Photo Credit: pexels
When it comes to TikTok, the top social media influencer is not an A-list Hollywood actor, top sports athlete or Grammy-winning musician. Instead, it’s a 16-year-old teenage girl (Charli D’Amelio) who describes herself as a “dancer and Internet celebrity.” Her primary claim to fame is choreographing brief viral dance moves to popular songs, and it’s a strategy that has propelled her to absurd levels of Internet fame. Charli D’Amelio already has 100 million TikTok followers, which is more than 3 times the number that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has, more than 4 times the number that Selena Gomez has, and more than 5 times the number that Ariana Grande has.
Moreover, D’Amelio has collected all of these followers in just the last 18 months. D’Amelio has really only rocketed to fame since May 2019. To put that 100 million followers number in perspective, it took the first YouTube Internet sensation 14 years to collect 100 million followers! So what can your business learn from this top TikTok influencer?
#1: Seize the first-mover advantage
Perhaps the biggest reason why D’Amelio has picked up so many followers so quickly is that she leveraged the first-mover advantage. She was at the forefront of the viral dance craze that has taken over TikTok, and she was also early to the game when it came to TikTok. While other established influencers were still all about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, she recognized that TikTok was the place to be for teenagers and young adults. The “cool kids” today aren’t on Facebook, they are on platforms like TikTok. For your business, it means being early to game with new platforms, and at least taking them out for a test drive before they go really mainstream.
#2: Create a cross-platform social media strategy
Where D’Amelio also really excels is in leveraging a true cross-platform social media strategy that includes a popular podcast and YouTube videos. In fact, even if you don’t have TikTok installed on your phone, you can still watch Charli D’Amelio dance videos all across YouTube. People who check out her dance moves on YouTube will be motivated to check her out on TikTok and vice versa. There can be a lot of synergies here, as D’Amelio now has the ability to scale her presence across any social media platform with a single click. With her 100 million TikTok followers, she can easily choose to migrate those followers to any other platform where she is looking to add momentum.
#3: Involve your whole team
One interesting aspect of the whole Charli D’Amelio social media phenomenon is how much it resembles the whole Kim Kardashian social media phenomenon. Just as every single Kardashian seems to blow up on social media, the same thing is happening with the D’Amelio family. On YouTube, for example, a video in the series called “Dinner With the D’Amelios” can easily pick up 10-15 million views for each new video. And her older sister (19-year-old Dixie) also is involved in the act, with a huge social media following of her own and a debut singing album.
#4: Create a viable financial revenue model
Where things get even more interesting is how Charli D’Amelio is putting together a viable financial revenue model. Check out her videos, for example, and you’ll often see sponsored products directly within a video. In one video, for example, Charli and her sister Dixie are doing a “holiday pajamas” special where they openly promote Hollister brand pajamas. This is brilliant. They can essentially reach out to any potential sponsor and tell them, “Look, if we promote your products, they will be shown to 100 million people. Are you in?”
Whether you like D’Amelio or not, you have to respect her digital game. She is creating a viable cross-platform social media strategy that is supported by a viable financial revenue model that really seems to work. She’s now at the top of the TikTok influencer ranks, and so there’s a lot that you can learn from her early success, even if you don’t have the dance moves to match.