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Lessons learned from a slightly viral TikTok user

YouTube is where I go to see yo-yo clip videos and vlogs. Instagram is where I go to see people showing off their newest yo-yo tricks. So what would I use TikTok for?

That’s what I was asking myself when I first signed up for TikTok last year. The first videos I posted were basically just taller versions of what I’d post on Instagram. Then it suddenly clicked with me, TikTok is a great place to share yo-yo videos that tell a story. Here’s an example (TikTok link/YouTube link):

@doctorpopular

“Show me something cool” #yoyo #yoyotricks #funny #comedy

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

In this video I got to show off some of my favorite tricks, while literally telling a story. I lucked out with this video and it ended up getting in front of many users. Most of my TikTok videos at this point had less than 200 views, but this one has reached around 127,000. With nearly 25,000 likes and 400 comments. That’s a pretty high conversion rate. Plus I don’t think there’s a single negative comment there, which is unheard of. I mean, if I post a youtube video that gets 100 views and 3 comments, 1 of those comments is guaranteed to be something awful.

Despite the one video doing well, it didn’t bring a lot of new followers my way, but it did at a small increase to the views on some of my other videos and it encouraged me to keep exploring more narrative trick videos, like this melancholy video about one of my all time favorite tricks (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Why did I give it such a terrible name? #yoyo #yoyotricks #slowmotion #comedy #funny

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

Although “Pony Farts” 99% less popular than “Do something cool”, I’m still really proud of it. Believe it or not, I hired a composer to create the original score AND a sound engineer to mix and master my narration with the music.

I’ve heard from several people who finally learned this trick thanks to this video. But “narrative trick video” doesn’t specifically have to be a skit or short film. You can use TikTok replies as a centerpiece for your story (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Reply to @yellowcum1 does this count? #yoyo #yoyotricks

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

Or you can try to be educational (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Quick Tips: How to Make a Heart #yoyo #yoyotricks #valentinesday #valentinesday2020

♬ Valentines Day – Romantic Dinner Party Music With Relaxing Instrumental Piano

I think the key is to keep trying new things and see what works. Don’t just share your Instagram videos to TikTok. Keep your video short and entertaining, get to the point quickly, consistently release videos, and try to keep your eye on other TikTok-ers to get some ideas and play off of memes. That’s how I ended up making this highly relatable bit of content (TikTok link/YouTube link)

@doctorpopular

Tiktok is hard, y’all! yoyo

♬ original sound – Doc Pop

I have a ton more videos on TikTok that you might get a kick out of, but most of my favorites get posted on my YouTube page as well. If you join TikTok and are looking for some other creators to follow, I’d recommend:

@doctorpopular

22 years of yo-yoing. Here is how my 🪀 tricks have evolved over the years. #yoyo #yoyotricks

♬ Up Down (Do This All Day) (feat. B.o.B) – T-Pain

Should you join TikTok? I don’t know, maybe? I like how the platform has encouraged me to get more creative with my content. At the moment it’s a very positive and exciting place, but it still has it’s downsides. The app sucks. Most folks still prefer other media (did you click the youtube links or the TikTok links?). Many platforms still don’t support TikTok video yet.

I’m not trying to give you a hard sell on adding another social media platform to your list, but I will say it’s worth experimenting with now because I think the lessons I’m learning on TikTok can easily be applied to other media as well. I’ve been on the platform for two months now and I’ve steadily grown up to 1,000 followers (compared to 15k on IG, 2.5k on YT, and 8.6k on Twitter). One more note, some of the videos I created for TikTok did far better on IG or Twitter, than they did on TT. Sometimes it just seems like dumb luck, so you might as well increase your odds by making more content and sharing it more places.

Follow me on TikTok
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