Editor's Note:

This article is one of our four-part series called The TikTok Revolution. In this series, we cover the changes and ascent to influence that TikTok has experienced, the significance of its algorithm, and how you can create effective TikTok ads for your practice's needs.

Here are links to all parts of the series:

Part 1: The Revolution is Here
Part 2: How Practices Can Find TikTok Success
Part 3: How to Dominate TikTok Ads and Increase Leads
Part 4: What Makes TikTok's Algorithm Tick?

This image was generated by Midjourney.

So, TikTok is here, and likely to stay… now what? Let’s take a gander at how it’s influencing us inside and outside of its ecosystem. One thing you’ve probably heard is that “TikTok is for kids,” and although that may be your perception, that doesn’t make it reality, at least on this timeline.

Here’s a graph breaking down the demographics of TikTok users by age:

So yes, while the current user base does lean to the younger side on average, the app continues to break records and become increasingly more popular with all demographics, regardless of age. This isn’t the anomaly you might think it is; traditionally, new social networking sites have always performed better with younger audiences.

Being Open to Change

The first bonafide social media site was known as SixDegrees.com. It launched in 1997 and pioneered a cycle of user adoption that continues to this day. The classic life cycle of a social media platform starts with the demographic most open to change: children and young adults. New experiences are a rare commodity, especially in the early days of the web, and those deemed to be “cool” are quickly adopted and dispersed around social circles.

Despite users always skewing younger in the beginning, word eventually spreads to older generations who were previously skeptical about the new platform. 

(Adults have a tendency to discount the opinions of kids and young adults, but we aren’t going to solve that bias in this blog — or ever.)

The Social Cycle

Many early adopters become the platform’s first content creators due to talent or lack of competition. These content creators start developing an audience, and before long, there is an entire ecosystem thriving where creators bring in new users, some of whom become creators, who then bring their users, and so on. 

This growth cycle continues until a tipping point is reached. Momentum builds, and more and more users start coming from older demographics; eventually, businesses come, monetization occurs, and before you know it, the niche social network you knew has changed into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. 

Money brings opportunity for creators, but the coolness factor eventually “plateaus,” and the success becomes reliant on whether or not the company can create enough value in the user experience to offset the downsides of chasing profits.

Here’s what those social cycles typically look like:

TikTokers Stay TikToking

In the case of TikTok, users are voting very clearly in favor of the platform with their time. They have pronounced loudly, even for those in the back, that the app has enough value to overcome the “coolness plateau.”

The sooner you join, the easier it will be to stake your claim and build your audience. Especially since their algorithm is so good it shifts you from fishing in the entire ocean to just a medium-sized lake. Although there may only be 10% of the fish you are looking to lure, that is still an abundance of fish (or in this case, potential patients), and you know exactly how to bait your hook. 

The Journey to TikTok Stardom Begins

So, you think you have what it takes to wield the power of a TikTok influencer? 

If thou doth believe thou has what it takes to free the sword from the stone and claim your rightful title of “influencer,” then you should have no problem completing the following quest. The three components of this quest operate in conjunction with each other. You can and should actively work on completing each element simultaneously to maximize your time and chances of making it out alive.

Phase 1: Dance Monkey, Dance!

This image was generated by Midjourney.

We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t actually have to dance to create a successful TikTok presence.

All that matters when creating content is that it’s something you can bring energy to. There is a niche or community for everything, but just because you fall into a category doesn’t mean your content is enjoyable to watch. The key to making engaging content is not the content itself, but the person or entity delivering it. 

For Example…

Let’s say you’re a medical professional looking to educate others about the importance of what you do and answer questions to clear up misconceptions — an honorable and essential role for someone to play. 

Now that you’ve decided on your purpose, ask yourself the following questions: What do I bring to the table? What attracts people to me? Do I have something hard to replicate? 

Questions that dig deep and identify the inalienable qualities that make you a great friend, partner, parent and doctor will help you on your journey infinitely more than questions like, “What topics should I cover?”

This may be the most challenging part of your journey. The route won’t be clear until you’ve already set off, and many never make it to the castle. Even the most successful content creators talk candidly about how they worked for years honing their craft before they finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Not Everyone Is the Next TikTok Sensation

This is why we emphasize that TikTok is not for everyone. Social media as a whole, but TikTok especially, thrives on personality. Those who can bridge the gap between the digital world and reality with nothing more than themselves are the Dr. Mikes of the world. If you’re not in it for the right reasons, you’re not going to see the results. 

