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11 Best TikTok Ideas For Musicians (Go Viral Without Dancing!)

By Matthew Vultaggio

June 2, 2022

If you’re a musician or music artist looking to get into TikTok (or up your TikTok game), I’ve put together the 11 best TikTok ideas for musicians that don’t require dancing or being a clown to get results.

The 11 best TikTok ideas for musicians and music artists are:

  1. Use “Hooks” In The First 5 Seconds To Capture Your Audience’s Attention
  2. Optimize Your Content Through Experiments & Analysis
  3. Use TikTok Hashtags For Musicians
  4. Use The Same Song In Different Ways
  5. Repost Videos From Other Social Media
  6. Use Duets As A Form Of Collaboration
  7. Go Live On TikTok
  8. Create Behind-The-Scenes Content
  9. Post Cover Songs Or Remixes
  10. Use Trending Content (But Stay On Brand)
  11. Use The “Scheduling” Feature To Save Time

With that said…

To make the most out of TikTok as a musician and these 11 ideas, it is important that you first learn how the TikTok algorithm so that you can develop a winning strategy.

So if you’re ready to learn more about these 11 TikTok ideas for musicians and how you can develop a strategy based on how the TikTok algorithm actually works, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

First: Develop a Strategy Based On How The TikTok Algorithm Works

TikTok is a great way for artists and musicians to get exposure to their music for free, however, you will need to commit time and energy to grow on the platform to start seeing results.

To make the most out of your time and effort (and to see the best results), you should develop a strategy based on how the TikTok algorithm actually works.

When it comes to TikTok, there is an algorithm that has the ultimate goal of growing the app’s daily active users by optimizing how many users come back to the app and the time users spend in the app.

TikTok’s algorithm is currently very generous with how much it will push out content from any TikTok creator who is helping them achieve the ultimate goal that they have.

If you know the rules of TikTok, you can develop a strategy and content that can grow a decent following and reach your goals as an artist…

So check out my full guide on TikTok For Musicians to learn how you can make the TikTok algorithm work for you. 🙂

…and now on to the 11 best TikTok ideas for musicians and music artists.

The 11 Best TikTok Ideas For Musicians (Explained & Ranked)

Once you understand TikTok’s algorithm and have a strategy around how you can take advantage of it, it’s time to start posting content and using all of the different features that TikTok has available to you.

To help you figure out the best TikTok content and how to optimize that content to perform the best it can, I’ve put together the 11 best TikTok ideas that you should try out if you are a musician or music artist.

Let’s dive right in, my friend…

1. Use “Hooks” In The First 5 Seconds To Capture Your Audience’s Attention

Whenever someone clicks on a post, starts a new song, or watches a new video, they decide if they are going to keep watching within the first 5 seconds.

This is particularly true for TikTok, which is why you absolutely need to have “hooks” in the first 3 – 5 seconds of your TikTok content to keep people wanting to see more.

This is why it can be useful to write out or script your content, making sure that the first 5 seconds will catch your audience’s attention and keep it for the rest of the video.

Hooks (also called “pattern interrupts” or “scroll-stoppers”) are unexpected moments that change someone’s mental, emotional or behavioral state so that they stop and pay attention to what they are watching.

When it comes to TikTok, there are 2 types of hooks that you can use: audio hooks and visual hooks.

Before looking at these 2 types of hooks more closely, it’s also important to note that TikTok has a system in place to identify and limit “clickbait” videos designed to “hack” the algorithm – so make sure your hooks are authentic and the rest of your content pays off the initial hook.

Audio Hook

An audio hook is something that captures the audience’s attention through music, spoken words, or some kind of sound in general.

Here are some examples of an audio hook:

  • A catchy or interesting vocal line
  • A catchy or interesting melody
  • Lyrics that indicate what might happen in the video
  • A quick story or narrative before the video actually starts

Visual Hooks

A visual hook is something that captures the audience’s attention that they see, such as a caption, the video location, props, or how the creator looks.

When it comes to TikTok, the first thing most people take in is the words that are overlayed on top of the video so make sure to craft these carefully.

