It’s no secret that TikTok has been an essential tool for marketing teams in recent years, seeing a particular boom during the pandemic. In the publishing world, its burgeoning TikTok book community – ‘BookTok’ (#BookTok has reached 53 billion views and counting!) – has been a real tour de force in driving book sales and putting emerging authors on the map, whilst bringing backlist titles to the forefront of book shelves again.
Young Adult Fiction remains one of the most popular genres on the platform, with books like Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles selling more than double its 10 previous years combined across all international territories. Self-published books too have gained popularity, like fantasy novel The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake and Elena Armas’ fiction romance The Spanish Love Deception. The tag #thespanishlovedeception has close to 60 million views on TikTok, with the book then getting picked up by Atria Books. TikTok has played a pivotal role in paving the way for more people to break into the publishing industry.
Leading publishers like HarperVoyager are going even further by launching its own TikTok creator house, inviting eight high-profile BookTokers to film and create content in their spaces. The world’s leading arts and literary festival Hay Festival partnered with TikTok, to bring the magic of #BookTok to Hay with exclusive content and behind the scenes access to the festival.
Booksellers too are embracing TikTok – whether it’s their own TikTok channel or ‘TikTok Recommends…’ in-store displays and online picks, the TikTok community’s influence on book buying is undeniable. We’ve recently announced the first ever Independent Bookshop Week BookTok Tour, with BookTokers celebrating the annual celebration of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland across the country 18-25 June 2022. Participating BookTokers from Northumberland, London, Manchester, St Neots (Cambridgeshire), York, Sunderland, Cambridge, Wolverhampton and Banchory (Aberdeenshire) will be joining the celebrations by visiting their local independent bookshops and sharing content about the Indie Book Awards.
So, now you know the benefits of using TikTok, but how do you get your content seen?
Here are our top tips to get trending on TikTok.
Keep an eye on what’s trending
Remember that TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes content based on popularity and the number of views. So it should go without saying that knowing what is trending on the platform can play a huge part in getting your content seen. Whether it’s popular audio soundbites or songs, memes, hashtags, you can use the discover tab and see the top trending content, curated by TikTok.
If you’re not quite ready to start learning the latest dance moves, then hashtags such as #foryoupage, #foryou, #fyp are a quick and simple way to increasing the visibility of your account.
Hashtags over Characters
TikTok limits captions to only 100 characters. That means that you need to keep your captions short and sweet to fit as many hashtags as possible.
If you run out of space, consider using TikTok’s caption feature which now automatically adds captions just by scanning a video’s audio.
Formatting should always be front of mind before posting. Most users on the platform prefer to view content vertically, rather than having to rotate their screen and interrupt their morning routine of scrolling through their For You page.
Research shows that videos shot in vertical format see a 40.1% lift in impressions compared to videos using a square or horizontal aspect ratio, so ensure you’re capturing everything in portrait mode (9:16) to create the most visually-appealing content for your audience.
Follow your peers and influencers
Spend some time mining and following any accounts that you regularly engage with or are interested in. Not only will you engage with the wider community, but frequently following your peers or influencers will organise your own algorithm to ensure you’re engaging with the right audience.
Using influencers can also help grow your presence, by getting real people with a following to promote your brand or products to their own audiences.
Don’t be too promotional
Balance is key. If your content feels to promotional, you might be at risk of losing viewers.
Create content that feels as organic as possible. Once you have a decent following, you can be more promotional.
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