After all, why would someone take their limited time to engage with your content if you’re not even willing to give it your full attention to begin with?

“Don’t worry about being famous or making money; the most important thing is being the best. You have to become a master of your craft, and everything else will come.” 

— Anastasia Soare

Phase 2: Engage With Community

Online communities are some of the most influential groups you’ve never heard of, until you do. 

Who remembers when r/wallstreetbets sent shockwaves through the stock market? This community of homebound hooligans banded together on Reddit to learn how to trade stock options. Armed with only mice and keyboards, this group captured the attention of the world and altered the stock trading landscape.

This image was generated by Midjourney.

If you can leverage just one online community, it can change the course of your entire quest. There are potentially millions of passionate users in your niche looking for their next dopamine hit. 

The right viewer sharing your video can send you viral overnight.

But you can’t count on it. Going viral is like winning the lottery, and creating content is buying your ticket. Millions of people buy tickets every day, all over the world, and only a few will win. Virality operates similarly — everyone dreams of winning, but only a few get to feel what it’s like for that dream to come true.

“Being famous is complete luck, and that’s something you can’t bank on.”

— Bo Burnham

Just Remember…

No online community is obligated to engage with you, no matter how successful or credentialed you are. Your doctorate, before and after catalog, and Google reviews don’t mean anything on TikTok unless you give them meaning. 

You must put in the work to prove you’re there for the community’s benefit, not just to take advantage of the power they possess. This means spending weeks or even months engaging with other content, sharing advice without expecting anything, joining Discords and networking. 

In the simplest terms, be an unselfish and positive influence. Over time, you will find yourself surrounded by a cast of characters you can leverage to elevate you to heights you couldn’t have reached otherwise.

Phase 3: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Money moves mountains, and it gives you the ability to create visibility without worrying about the content quality or community. With enough money, you can get a video of grass growing to 1 million views and 500 plus comments.

Luckily for you and your quest, our buddies at TikTok saw what their predecessors did and said, “hold my beer.” 

Their advertising opportunities exceed what everyone else has to offer.

You don’t have to spend money on advertising, but it’s highly suggested that you do to appease the algorithms and ensure that your content has the best chance to be seen. Think of advertising on social media like gambling in Las Vegas. The number one rule is the house always wins. Hence Mark Zuckerberg’s gluttonous fortune despite a mass suspicion that he is a sentient AI project gone awry.

(Honestly, that comparison is pretty offensive to AIs. We apologize.) 

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing, especially if you spend some time learning the tricks of the trade and strategies for the games. And after some practice, you’ll find yourself winning more. 

Running social media ads is similar in that anyone can walk in and start playing; some get lucky, most don’t. Those that take the time to educate themselves and have a strategy in place are less likely to end the night empty-handed.

Our best piece of advice is to treat your spending like it’s your secret gambling fund. Only spend what you’re willing to lose. You will be able to set a goal, and the algorithm will ensure that goal is met, but that’s where the promises end. 

Your advertising ROI comes from how efficiently you transition users from the completed goal(s) into your sales funnel. If you set website visits as your goal but have a lackluster or outright embarrassing website for users to land on, your ROI will reflect that. 

We’ll get into more detail about the monetary side of TikTok in Part 3.

Onward, Valiant Steed… to TikTok Success

This image was generated by Midjourney.

Before venturing off on your quest, let us leave you with the following words of wisdom: have fun and don’t talk to strangers. But, seriously, when all is said and done, if you’re not having fun and enjoying the process, you’re not putting yourself in a position to succeed. 

(You definitely want to be talking to strangers, though.)

The journey to becoming a TikTok creator isn’t an easy one. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a mustang by your side, getting to the dragon’s lair will take time, and sometimes the dragon is still going to best you, because, well… it’s a f*cking dragon. 

As usual, our educators are here to answer any questions you have about TikTok or life, anytime, for free. Give us a call at (800) 949-0133 or schedule a one-on-one. If you are interested in learning more about TikTok advertising, check out Part 3 of this series, “How to Dominate TikTok Ads and Increase Leads.”

Max Gottfried

Incredible Marketing

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