Photo by Kon Karampelas @unsplash

30 days later, what have I learnt and how will I apply it moving forward? Well before I answer that let’s see what has happened over the last 9 days of this challenge.

The week has been steady, most metrics have ambled forward. My ‘Likes’ continue at a similar rate although I did have a bit of a late spurt, increasing from 20 to 31 if you include the final 2 days. Total playtime rose to 165 mins (203 for the 9 days) and total views increased a bit. It sounds OK but progress is slow. The big thing for me was getting over 3,000 ‘Likes’ on a comment that I made on someone else’s post. It was short and quietly humorous, something to aim for with more of my posts. After all, it is the data that counts! Talking of data here are my figures for the whole challenge:

This week I have focused on simplifying how I make my videos. Getting rid of physical backdrops, lighting and tripods has made the whole process much quicker. It also means that I can focus on more engaging content. At the moment, I am exploring royalty-free music so that I can emulate some of the younger people. My ASMR experiment of reading a poem was very mixed. The first post got no traction, just the same as my ‘Reaction’ one. I have since reposted both and the viewings went up from single figures to around the 100 mark. I am tempted to do some more using a separate channel to show my photos and to use my voice. Another idea is to duet with other, more popular posters to increase my followers. These have risen a bit although some have dropped off. Raising my visibility by making comments on others post is helpful here with more people visiting my posts.

Looking at other profiles, some have only a few videos and yet have gained ten’s, if not hundreds, of thousands of followers in only a few weeks. This is one of the traits of the platform, how it reacts to the engagement it gets from each post. As such some of the big names that come here will not get the automatic traction that they might expect. There are lots of accounts which have a few hundred or thousand followers that have a very popular post stuck between far more modest numbers. If it is a one-off, then the profile is unlikely to get many people that stick around. Finding an audience and then cultivating it is a subtle art here.

They say that doing anything for 30 days will make it a habit. Well, having wandered onto TikTok during lock-down I am not sure that this is going to be the case for me. I have been more disciplined and productive especially as I have to produce only 60 seconds of material. It is fun and there is always some new, often creative and occasionally challenging, content. Yes, I will keep posting but not on a daily basis. Assuming that it lives beyond any banning that Trump brings in, I am sure that it will grow with the older generations as has Facebook.

It has introduced me to all sorts of people including some very intelligent and talented teenagers with their views of the world. I am sure that, given time, I will also build some useful relationships too. I have found this month generally a very positive experience. My time 30 days covered the aftermath of the George Floyd death and there has been a huge outpouring here. Of course, there have been some extreme and thoughtless views but there have been a lot of balanced and rational ones too.

As a business tool, I need to invest a lot more time into it to make it work for me. This is in part due to the demographic and in part down to my style. Although there is a thriving small business community, I am unlikely to gain many clients from it at the moment.

As a final word from jtbc114 in this little series, keep an eye on TikTok, especially if it is your demographic. It is gaining large numbers of users every day and is a real threat to some of the more established platforms. My big learning from this exercise has been the power of doing a 30-day challenge. This I have found really motivational! Send me a message if you want to explore how you can use the 30-day challenge to grow your business.

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