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young diverse people gathering in studio and listening to speaker

Here’s Why Social Media Virgins & Veterans Flock to TikTok

To get down to why people like TikTok, I made a series of TikTok postings from 13 March to 7 April 2023. Up until 20 April 2023, I racked up 1,666 views, averaging 83 views per post. Not bad I reckon for a TikTok “virgin” ☺️

Snapshot of my TikTok analytics.
1,666 total video views from 20 video posts on TikTok, not bad for a beginner testing the platform?

The kind of views I enjoyed on TikTok is not something I can hope for on facebook if I didn’t push the Boost button. It’s no wonder TikTok has dethroned everyone on social media’s league of champions. It’s also the main reason why people like TikTok.

To qualify my personal experience

a. Firstly, I was against TikTok, so much so I uninstalled it from my phone a few years ago and made that known on my facebook account. One friend even asked why did I bother having it in the first place.

b. When I was prompted to invite my contacts to connect and follow each other on TikTok this time round, I opted out. I wanted to test and see if I could attract any traction without any known friends from the social universe.

c. To extend the experiment a little more, I duplicated the postings made on TikTok to my Instagram account. I did this because I am not a very active IG user. Moreover, I only have 200+ followers, insignificant when compared to my 500+ friends on facebook. Ok it’s still insignificant but…

On to the tangibles of probably why people like TikTok…

So how many views or engagements did I receive on Instagram?

Snapshot of my Instagram analytics.
Is Meta’s Instagram deliberately making us work harder to get the views I wonder…

A total of 110 Accounts Reached and 15 Accounts Engagements.

Now it’s not right to add these 2 numbers up but if we did, it would come to 125.

Compare that to 1,666….~~~ word ????????????!!!

Need we say more?

Now now, for the IG diehards, you might say that the Chinese-made social media platform has been manipulated to generate that kind of numbers for a rookie. This is however a difficult point to argue. Why? Because from the 20 posts I made, 4 did not even reach 10 views each on TikTok. So, to say that the numbers were inflated may only be partially right.

One of lowest TikTok views.
6 views up until 20 April 2023. This is from my first post made on 13 March 2023.
Another of my lowest TikTok posts.
8 views from 21 March 2023 to 20 April 2023.
It has a good visual appeal but yet it's one my lowest TikTok posts.
Another miserable one on the very next day which I thought would fly because of the visual’s appeal but it only got 5 views from 22 March 2023 until 20 April 2023.
Again, one of my lowest TikTok posts.
Should I quit now? 3 views from 4 to 20 April 2023.

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, go here.

On the other end of the spectrum…

Here are some of my best posts.

My highest TikTok post.
375 views from 5 to 20 April 2023, the champion and totally unexpected because just the post before, it clocked in less than 10…and a coffee or hot beverage visual would’ve been all too common too, no??
My second highest TikTok post.
248 views from 6 to 20 April 2023, not too shabby. Again, I didn’t think much of this typical visual for the masses although I do quite like it personally.
My third highest TikTok post.
203 views from 3 to 20 April 2023. One of the only few visuals with a face displayed.
My fourth highest TikTok post.
153 views from 17 March 2023 to 20 April 2023, highest of the 100+. Would you expect this to be among the top? Not me definitely.

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, you could go here.

To get down to the gist of this post – and I think it’s the same reasons why people like TikTok…

Here’s what I learnt from making 1 post a day everyday for 20 days consecutively on TikTok. Thereafter, duplicating the same to Instagram. All these were done on weekdays only, which excluded the Saturdays and Sundays.

Discovery 01 >> It’s Not All That Difficult to Make Postings

Exciting visual to support my first discovery.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The things they come up with on social media these days are really neat. For example, the songs selection (and the way the music is presented), layering of info on the screen, thumbnail selection (like YouTube’s) etc.

For the songs alone (or playlist as it is known today), you can choose from either TikTok’s suggestions or by searching the name of the song. You can even simply go to the “Trending”, “Rising” or “Asian” lists to pick your favourite tune.

