Record labels and artists are waking up to the power and cultural significance of TikTok.
In the main, TikTok is being deployed as a powerful tool to drive track-led, short-term campaigns – Drake’s Toosie Slide, the world’s No.1 song right now, may be the king of all examples.
But could TikTok also be used to drive more long-term fan activity, building artist communities that will consistently engage with an act?
UK-based TikTok influencer agency Fanbytes thinks it can – but only, in the company’s view, with the right combination of tools, infrastructure and artist participation.
For this reason, Fanbytes – whose clients include Universal, Sony and Warner, as well as McDonald’s, Apple Music and others – have launched ByteLabs, a new division which offers what Fanbytes calls a ‘360 degree’ menu of services and technology to help artists better grow and engage audiences on TikTok.
“ByteLabs uses a combination of influencers, insights and paid advertising on the platform, helping TikTok to play a longer-term strategic role for artists and labels.”
Timothy Armoo, fanbytes
Fanbytes has been quietly testing ByteLabs in tandem with several labels, and claims to have already seen an increase in artist TikTok follower counts by 250% across four weeks.
Fanbytes CEO Timothy Armoo (pictured) said: “We truly believe in TikTok as a platform, Fanbytes is a company driven by Gen Z for Gen Z and it’s clear that TikTok it’s the future of content consumption and production.
“To truly win at this platform, however, it’s important not to just adopt an influencer strategy as that just leads to quick wins.
“ByteLabs uses both influencers, insights and paid advertising on the platform and this helps us and TikTok to play a longer-term strategic role rather than just helping tracks go viral in the short term.
“By tracking trends and supercharging distribution we are able to model success from artist insights around creative direction through to streaming performance.”
According to Fanbytes, which works with over 40 popular TikTok influencers, ByteLabs is based around four key pillars:
1) Data and Insights
Fanbytes’ proprietary tech platform, Bytesights, tracks artists’ sounds and hashtags on TikTok charting their growth over weeks.
It then provides artists with mainstream and genre-specific tracks, trends, sounds, challenges and dances which can immediately inform a creative process and social media output.
2) Production and Community Management
After analysing trends and hashtags, ByteLabs uses Fanbytes’ influencer network to create and distribute content on artists’ owned and operated channels.
Influencers are chosen via Fanbytes’ opt-in influencer community, based on deep metrics such as audience growth, audience sentiment and fit, as opposed to more basic metrics like follower count.
ByteLabs also offers community management services, providing real-time reactions to trends and hashtags as they happen.
3) Paid Ads
After channel optimisation and influencer promotion, ByteLabs then amplifies artist content through paid ads on TikTok, driving further audience growth, followers and engagement.
Each piece of content, says Fanbytes, is rigorously AB tested to “ensure repeated success for labels”, as well as being optimised to drive audience growth, engagement or conversion.
ByteLabs provides detailed and bespoke reporting across a range of core metrics – including content that is working well, recommended trends to leverage, and how best to optimise a paid ads strategy.
This provides labels and artists with numerous insights and actionable recommendations.
If you’re interested in seeing if ByteLabs could help improve your artists’ performance on TikTok, you can get in touch with the company’s TikTok consultants via [email protected]Music Business Worldwide