13 Apr

TikTok 101 for Artists: Mastering Your TikTok Organic Strategy

TikTok 101 for Artists: Mastering Your TikTok Organic Strategy

A well crafted TikTok organic strategy for artists harnesses the power of organic growth, which lies in TikTok's ability to build a genuine and engaged audience over time. As an artist, your approach should be focused on growing your presence and audience through consistent engaging content, without relying on paid advertising or promotion. By posting consistent, compelling content that resonates with your audience and actively engaging with them, you can establish a strong brand presence and cultivate that loyal following.

Approaching your TikTok organic strategy this way, will allow you to fully leverage the platform, enabling your content to gain traction across the TikTok community- helping you reach new audiences through discovery mechanisms and fostering a sense of authenticity and trust with your viewers, which is crucial for long-term success on TikTok.

Over the coming weeks, we will dive into the world of TikTok with our “TikTok 101” series - These blogs will provide in-depth understandings, strategies and fundamentals that make this platform a powerful tool for artists and guide you through how you can utilise it to its fullest.

Starting with the most important - your organic content strategy.

  1. Your TikTok artist profile
  2. Understanding TikTok and its algorithm
  3. Content
  4. Building a community
  5. Measuring success and analysing your performance
  6. Summary

Your TikTok artist profile

When fans click into your profile the first thing they will see is your picture and bio. Keep this in mind when updating your artist profile. Choose a clear, recognisable profile picture and username that aligns with your artist brand and write a compelling bio that introduces who you are as an artist and what kind of content viewers can expect and/or link to your other social media platforms, streaming platforms, ticketing (if touring/gigging) and website.

If you don’t have a website, you can create a fan hub on un:hurd music in minutes holding all these links and more. If you are not at this stage yet, take a look at our blog on building your brand as an artist to help guide you!

Be sure to set up TikTok Analytics as understanding these metrics will help you with your overall marketing strategies moving forward (like paid advertising when deciding what markets you're growing in, to target).

Once your profile is ready, it's crucial to know how the TikTok algorithm works to ensure your content has the best chance of reaching the right audience.

Understanding TikTok and its Algorithm

How the algorithm works

The beauty of TikTok’s algorithm is that it levels the playing field for new creators…if you know how it works

Its system prioritises content relevance over creator popularity via its recommendation system that analyses multiple signals to determine each user's content preferences and serves them the most relevant, engaging videos. It looks at  how long users watch videos, which ones they like, captions, the audio tracks used etc. Then it displays content TikTok knows users will engage with, to their “For You” page. This means that even emerging artists like yourself, have a chance to go viral if their videos truly resonate with an audience.

To master this, you must balance showcasing your unique voice as well as creating content that aligns with TikTok's distinctive style and what users expect to see.

Here are some key strategies to work hand-in-hand with the algorithm:

  1. Leveraging TikTok’s SEO by using relevant hashtags and keywords that align with what your audience is searching for.
  2. Embracing TikTok's native features - trending sounds, stitches, duets, and video replies to boost discoverability.
  3. Fostering genuine connections through community engagement, collaborations, and cross-promotion to build a loyal following.

Remember! The algorithm thrives on authenticity and engagement. While going viral is every creator's dream, true success on TikTok lies in building lasting relationships with your audience. Armed with the knowledge of the algorithm, you can now focus on creating captivating content that resonates with your audience and aligns with TikTok's trends.

Let’s take a look at Jax, who is a great example of an artist tapping into trends while still staying true to their authentic self. Jax rapidly gained stardom for her track "Victoria's Secret," which addresses conventional beauty standards in modern society.

Jax has said the inspiration for the track came directly from a personal experience where she was babysitting a girl named Chelsea who became angry and upset when a swimsuit she bought for a party made her "look fat and flat”.

She leveraged her platform not only to promote the inspired track through consistent collaboration posts, but also teamed up with users for POV videos tackling personal insecurities in a fun, engaging way.

Jax's TikTok Profile

These cross-promotion collaborations allowed Jax's music to reach massive new audiences as people could relate with why she wrote the song, and what she represents. One video alone generated over 20 million views.

If you don’t know where to start with your content, we can do the work for you! For our Pro members, we send out weekly trends & platform updates on a Saturday. Find out more in our blog here.