To be honest, I initially thought you could only choose from the suggested playlist but as I progressed from one post to the next, and the more I explored, the more I felt like Justin Bieber on dope! The playlist is presented so smartly that it is rather intuitive to just pick and choose everything from The Commodores to Blackpink that best fit your post. You can even pick a tune with or without knowing which “category” they came from. Yes, you read that right!

This is how I did it…

On some of those occasions and for the fun of it, I just keyed in the genre or the “nature” of music I was looking for. In this experiment, I keyed in “upbeat” and guess what? TikTok returned a list of upbeat tunes from the planet, and some didn’t even have the word “upbeat” in the titles. How cool is that?

At another time, I chose something from the “Rising” category. Given that I am still very fresh on this platform, I didn’t realise that having a certain popular tunes will have your post added to the original creator’s social page or account on Instagram Reel. I probably had about 4 or 5 posts added to the original creators IG that way. But although I got a kick out of this discovery, it didn’t really blow up my views to the thousands. I’m not sure why but it could be due to the plain and simple contents I uploaded.

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, you could go here.

Discovery 02 >> More Informative & Exciting Contents

Lee Kuan Yew on TikTok? Better believe it!!

When I interacted with TikTok for the first time several years ago, all I had on my feed were just mindless videos of people filming themselves doing something ridiculous or nothing in particular. It’s 20 seconds of looking at the bushes, 30 seconds of someone cycling, 10 seconds of ramblings, 25 seconds of someone falling, provocative solo dances, pranks and the list goes on. This was a time of skull breaker, choking challenge etc. The controversy it created that led to deaths, suicide and “murder” during that time got me asking, “Why would anyone want to be part of TikTok?”

But boy has it changed (on my feed) since then…

Although some of those I detested may still be there, there are now incrementally more worthwhile videos. For example, speeches by the late Singapore Prime Minster Lee Kuan Yew and watching him responding to sticky questions sealed my conviction about why the Republic is where it is today.

Other interesting videos include updates about some of the coolest AI apps, motivational/inspirational videos other than just Tony Robbins, financial tips by my personal favourite Dave Ramsey (I’ll tell you why he’s my favourite next time), stand up comedies (more than just Russell Peters) and more.

Because stuff like these have motivated more people to gravitate towards the platform, it’s probably the reason why its CEO Shou Zi Chew was under the US Congress spotlight on 23 March 2023. But the good news is, the world was rallying for him after the intense grilling, as much as some of us think Singapore might have found herself a great Prime Minister candidate of the future.

Back to the topic, what really drove home the TikTok experience was that moving media were presented with adequately entertaining and full screen experience, and maybe also in a better resolution than other platforms. I can’t quite pinpoint what the holy grail is but I reckon it had to do with the way things are laid on the tiny screen. The smartly decked out information is like a combustion of video, audio, text, filters, effects all happening within just a few inches of the LED. The best part is, if you’re on the creator side, these things aren’t difficult to learn and implement. So for this fantastic concoction of multimedia, it’s both exciting to watch and addictively entertaining to just keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and….

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, you could go here.

Discovery 03 >> Organic Growth vs “Boosted” Views

Initially, I thought TikTok is probably like other social media platforms where it compels you to be a frequent user before it brings you the traffic. But what I discovered was not the case because even with very minimal TikTok browsing, my posts quickly went from below 10 to above 50. Some also exceeded 100 and 200. And you wonder why people like TikTok.

If you recalled what I mentioned above, this was still at a time when I didn’t activate any “known” people to my TikTok friends list. It then made me wonder, “What will happen if I connect?”

Will I be famous??!!

Maybe Bros had already in the 1980’s predicted how everyone will one day be crazy about being famous!!

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, you could go here.

