Right now, I’m very torn on TikTok

I’m writing this because I want to find out if there are any other creators who are torn about TikTok. While I LOVE the possibilities offered in short-form video on social as a whole, TikTok is making me nervous. Why build there if the U.S. and Canada have such a negative view of it at the moment? And—like it or not—it is a political pawn. I’m skeptical of its staying power.

But there are things I LOVE about it:

• It’s easy to make videos of different lengths

• It’s easy to get engagement + followers there

• It offers some of the most interesting, engaging, and trending content right now

• In short, it’s the trend setter that filters out to other platforms

• It’s where people are spending their time on social

I still think you “kinda” have to be everywhere as a content creator

Do you ever notice Gary V is on every platform? When a new one is born, he hops on it. I’ve done this too, since 2007. As a broadcaster then, it was always my job to jump on the next trend and learn how the station could harness it. I still think you have a different audience on each platform as well as a different reach.

But creating so much content can seem exhausting, fragmented, and redundant.

As a social media marketer, I do need to do all 👏 the 👏 things 👏 so I know how it all works.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

But I also believe you want to make the most of each platform

I think this is headed to where we’re all going to have to be adept at using in-app SEO in order to ensure our content is seen and earns engagement. It’s not enough to have good content anymore—it needs to be seen and interacted with. I recently learned about TikTok SEO and it blew my mind.

I made one video the other day with TikTok SEO in mind and got 6 subscribers from it. There’s something to this and I’ll be doing a deep dive. I made a similar video for YouTube Shorts, which admittedly is low on room for SEO. But I still got 3 subscribers there!

Then there’s Instagram SEO, which I know exists. I have yet to dip my toe into that pool.

What I LOVE about Instagram:

• When I post content there, it also posts to my Facebook business page at the same time (more or less, there seem to be some issues with this)

• People are there in my local market of Wichita, Kansas. Wichita loves Instagram! (And TikTok). But it seems like the majority of my interaction with locals is via Instagram

To be honest, I’d almost be relieved if TikTok went away in North America

It would be one less place I’d have to post content! But I think it would take away from my creativity as well. There are things that are fun about TikTok, like green screen. Since I have a TikTok business account, I don’t get to get in on the fun music trends.

The loss of TikTok would hurt competition for those of us who are online creators. It would also further fragment the short-form video space. If banned, we’d all have to flock to Instagram for Reels or YouTube for Shorts. Unless something else came along…

If I were running Twitter right now, I’d be doubling down on bringing back Vine to prepare for a possible TikTok ban. We know Instagram wants to return to its roots by prioritizing photos this year. But then again, many have abandoned Twitter. More are leaving for #MarchofTwitter this month to go to Nostr.

For now, I’ll keep creating on TikTok.

I know the ever-changing social media landscape will continue to evolve—which is a good thing for both creativity and competition.

I have ~300 followers on TikTok and want to focus on YouTube anyway since that’s where I post the video version of my podcast. It won’t kill me to lose ~300 sets of eyes. But how do you feel if you’ve accumulated tens of thousands of followers there? What if it’s a big part of your content flywheel? What if TikTok helps pay your bills?

What do you think? Do you have a contingency plan in place for a TikTok ban? Are you already posting less there and moving to another platform? If so, which platform do you choose?

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