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Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries
Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries

ARTICLE: TikTok's value for businesses in the Sound Design industry.

The use of social media has always been paramount for businesses to succeed. Without a robust online presence, potential clients would overlook organisations, reducing their significance in the industry. It's essential to keep up to date with new features on existing social media platforms. However, embracing new ways to provide content online will show a potential customer the businesses' ability to adapt and change to embrace recent trends. The most prominent example of this is TikTok. While many people use TikTok as an entertainment platform for personal use, businesses that use its unique machine learning algorithm could see exponential growth in their following. Never before has it been easier to develop online traction than now.

TikTok is the leading platform in session duration, meaning that once a user has decided to open the app, TikTok is the best for keeping users on the app for a long as possible. Other 'short form' video platforms like Snapchat have had great success in the past, but the artificial intelligence (AI) used in TikTok is proving to be far superior.

So how does the TikTok algorithm work, and how can you use it to your advantage?

When a new video is uploaded, all its features are considered. When a video is analysed, AI is used to identify what can be seen. Then, a natural language processor is used to interpret the audio. Finally, the metadata is also read, which includes the video hashtags and description.

TikTok then pushes the video to a pool of users that it deems suitable for viewings based on the information gathered. The initial 'pool' of users' interactions with the newly uploaded content is closely monitored. It will essentially make or break the video. Different interactions with the content give a score that looks something like this:

  • Rewatch: 5

  • Full watch: 4

  • Share: 3

  • Comment: 2

  • Like: 1

As you can see in the image on the right, if the content has a high enough score, it will be pushed to a much greater audience. If not, TikTok will deem the content unworthy of continuing in its cycle. The repetition makes it so much easier to produce viral videos than on other platforms. Each time the video cycles round, it is pushed to more and more users.

The more someone uses TikTok, the better its AI is at providing personalised content. To create successful content, one would first need to identify and target an audience. The app is more of a generation Z platform, so uploaded content should have their interests in mind.

For a Sound Design company, I think one of the most powerful ways to utilise the platform will be appealing to young producers. The ability to market large sound FX libraries on TikTok would be a fantastic way to showcase sound design talent. Content must be original, engaging and most importantly, sustainable. Posts on TikTok should be as often as possible. The most successful TikTok pages post daily videos, and it's the consistency on the app that allows their pages to grow exponentially. I would aim to keep viewers watching the video for as long as possible. This would score you the highest 'points', giving you a greater chance of your content being presented to a broader audience.

I have made a few successful TikTok based videos in the past using creative sound design processes. I wanted to use the platform to convert TikTok following into Spotify & Soundcloud fans. Most of my videos showed me recording lots of samples of a particular product—for example, Party Rings. I would then show all the recorded sounds and manipulate them into drums, bass, and synth leads before creating a finished track. This particular video I made got me some serious publicity on lots of Instagram pages, including Foxes Biscuits! Having a unique approach to content that you haven't seen yourself is the key to success on TikTok. However, I struggled with my profile's consistency aspect, which can slowly bring a TikTok account to a halt. Good content won't get pushed to your audience if you are inconsistent or don't upload frequently.

To conclude, I believe TikTok can be used as a funnelling platform. By this, I mean that 100K followers on Instagram are much more impressive than 100K on TikTok. Companies like Instagram and Facebook will be here for a very long time. Whereas TikTok, like its predecessors: Vine and, may have a finite lifetime, so it's vital to use the platform while it's still here! Suppose you can create unique and sustainable content. In that case, you'll be able to drive potential customers to your website and Facebook page, where they can truly explore your business.

We hope you enjoyed checking out this article!


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