Your TikTok organic strategy relies on creating content that is suited to the platform, but you must only create videos that align who you are as an artist and that are authentically you. Here are some ideas you can take into consideration.

How to identify your content pillars:

  1. What are the key themes, moods, or messages you want to convey through your content?
  2. Analyse your top-performing organic content on any social platform and look for common threads in the videos that resonate most with your audience - the creative styles, topics, or formats that drive the highest engagement.
  3. Brainstorm content ideas that align with you as an artist and showcase different aspects of your artistry.
  4. Identify 3 core content pillars that you can consistently produce and promote. These should be the foundational content types that anchor your TikTok presence.

Ask yourself - what are the 3 things you care about most or that reflect your personality. Who are you at your best and who are you at your worst?

Here are some examples of artists whose personality or artistry is demonstrated across their TikTok content.

Mackenzy Mackay - bedroom singer/songwriter
Flyanaboss - free spirited and crazy personalities
Aziya - UK producer tok, edgy, talented guitarist
Lozeak - party girl, bimbo core, unapologetically reverent/sarcastic

Content ideas for your videos:

  1. Behind-the-scenes glimpses, tutorials, cover song snippets, fan interactions, etc.
  2. Incorporate trending sounds, songs, or audio clips that are currently viral on TikTok.
  3. Jump on trends and challenges but put your own creative spin on it that aligns with your artistry.
  4. Do duets, stitches, or joint videos with other creators to cross-pollinate audiences.
  5. Give your audience a peek into your life, creative process, or backstage.
  6. Run polls, ask questions, respond to comments to foster interaction and community.

Video tips:

  1. Grab the viewer's attention with interesting visual, audio clip, or provocative statements. You want to pique their curiosity and make them want to keep watching.
  2. While TikTok videos are short, you can still craft a narrative arc that takes the viewer on a journey. Stories are more engaging and memorable than random clips.
  3. Leverage TikTok's editing tools like filters, animations, and transitions creatively to give your videos more production value.
  4. Develop a recognisable visual aesthetic, tone, or theme across your videos so viewers know your content at a glance.

Remember! The content should entertain, educate, or authentically connect with fans in some way.

Photo carousels

As TikTok's algorithm continues to prioritise content that keeps users engaged and entertained, photo carousels have emerged as a refreshing alternative to traditional video content, offering a different experience for viewers. Among all the videos, a well-crafted photo carousel stands out and encourages users to slow down and engage with each frame.

  1. Sharing personal anecdotes, jokes, or experiences through a sequence of images and accompanying text or audio.
  2. Breaking down complex topics or providing step-by-step instructions using visuals and explanations.
  3. Creating top lists or roundups of tips, recommendations, or ideas presented in a visually appealing carousel.
  4. Curating a series of relatable memes or humorous images around a particular theme or inside joke.
  5. Giving a glimpse into a day in the life, a creative process, or a significant event through a carousel of candid photos.

Take a look at Tate McRae and Kid Laroi’s approach to carousels for inspiration!

Remember! Consistency is key - aim to post new content at least 1-2 times per week, if not daily. This regular cadence helps maintain visibility and keep your audience engaged.

How to identify what is trending:

  1. Check your discover feed’s trending videos, sounds, effects, and hashtags. This is a great place to see what content is currently popular on the platform.
  2. Look at the hashtags used in viral videos under categories like #FYP (For You Page) or #TikTokTrending.
  3. The official TikTok Newsroom blog is another valuable source of updates on trending videos, effects, sounds, and challenges that are gaining popularity.
  4. There are popular accounts dedicated to curating and showcasing the latest TikTok trends across different niches. Following these can surface new trends early.
  5. The sounds/music used in trending videos often go viral themselves. Keep an eye on the "Trending Sounds" section in the app to spot audio gaining momentum.

Now that you know how to craft great content, let’s focus on building an engaged community around your artist brand on TikTok.

Building a Community

As an emerging artist, engagement is key to growing your community on ALL social platforms, not just TikTok. By responding to comments, liking and sharing content from your fans, and creating dialogue prompts to encourage interaction, you can build a community of people around you and your profile. Also the benefits of building communities as a whole, can help loyal fans who will  stream new releases, watch and attend live performances, buy merch and rave about you to their friends.