Here are some examples of visual hooks:

  • Words over the top of the video (ie: have you ever? before vs after, what if?)
  • Video editing (ie: before vs after cuts)
  • Elements of the video (ie: clothes, presentation, location)

2. Optimize Your Content Through Experiments & Analysis

To find winning TikTok content as an artist or musician, you should first experiment with several different types of content, then analyze which types perform the best, and then finally double down on the content that works.

The very first step of finding winning content on TikTok as a musician is to experiment with as many different types of content as you can.

The more you post on TikTok, the more you will be able to gather feedback on your experiments in the form of likes, views, and comments.

Once you have experimented with as many different types of content on TikTok as possible, you can then analyze the results to get an idea of what you should double down on or try next.

After you have analyzed your content and have a good idea of what worked and didn’t work, it’s time to take what works and try to improve the quality.

Ultimatley you want to take the content that you want to “double down” on based on how much you and your audience resonated with that content and then find a more consistent “format” for that content that you can repeat and refine.

To learn more about how you can create content that kills it on TikTok, check out my full guide on TikTok For Musicians. 🙂

3. Use TikTok Hashtags For Musicians

Like most social media platforms, TikTok uses hashtags to allow creators to organize their content and users to discover specific types of content.

As a musician, you can make use of TikTok hashtags to get more exposure to your content and get discovered by new potential fans.

In addition to using standard (ie: #fyp, #foryourpage, #originalmusic) or genre-specific hashtags (ie: #rap, #rock), you can also look up and use trending hashtags and hashtags that similar artists to you are using.

Although hashtags can be useful to help increase content exposure, it’s important to remember that quality content will always be much more important than finding the “right” hashtags.

4. Use The Same Song In Different Ways

As a musician using TikTok, one of the most important goals is to increase the stream counts on the actual music that we are creating and sharing.

With that in mind, there are several ways that we can create a large amount of content from just 1 song.

Here are some examples of different types of content you can make from 1 song:

  • A vocals-only version
  • An instrumental-only version
  • An acoustic version
  • Create different spoken introductions before the same video
  • Perform different styles of the song live

Using the same song in different ways is a great way to continue to drive streams to your song as well as keep attention and engagement with you up.

Remember that you may get tired of your content well before your audience gets tired of your content – your audience won’t see every post or will see it at wildly different times.

5. Repost Videos From Other Social Media

A simple way to get more content out on TikTok as a musician is to repost or repurpose videos that you have created for other social media platforms.

This is a fantastic way to get more content out if you think that the original post could have done better or is old enough that no one will notice that it has been posted before.

In fact, you can also repost older TikTok videos for the exact same reasons since not everyone will see all of your posts or may quickly forget about them since they are quite short anyway.

6. Use Duets As A Form Of Collaboration

TikTok’s “Duet” feature allows artists to respond, react, or add to other people’s TikTok videos.

Although this has mostly been used for response or reaction types of videos, artists have a specific opportunity to use this feature as a “collaboration” by adding their own instrument or voice with the Duet feature.

By finding trending or relevant content and then seeing if you can create a Duet you can potentially tap into that artist’s fanbase and the original artist may even see it and bring more attention to it.

Instead of simply hopping on to other content, you could even seek out mutual or similar artists to you and do an agreed-upon collaboration to share each other’s fanbases.

Here are some ideas for Duets you can use:

  • Add an additional verse to another TikTok post
  • Improvise your instrument over another TikTok post
  • Harmonize the original vocal with your voice
  • Add vocals or your main instrument to an instrumental TikTok post
  • Create a TikTok post that has an “open verse” or spot where someone can Duet your video

7. Go Live On TikTok

Going live on TikTok is a great way to connect with your audience and get some more exposure as an artist.

Whenever you go live on TikTok, you get increased visibility on the app by having a ring around your avatar as well as pushes to your followers and the ability for any viewers to share your live stream.

Although going live is more effective when you have a few thousand followers already, this tip is particularly powerful since you can monetize on live streams by accepting donations in addition to creating a really deep connection with your fanbase.

Make sure to announce your live stream in advance on socials or have a regular schedule for when you go live to make sure you have the largest amount of viewers possible when you do go live.

