So You Found Us On TikTok, Now What?
So you found us on TikTok, now what? Browse our videos, wonder what goes through our minds, dare to follow us for more content? Or maybe you’re thinking ‘Hey, I know them!’ Or ‘How the heck did they end up on this app?’ All are very valid questions, and if you asked us this a year ago, we most likely would have thought the same thing! As of current, we have officially been on TikTok for one year and 20 days, but who’s counting.
As the official TikTok coordinator of Karen Menyhart Photography, I’ll take you through a little time capsule of thoughts and ideas, and really just me wondering out loud how anyone would want to follow along with our silly little lives.
If you ask just about anyone I’m close to, they’ll tell you for a certain fact that for the majority of 2020 I was TikTok’s biggest hater. I didn’t understand it, the dances confused me, and it was one more social media in my mind that I’d have to worry about keeping up with. It wasn’t until the end of the year that I realized just how much of a profound impact that it can have on businesses of all sizes: small and locally owned to even bigger corporate companies.
We’ve been at this job for nearly 10 years now, and people seem to be fascinated with the relationship my mom and I have and the way we do our job. We’ve been urged to podcast, spill all our crazy wedding stories, and occasionally get the “you guys could have a reality show!” comment. So what’s the next best thing after reality TV: TikTok.
When I started our TikTok account, I didn’t expect much from it. At most I figured we’d get a couple dozen followers, many of whom were my mom’s friends and commented supportingly like they do when I post anything ever on Facebook.
The first few months were certainly a rocky start, videos were getting 30-100 views, maybe 5 likes. And there was nothing wrong with that! Pictured here is the beginning of it all, a shameless little self promo to spread the word that we were, in fact, hip to social media. Everyone starts somewhere, and that’s what I did.
This is the part where I get philosophical about something I don’t know for certain, but have come to learn through my own experience. TikTok takes some work! Because of the way algorhythms work, it’s fairly easier to get a better outreach with your videos than you would on other platforms. (At least, in my experience) Things that can be crucial to getting your video out there can be as simple as using trending audio or just tossing in a ton of hashtags that you think are relevant. Some people try using hashtags that are trending in the moment, even if they are not relevant to the content. Personally I have found that this does little to help boost our content.
Another thing crucial to the journey is consistently posting content. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprisingly more challenging than you would think. When it comes to wedding photography, I’ve found that the internet is pretty welcoming. People love to see behind the scenes, or content that serves as their own wedding inspiration. Basically, no matter what you post, you will always have an audience.
What’s been really cool to see is the progression of our account, and the following we’ve received! Over the past year we’ve had several viral videos, one even gaining over 2.1 million views! This certainly wasn’t anything I had expected, but we were extremely lucky. As it stands, we have just over 2.3K followers!
Aside from posting content and keeping up with hashtags, one of the biggest things about TikTok are the trends. Things will trend on TikTok overnight, and can have a lasting impact for days, weeks or months depending on the audience it reaches. These trends can differ for all sorts of things and depend heavily on the audio that accompanies it. Certain trends get tied to certain audios, whether it be a dialogue from a TV show, a popular song in the charts or even a song that’s almost 10 years old and comes back into circulation. Other things influence trending audio, for example: all of the tracks from Euphoria are usually pretty hot on TikTok since the show is so sensational. So in essence: TV and movies play a huge part in this!
What I’ve had a lot of fun doing this year with TikTok trends is spinning them so that we can still participate in them from a photography point of view. For example: recently there was trend where girls posted photos their boyfriends took of them. The first photo was a photo of what they wanted him to take, versus the photo of her he actually took. I spun this by using the same audio, showing footage of us arranging shots on a wedding day, and then followed with the actual photo that was captured. This got some decent views! Another huge trend came after a video circulated of a girl who surprised her boyfriend in college, only to find him not very surprised at all. It quickly became a TikTok sensation: people would used the exact same audio to create their own videos where they pretended to surprise someone. At one point it was practically the only thing in my feed. So what do we do with that? Easy: compile a video of “first look” reactions from weddings we’ve shot! We use the audio, play into the “surprise” aspect of the trend, and send it on its way. A boyfriend being surprised in college = a groom being surprised by his wife on their wedding day. While this one didn’t take off as much as I had hoped, it’s just an example of the fun you can have with modern day trends and how you can spin them to your advantage.
This year has been a whirlwind for the wedding industry, especially as we still adjust to working life in the pandemic. If you ask any wedding vendor, they can attest to the madness we’ve all been through with rescheduling, cancellations, restrictions, etc! Being back with weddings has certainly been a treat, and while it has also been stressful, the fun we’ve had with TikTok has been a fun addition to work that evens it all out. And above all else, it’s been fun to show a different look into our workdays, what happens behind the scenes, and that ultimately wedding photographers are some of the coolest, most badass people around.
So my recommendation: give it a try! If you’re a photographer or business owner just getting started on TikTok, keep at it. It took us many videos to get to where we are now. My advice is to just film everything! Most of the time I take videos sporadically throughout a wedding day, not knowing what they’re for. I find it extremely useful to have everything and anything on hand for whenever necessary. Every week I sit down and look back through what I have, and I can always make something work. If all else fails, and you don’t have any BTS videos, just make some videos showcasing your work and your business! The possibilities are endless, and totally attainable.
Here’s to KMP TikTok in 2022! You can find all our videos here!