Leveraging TikTok's live streaming feature

TikTok's live streaming feature can be a powerful tool for connecting with your fan base in real-time. With the new age of “live streaming” you can host live performances, Q&A sessions, or behind-the-scenes streams to give your community a more intimate look into your creative process, tease new music, gather feedback, and foster a sense of exclusivity.  Live streams also allow for monetisation through virtual gifting from viewers.

For example Lizzo has become known for her engaging and interactive live stream on the platform, where she connects directly with fans. She hosts a “Tea Time” live stream where she answers fan questions, shares behind-the-scenes moments, and engages in casual conversation with viewers in real-time.

Also, this time last year, Mimi Webb performed her debut album “Amelia” on her TikTok live to celebrate its release followed by an intimate Q&A about the album.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Embrace the participatory nature of TikTok by encouraging UGC from your followers.

You can leverage UGC by encouraging your fans to share their experiences at your live shows, their favourite tracks, or even creative interpretations of your music on social media. Additionally, you can incentivise your audience to create and share content by running contests or offering special rewards. UGC not only helps to spread awareness of your music, but also fosters a sense of community and engagement with your listeners.

For example, Tayla Parx using fan clips for her song 'Celebration Weight', Ed Sheeran asking fans to duet with him and Anne Marie reacting to a duet.


Participating in or creating your own challenges is an excellent way to tap into TikTok's powerful trend cycles.

Develop a simple dance routine or acting concept related to your music and launch a hashtag challenge. Incentivise participation by offering to duet the best entries or give a shout out to standout creators. Challenges allow your music to become part of a viral movement, exposing you to new audiences.

For example, Dua Lipa posting reaction videos from her #houdinichallenge, highlighting the creators on her profile.

As you implement these community-building strategies, it's crucial to track their effectiveness by measuring and analysing your performance metrics.

Measuring success and analysing your performance

TikTok provides comprehensive analytics that can help you understand what content works for you and resonates best with your audience. If you analyse metrics like view counts (number of video views), retention rates (% of people who watched the video for a specific length of time), engagement rates (total comments, likes, shares divided by views), audience demographics & geographics, and peak watch times you can easily identify the highest-performing videos and what made them successful, such as audio tracks used, video length, or creative concepts. If a certain style of video consistently outperforms others, lean into that format or theme, while constantly iterating and testing to find even better performance!

Use TikTok's guide to find out how to access your analytics.

Here are some examples of using your data to inform your strategy:

  1. If you notice spikes in viewership at particular times of day, adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
  2. Use demographic & geographic data to tailor your content, language, and creative direction toward your core audience.
  3. Study the hashtags used in your top-performing videos. If specific hashtags seem to be resonating with your audience, continue using them consistently and explore related hashtags to expand your reach further.
  4. Analyse the length of your most successful videos. If you find that shorter or longer videos tend to perform better, adjust your content strategy accordingly to cater to your audience's attention span and preferences.
  5. Monitor the days and times when you receive the most comments and engagement. Schedule your live streams, Q&A sessions, or interactive content during these peak engagement windows to maximise participation and community interaction.
Example of TikTok Analytics

Regularly reviewing your analytics allows you to be agile with your organic strategy, pivoting your approach based on tangible data rather than assumptions. A data-driven organic strategy focused on delivering more of what resonates can accelerate your growth.

Your TikTok organic strategy requires building an authentic presence and engaged community on the platform, which takes time and commitment, so it's vital you stay patient - but the potential payoff is worth it. You should now understand the platform's algorithm, trends, best practices and leverage the platform’s interactive features, while staying true to your artistic voice.

Once you have your organic strategy nailed, you can then take a look at some paid advertising to help boost some of your content. Keep an eye out for our next blog where our Head of Marketing, Sam, will discuss Paid Strategies on TikTok.

So stay creative, stay consistent, and stay tuned as we continue exploring the possibilities of TikTok for artists in this series!

Take your TikTok to new heights by joining un:hurd music, where you'll gain access to data and insights on TikTok, other social platforms, and streaming services, plus leverage our powerful automated social ad tool to target audiences effectively.

Written by Emily Heffernan.