Here are some ideas you can use to go live on TikTok:

  • Live performances
  • Q & A sessions
  • Play games
  • Give shoutouts to anyone that donates
  • Work on creating new music

8. Create Behind-The-Scenes Content

Taking your fans behind the scenes is one of the most powerful ways to deepen the artist-to-fan connection and engage with your fans on a more personal and direct level.

Even if you are not ultra-famous, most people love being taken along on emerging artists’ journeys, especially when an artist is up and coming, has a very strong vision, or is just really relatable.

Here are some ideas for creating behind the scenes content:

  • Deconstruct your song
  • Useful tutorials for how you do things
  • Updates or check-ins with direct communication
  • Studio or room tours
  • Stories behind you or your songs
  • Non-music day-in-the-life content
  • Document your journey (ie: music-making, touring, learning a new skill, etc)

9. Post Cover Songs Or Remixes

Cover songs are one of the most popular types of content on TikTok since they are both easier for artists to create and easier for fans to relate to and enjoy.

Creating your own spin on a popular, trending, or simply a really relevant song is a great way to reach new fans by tapping into something they are already familiar with and like.

Just make sure to put your own twist on the original song or find ways to showcase your talent so that your cover version stands out from the original.

By combining this type of content with content that showcases your original music, you can draw people in with a cover of a song they love and then turn them into a fan for life when they see your original content on your page.

10. Use Trending Content (But Stay On Brand)

Although you may find yourself wanting to resist this one, you can’t deny that trending content and “jumping on to trends” is one of the most powerful ways to get discovered on TikTok.

At the end of the day, trending content is a crucial part of TikTok’s algorithm, and responding to trends can really help you and your content gain more exposure.

With that said, you will most likely want to make sure that you stay “on brand” and only create content that you feel comfortable creating and ultimately is authentic to you as an artist and person.

Trends can be a double-edged sword: they can massively grow your audience or they can backfire and make you look like a “fame-chaser”.

11. Use The “Scheduling” Feature To Save Time

The TikTok website allows artists to upload posts from the web and has a built-in scheduling feature that can be used to schedule posts anywhere from 15 minutes to 10 days in advance.

Scheduling your social media content is a massive time-saving tip and is a perfect way to take advantage of social media for musicians that hate social media.

To get started make sure your account is set as a “Business Account” or “Creator Account” (You can visit ‘Settings > Account’ to change your current account type).

Any musician or artist with a “Business Account” or “Creator Account” on TikTok can follow these simple tips to schedule their TikTok content:

  1. Login to TikTok.com
  2. Click the “Cloud” icon at the top right corner of the TikTok feed
  3. Upload and customize your video
  4. Toggle the “schedule” button and select when you want your post to go live
  5. Click “Schedule” to finalize everything

When using TikTok’s scheduling feature, it is important to note that you can’t edit the video, captions, or scheduled time after you have scheduled your post.

If you need to make a change to your scheduled post, unfortunately, you must delete the originally scheduled post and repeat the process again.

How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media (For Music Artists)

The best way to build a fanbase on social media that wants to support you and your art is to consistently release new content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar.

Freely giving away valuable content on a consistent basis is truly the key to building individual fan-to-artist relationships and is what can build momentum in your career to the point that you have a real and supportive fanbase.

The more you commit to showing up, the more chances you have to catch the attention of new fans as well as deepen your connection with the fans you already have.

To learn more about how you can build a fanbase on social media with a recurring content strategy and content calendar, check out my full guide called How To Build A Fanbase On Social Media. 🙂

The Best Social Media Platforms For Musicians & Music Artists

…want to go beyond TikTok, my friend?

The best social media platforms for musicians are Youtube for evergreen content & SEO, TikTok for virality & organic reach, Instagram for developing fan relationships, Facebook for its advertising platform, and Twitter for networking and communicating.

Properly using 1 social media platform and consistently publishing content to that platform is a lot of work, so I’d recommend starting with 1 of these and not experimenting with others until you feel ready.

And if you are ready to take on another social media platform, you can learn more in my guide on The Best Social Media Platforms For Musicians. 🙂

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