How TikTok broke my heart: a DJ’s tale

Lucy the DJ
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TikTok made me feel like a star (for a minute)

I thought I’d hit the big time when my TikTok account, @lucyb_uk, started getting attention. My videos of me learning to DJ were suddenly getting views, likes, and shares – it was like I’d hit the jackpot. I felt like David Guetta, with all eyes on me and my moves.

The pressure of being a TikTok star

But with great fame comes great pressure. Suddenly, I was expected to keep up with all the comments and messages flooding in. I felt like Frank Butcher trying to keep up with Pat – it was exhausting. I barely had time to practice my DJ skills, let alone respond to everyone who sent me adorable words of encouragement or tempt me into the dark world of drum and bass (they succeeded – it’s exhaustingly awesome!).

TikTok dumped me – and I’m heartbroken

And then, just like that, TikTok dumped me. My views and engagements plummeted, and I felt like I’d been ghosted by my first love. What had I done wrong? Was it something I said? Was my music taste not cool enough? I felt like I was back in the playground, wondering why the popular kids with shaggy perms didn’t like me anymore.

The mystery of TikTok’s algorithm

I tried to figure out what had gone wrong, but TikTok’s algorithm was like a Rubik’s Cube I couldn’t solve. As it turns out, TikTok’s algorithm is based on several factors, including the level of engagement a video gets in its first few minutes after posting, the relevance of the content to the viewer, and the level of interaction between the user and other accounts on the app.

If you’d like to read more, click on this article from The Guardian “The Algorithmic Rise of TikTok: How the App Became a Popularity Machine” – it delves into the secrets of TikTok’s algorithm, the very same algorithm that has propelled countless creators to viral fame. From analysing user behaviour to prioritising engagement and virality, the article provides an in-depth look at how the algorithm works and what it takes to become a TikTok star.

Plus, it also demonstrates that there’s a lot of mystery, luck, and witchcraft at play here.

Broken TikTok heart
My broken TikTok heart

Tips for boosting engagement on TikTok

If you’re struggling to get your engagement back up on TikTok, there are a few things you can try:

  • Relevant hashtags can help your content get discovered by other users who are interested in the same topics. Try using a mix of popular and niche hashtags that are relevant to your content.
  • Timing is everything on TikTok. Pay attention to when your followers are most active on the app and post during those times for the best chance of getting engagement.
  • Quality is more important than quantity on TikTok. Take the time to create videos that are visually appealing and engaging for your audience.
  • Collaborating with other users can help you reach new audiences and increase your engagement. Try reaching out to other creators in your niche and brainstorming ideas for a collaboration.
  • Be authentic. Find your own voice. Yes, be inspired by other accounts, but find your own niche and your own vibe.

Lessons learned (and some laughs, too)

Looking back on my TikTok journey, I realise that I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that social media fame is fickle, that the algorithm is a mystery, and that today’s newspapers are tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers. But I’ve also learned that it’s important to keep trying, keep innovating, and keep having fun with the creative process.

TikTok may have broken my heart, but it also taught me a lot about the power of social media, the mystery of algorithms, and the importance of perseverance. And if the DJing fails, there’s always the day job to fall back on.

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