The Guide to TikTok for Authors—is this platform for you?

Okay, let’s have a brief chat about TikTok. TikTok is a social media platform for short-form video content. You load videos, preferably of dancing, and see what kind of fame you can achieve. Does the world need more dancing authors? Could be! Let’s explore TikTok for authors and see if this is right for you.

Dang It, I’m an Author Not a Tango Dancer

I’m sure you’re wondering if this platform makes sense for you as an author. As a rule, I recommend being on the social media platforms you actually like. If you have fun socializing, posting, and engaging with your target audience on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or others, then that is the social media platform that is right for you.

I also usually suggest going with just two platforms. I rarely see authors successful on more than that. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but I have the philosophy that it is better to be a Rockstar on one or two platforms than to spread yourself too thin. I see a lot of authors over-extend themselves trying to be on every social media platform that was recommended to them, and the result, too many accounts to juggle effectively.

TikTok Advertisement Possibilities for Authors

If you are trying to sell your book on social media platforms, TikTok is easy to miss. Why? Well, for one thing, it is a video platform, and you might not think of it as an advertising platform. I will let you in on a little secret: all social media platforms are advertising platforms, so if you really want to ensure reaching people, chances are you will want to spend some money.

TikTok has advertising options, and since they are still in the early stages of rolling out options to early adapters, you may want to add them to your experimental advertising mix. Since they target a younger demographic, all content must be appropriate for ages 13 and up. Check out TikTok’s advertising policy for more information.

TikTok Organic Possibilities for Authors

If you create great content, you may not need to pay for advertising. And because of the viral nature of TikTok videos, this may be the easiest platform for viral potential. Though, keep in mind, there are limits to what you can do with the platform.

TikTok allows you a 15-second video. That means you have 15 seconds to entertain while displaying whatever text you can fit in. For gifted copywriters, 15 seconds is an eternity. Like writing your logline, a pithy, quick, grabby copy is best. Keep in mind, you’ve got a video holding your audience hostage, and you have 15 seconds to sell a product, service, or brand.

So, focus on video being awesome first and foremost. You need to adhere to what makes the platform entertaining first. But once you have the audience’s attention, you can push your ad copy as much as you like. Just make sure your ad copy keeps with the style of the platform, and remember, shorter is better.

Authors Can Take Advantage of the Bio Space in TikTok

Another advantage to seize is TikTok’s bio space—the place they give you to put your author bio. If you are trying to establish some brand recognition, this is where you cash in on the clever videos you have been posting.

Not only can you talk about your brand briefly, but TikTok enables you to display your other social media accounts. This is a great value of TikTok. Your viral video can lead people to the rest of your author platforms like your other social media accounts, your website, and more.

Authors Should Engage with Book Bloggers on TikTok

Finally, there are a lot of book bloggers on TikTok. Networking with them can help raise awareness of your books if you can grab their attention. Like any social networking platform, you should use it to network. Find the influencers in your genre on TikTok and cultivate the relationships. You never know, they might want to feature your book and expose your writing to a vast audience.

Tiktok for Authors Is Going to Be a Long Game 

Using TikTok may mean playing the long game. Starting now could build up an audience that is large and hungry for your forthcoming book coming out later this year, or even next year. Any social media platform needs time to create and grow. Plus, if you’re smart and feeling creative, it makes a great funnel towards your other social media accounts, where you can potentially monetize people’s interests.

One way to look at it is you’re building a funnel for brand recognition – that brand being you. Don’t overthink the marketing aspect as that’ll be taken care of on other platforms. For TikTok, you just want to introduce your brand or your books, give links to your other social media sites, and work on converting them to sign up for your email list or buy your book there.

In all honesty, TikTok for authors may not be the ideal platform. It takes time and energy beyond what’s usually needed on Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram. If you decide to use TikTok, be sure you are ready for the time commitment. Most importantly, have fun while doing it. If making quirky dance videos is not your cup of tea, then TikTok – wait, what a brilliant idea! Making books and tea brewing videos on TikTok – someone, maybe you, need to steal that idea and head over to TikTok right now. Good luck, friends!