the inspiration behind your art, or even something totally unrelated to your art. It doesn’t have to be all art all the time.
- An art spin on trending videos. As mentioned above, use the trends on the Discover page to inspire your own videos, and put an artsy spin on them.
- Tutorials. Share your knowledge. Simple drawing or painting videos for beginners. Or a tutorial on how you started selling stickers, or something business related.
- Duets and challenges. You can duet with other artists or people who create challenges to increase your audience or try something new!
I hope this has given you some ideas for how to use TikTok as an artist. Feel free to follow me on there for more inspiration, I’d love to connect with you! It really is a fun app and you can spend hours on it watching all kinds of videos.
Let me know what you think about TikTok in the comments below! Have you used it yet?