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TikTok for Authors and Businesses

Authors and Businesses have an incredible number of things in common. We all are responsible to reach customers and market to the best of our ability. Part of that responsibility is using the tools that are available to us at that time. Yes... we all use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Part of that has to do with our comfort level. But many of us have avoided one platform in particular, like if we use it, we will set the world spiraling out of control, flinging us off at terminal velocity.

The problem with this is that TikTok is a monster in the world of our future customers! If you think I am joking just look to your right. There is a really good chance that the person next to you is scrolling through it right now. Whether it's your partner cuddling next to you on the couch, or one of your employees sitting at their desk (who is supposed to be doing their quarterly reports, Kelsey! I see you!).

TikTok is available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded over 200 million times in just the United States! I feel as if I need to say this again... 1 billion! This is higher than the amount of people who watched the Super Bowl at 96.4 million! It cost 5.6 million for a 30 second ad during the Superbowl. Compare this price to the literal 0 dollars it costs you every time you upload a video on TikTok, and it just makes financial sense. In fact, it almost seems foolish not to take advantage of this!

Charli D'Amelio is a viral TikTok trend dancer, and with 109.8 million followers, she is a global giant! Yeah, yeah, I get it, she is just dancing, how does that even compare to how my author brand or business can us TikTok? I'm glad you asked, and this is where following a blogger with a science background comes in handy.

Charli D'Amelio has cashed in on how the human brain works. The human brain is an incredible supercomputer, one that functions through a maze of neurons and pathways that uses a vast array of chemicals. Which is why TikTok is so effective, they have managed to plug into our frontal lobe. I'm not being facetious; I am using the literal tense. The frontal lobe is part of the brain’s cerebral cortex. It consists of the left and right frontal cortex and is easily the largest of the four major lobes.

This section of the brain is also the slowest section of the brain to mature, constantly shedding and creating new neurons until a person reaches their mid-twenties, sometimes later. It is responsible for cognitive functions and control of voluntary movement or activity, but for me, what makes it the most interesting is that it receives dopamine.

Dopamine: This neurotransmitter and hormone has quite a few responsibilities, but the part that applies to us today is that it is a reward system for our frontal lobe! Think of it as that first cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte in September or sitting back with a glass of wine while you watch DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix. In fact, for the first 30 seconds that is exactly what's happening to your brain. It happens during a lot of activities in our lives, and we don't even know that it's happening. The brain is an incredible network of ups and downs, a rollercoaster we either hate or love.

And this is exactly why TikTok has taken over the world! TikTok acts as a reward system thanks to the dopamine flooding our frontal lobe by watching each of its videos. This makes us translate the pleasurable feeling as a desirable activity that we immediately want to repeat. And what makes TikTok so effective is the length of the videos. The average length of a TikTok video is 15 seconds, which leaves the brain confused as to why the pleasurable feeling has ended and leaves you craving more. Compare this to the average length of a television and radio commercial, 30 seconds, and you begin to see why TikTok is the current leader for marketing!

Ok, so we understand the science, but how can we use that to our advantage?


Let's dive down BookTok first. This hashtag monster, #booktok, is the king in book marketing online. For those who don't actively read, if you were to swing by a Barnes and Noble today, the entire middle section is dotted with tables that #booktok viral novels have taken over (much to my own novels dismay I assure you). But as jealous as I am, I also have to stand back and applaud the ingenuity of these authors, and their understanding of how TikTok can benefit them. Let's dive back into #booktok for a moment and see how authors have capitalized on TikTok. First and foremost, originality! The most popular authors are super creative with their videos! It's not just them throwing a quote from their book up and dancing. They have professional videos with titles, subtitles, and credits. The videos are colorful, romantic, adventurous, and exciting! Sometimes they are simple, sure, but more often than not these videos have taken hours to shoot and piece together, all for you to press a like button after 30 seconds.

One of my author friends (@renefolsom) has even toyed with the idea of attaching a camera to her kayak and discussing her writing process for her next erotic novel. It's creative, gives you another perspective, and the scenery will aid her in getting followers during these regions cold winter months. She will more than likely find success in this endeavor. The best advice I can give authors is to download TikTok and subscribe to #booktok, making sure to take note of what the most successful creators are doing. But please don't just copy them, in the world of creators, it's not flattering to be copied, its plagiarism. Model... don't copy.

So, I like to help out authors, and nothing is more important than hashtags. If you are posting videos and not getting viewers, I know what the problem more than like is. Hashtags. Try pasting these hashtags in the description and patiently sit back and watch your viewers grow.

#writerslift #writing #amwriting #writingcommunity #authors #authorslife #writerscafe #booklaunch #selfpub #selfpublishing