24 Apr

TikTok 101 for Artists : Fostering UGC

TikTok 101 for Artists : Fostering UGC

With digital promotion being one of the primary ways in which artists reach and connect with audiences today, fostering community engagement via User-Generated Content (UGC) on TikTok is crucial. In this blog, we'll explore the many ways you can harness the power of UGC to build a more vibrant and engaged community around your music and content strategy.

  1. Leveraging TikTok's UGC Features
  2. Encouraging UGC Creation
  3. Engaging with UGC
  4. Measuring the Impact of UGC

UGC empowers your fans to independently become active participants in spreading your music across the world, fostering that sense of belonging and camaraderie - which is a strong indicator of their passion and commitment to you. As the artist, leveraging these posts builds awareness of you as an artist and increases engagement with potential fans. Let’s dive into how you can first leverage Tik Tok’s native UGC features.

Leveraging TikTok's UGC Features

Although these TikTok features are known and well used on the platform, it is important to mention that for artists, they provide unique opportunities for integrating fan content and fostering a sense of co-creation around your music regardless.

The "Stitch" feature: As an artist, you can encourage your fans to "Stitch" your official music videos, performances, or behind-the-scenes clips, giving them a canvas to react, add commentary, or continue the story in creative ways.

John Legend's #nervous challenge

To promote his latest single "Nervous", John Legend launched an interactive campaign on TikTok, inviting fans to duet a verse and put their own creative spin on the lyrics, while utilising the hashtags #openversechallenge and #nervous to amplify the reach - this not only helped market the new release but also fostered engagement by encouraging fans to produce original content inspired by the song.

The "Duet" feature: This is perfect for creating reaction videos, adding vocal or dance accompaniments, or engaging in a visual back-and-forth. You could even "Duet" a fan's cover or creative video, creating a collaborative moment between you and your audience.


Encouraging your fans to use branded hashtags specific to your music or challenge, as well as trending hashtags related to the content theme or song genre will promote your video to a wider audience, which could be great if that is part of the campaign. (see Shania Twain video below)

Additionally, you should align your UGC prompts with current trends, dances, or audio as this can significantly boost engagement - This keeps your content fresh, discoverable, and integrated into the vibrant TikTok community. But be quick, as these trends are now changing faster than ever!

Shania Twain jumping on the #weddingtiktok hashtag trend

Shania Twain strategically engaged with the #weddingtiktok trend by duetting a fan's video that incorporated one of her songs, simultaneously reviving interest in her music while demonstrating her understanding of popular platform trends. This not only reintroduced her sound to a wide audience but also showcased her ability to connect with fans by participating in viral challenges on the platform - she also recently announced her latest tour, so this could be part of the strategy!

Remember! Don't be afraid to have fun and embrace the constantly evolving nature of trends on the platform.


One innovative way to foster UGC on TikTok is by empowering your fans to create their own viral sounds using snippets or vocals from your original tracks. You can explicitly invite fans to isolate catchy hooks, melodies, or lyrical refrains and use TikTok's audio editing tools to turn them into shareable sound bites.

CKay reacting to fan video

A few weeks after the release of his single "You," CKay capitalised on the song's organic popularity on TikTok by duetting fan-created videos that featured the track's audio, further amplifying the song's reach and solidifying its status as a viral trend on the platform.

Not only does this allow your music to grow across the platform organically, but it also sparks creativity as fans put their own spin on your sounds through creative edits, remixes, or by pairing them with new visual concepts.

Fostering a community of engaged fans who actively create and share content is a powerful way to build momentum and loyalty as an independent artist. Encouraging UGC is key to unlocking this potential.

Encouraging UGC Creation

By inviting your fans to express their love for your music through creative videos, reactions, POV’s, reviews, duets and interpretations, you not only tap into their passion but also inspire a sense of belonging and co-creation with them.

Alicia Key's singing on TikTok

Alicia Keys fostered engagement with her fans on TikTok by posting videos where she fulfilled a fan requests by performing a song with the piano. In this instance, she captioned the video with "What should I play next?" encouraging her followers to submit their own suggestions, thereby creating an interactive series.