Discovery 04 >> TikTok vs Instagram vs Facebook vs LinkedIn vs Twitter

How do they compare, all the social media platforms that is.
Photo by Dalila Dalprat on Pexels.com

Here’s what I truly felt from this series of postings. Being a “creator” on TikTok, it brought a lot of joy and happiness. There was also a sense of exploratory and discovery all at the same time. It feels as if it is the coolest app where most social media elite would congregate at. The simplicity of its use makes it that much more attractive compared to the older platforms too. I gotta say, at this point, I could see why people like TikTok.

But there’s more to why people like TikTok…

TikTok also injected a lot of sense of satisfaction for me because I do not necessarily have to “boost” in order to see traffic coming to my post or new faces messaging me on the side. It brought me down the nostalgic path to facebook’s early days, only better because of today’s technology and the accumulated experience we’ve all gained over the years.

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, you could go here.

### Bonus Discovery ###

A representation of why TikTok is gaining such a big audience.
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Posting on TikTok then brought me to this conclusion and I think this is beneficial for marketers out there.

If you are constantly looking to tap into new markets, I believe TikTok is the platform of the moment. My simple organic traffic analytics justifies. The stats is also the quickest way to know why people like TikTok.

Posting on facebook on the other hand have for the longest time made me feel like I’m sharing something to keep my community of friends and family in the loop. It’s almost like a village bulletin, announcing weddings, birthdays, graduation, best food joint, loss of a loved one and selfies with Michelle Yeoh or Beyonce.

So if one bumps into an old schoolmate at Mount Kilimanjaro, where do you think the general populace will post it to? My immediate instinct tells me to shout it out on facebook or maybe also on my LinkedIn because our schoolmates are also there. If we’re younger, it might be Instagram if we’re not already a convert on TikTok.

Then what about posting on facebook Story? Judging from from all those times that I’ve posted on facebook Story, I’ve had hardly more than 40 views on each post. It’s like it’s hardcoded into the algorithm. Because of this, I can’t help but to feel like there’s a ceiling unless I paid some advertising dollars, or maybe I’ve just not hit the holy grail of going viral just yet!

Whether or not this compulsion is true is not my priority, the important point I’m trying to make here is that facebook has made me feel pretty worn out about wanting to be socially connected, especially if I’m all open to befriend new people and not just the scammers or bots.

It therefore begs the question – if I have to pay (read Boost) to get connected, is that really social? It’s quite an oxymoron to call itself a social platform when it limits your social exposure don’t you think?

What then of Instagram, LinkedIn and twitter?

My followings aren’t as high on these platforms but from my personal experience, it takes quite a bit of effort to get somewhere. Twitter in particular can be quite complicated to use if you’re a new user. With Elon Musk on board, you won’t even know if or when the platform will be shutdown or mutate into another form. The only thing I really got going on twitter was when I ran an experimental post last year that raised my following quite substantially to above 700. You can read all about it here.

Featured image to a blog post I made on a social media experiment in 2022.
An almost similar experiment done in 2022.

If you’d like to head on to my account before reading the rest of the article, you could go here.

In conclusion, for now that is….

TikTok is definitely the way to go because of the way it is built and the kind of usage it has attracted to its platform. It is exciting, engaging and it also encourages you to be more socially active. At the same time, TikTok grants you the kind of exposure that other platforms have held you ransom for. Again, it is emotional sentiments like this that have gotten people like TikTok so much that some have been a full convert.

But is it secured? Well, the digital world is no longer 100% safe. All you can do is to set parameters to safeguard your data like installing an anti-virus, host your data at a certified data centre etc. But if a hacker intends to gobble up your information through means only they know how to, you’re as vulnerable as children without their parents.

From the 20 posts I made in 4 weeks going from 0 to 1,666 views on TikTok compared to only 100+ on Instagram, your guess is as good as mine. Just don’t be a stranger when you’re on TikTok! Connect & follow me here!

Why Knight Rider? Why not?? hahahha…

By the time you see my next post, I hope I would’ve rebranded my TikTok account to something new. @ivantan087 was by the way an identity assigned by TikTok. Catch you real soon!

The End

ok, really The End

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