To spark creativity and engagement, consider issuing fun prompts or challenges that encourage your fans to create unique TikTok videos interpreting the lyrics, visuals, or emotions of your songs through dance, skits, reactions, or other creative expressions. Check out a few examples we’ve seen work:

  1. Asking fans to recreate the choreography with their own creative twist
  2. Start a TikTok dance challenge for the chorus of a track and ask fans to jump on the #challenge
  3. Ask them to show you their hometown or city
  4. Ask fans to duet a new song or unreleased song and add their own lyrics/style

Consider implementing a strategy where you regularly highlight and recognise these UGC submissions. You could do this by:

  1. Featuring them on your social channels and tagging them in a reaction video
  2. Offering prizes or exclusive access to new music/content for being a dedicated fan
  3. Incorporating standout fan videos into your official music videos, visualisers or live performances (Tayla Parx celebration video)

While encouraging UGC creation increases discoverability, engaging with your fans UGC will not only foster a true connection with your fans, but also shows them the potential reward.

Engaging with UGC

As an artist on TikTok, actively engaging with the user-generated content your fans create is essential for nurturing that bond, sustaining their enthusiasm and forming an ecosystem around your music. The feeling of being rewarded is extremely powerful.

Responding to comments/Engaging in conversation

Don't let fan comments and UGC go unanswered -  take the time to respond, react, and engage in genuine conversations. This simple act of acknowledgment strengthens the artist-fan relationship, making your community feel heard and appreciated. Thoughtful engagement also encourages further participation and can spark exciting dialogues around your music.

Ed Sheeran responding to fan request

Similar to Alicia Keys', Ed Sheeran heightened fan engagement on TikTok by sharing a video where he fulfilled a specific follower's request to perform one of his older tracks. In the caption, he directly tagged the fan whose request he had granted, creating a more personalised engaged experience for them.

Ways to amplify UGC on your channel

Actively seek out and share the most creative, engaging UGC from your fans on your own TikTok channel. Reposting, stitching, or duetting standout fan videos not only rewards and celebrates their efforts but also amplifies their reach and inspires others to get involved. Consider creating dedicated highlights or compilations of fan content to give it a prominent platform.

Collaborating with influential fans or TikTok creators

Meghan Trainor and Dance duo "Brooke and Jessie"

Jumping on trends and collaborating with artists/influencers on TiktTok is nothing new for Meghan Trainor.  A recent partnership she did with the popular dance duo Brooke and Jessie not only promoted her latest release but also facilitated cross-promotion, tapping into the duo's dedicated following to expand the reach of her content.

- Identify highly influential fans or popular TikTok creators within your genre or niche, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Co-creating content, participating in each other's challenges, or featuring in duets can expose your music to new audiences while reinforcing your connection with dedicated fans. These influencer partnerships can supercharge your UGC campaigns and ignite even more engagement.

Once you have a good understanding of UGC, you must then understand how to measure it to keep in mind going forward for future collaborations or releases.

Measuring the Impact of UGC

It is crucial to measure the tangible impact of your UGC campaigns. By tracking relevant metrics and analysing the outcomes, you can refine your strategies, celebrate your successes, and quantify the true value of your fans' contributions. Ultimately, measuring the impact of UGC can reveal invaluable insights into building a sustainable and thriving fanbase as an independent musician.

Find out how to view your data on TikTok

Example of metrics on TikTok Analytics

Key metrics to monitor include:

  • The number of UGC submissions you get
  • Engagement rates (likes, comments, shares) on fan content
  • Hashtag performance (the number of views, trending sounds, and the engagement associated with specific hashtag)
  • Reach and impressions your UGC campaigns generate

Additionally, track any spikes in follower growth, music streams, or sales that correlate with successful UGC initiatives. You could have a gig coming up and from a great UGC drive, many fans streamed your music and found tickets to your upcoming live shows!

UGC can yield numerous benefits such as increased engagement and discovery and virality. It can amplify awareness to you and your music, generate content for you to use in your campaigns, foster a deeper connection with your fans, and ultimately translate into a more dedicated and loyal fanbase. It's key that you stay consistent with your UGC efforts and ensure your fans get as much value as you do - it’s a two-way street, your artist-fan relationship!

Join un:hurd music now and if you have any questions about your tiktok strategy, shoot us an email!

Written by Emily Heffernan.