Kim Kardashian proves you’re never too old for TikTok.
The 41-year-old social media patron, who joined the app last week and racked up a few million followers in just a few days, is paving the way for the over-40s to sign up for the Gen Z playground.
But if it seems like this generation will dominate TikTok — well, it’s because they do. According to statistical researchers at Statista, nearly 50% of their users in 2021 were Gen Z or young millennials.
But the fun doesn’t stop when users hit 40. Despite Gen Z being slammed for their social media craze, Gen X and baby boomers are creeping into their territory — they make up about 30% of the app’s users.
Kardashian joined the ranks of other 40+ celebrities on TikTok — including Reese Witherspoon, 46, and Kate Hudson, 43 — and even debuted her first clip, featuring her glam squad, of course. After younger generations bullied older celebrities like Madonna, 63, for showing everything online, Kardashian’s arrival on TikTok could signal a new attitude towards people over 25.
While the average non-celebrity parent might just use the platform to watch clips, it’s not too late for them to start creating their own content on TikTok, the most downloaded app of 2022 so far.
At 54, TikTok star Tricia Goldsmith has amassed a whopping 2.7 million followers as @YourFitGrandma in just two years, reaching Gen Z viewers everywhere.
“Just because I’m 50+ and a grandma doesn’t mean I can’t go over there and do this younger amount of music and stuff,” Goldsmith, who has always loved pop culture, told The Post.
In fact, she’s so popular with younger generations that she’s easily recognized every time she leaves her Nevada home.
“Usually I look at the parents and I’m like, ‘I know you don’t know who I am, but your kids do,'” she said, laughing.
Having achieved influencer status among her Gen Z audience, Goldsmith shared her tips and tricks for making it on TikTok — because you’ve only made it if you’ve gone viral.
Know the location of the country
Let’s start with the basics.
As with any social media app, there’s a curated feed brimming with recommended trending videos. But how do the invisible algorithm gods know what brings you “joy”?
The videos you like, share, or comment on — as well as content you create and accounts you follow — all play out on your unique For You page. Information like geography, language, hashtags, captions, and sounds also contribute to what you see, according to TikTok.
When it comes to reaching a target audience, Goldsmith finds and uses a musical “sound” or audio clip that gets the most engagement — also known as “trending”.
“I go with what’s trending,” she said, adding that it’s best to catch a trend early. “My ‘For You’ page tends to have younger genres of music, and I’m trying to be the only older person who’s in on that trend.”
mastery of the tools
Preparing to create content is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be scary — or expensive.
After watching other people’s videos and seeing their lighting and gear, Goldsmith wanted to copy her recipe for good-looking clips.
“I was watching videos and I was like, ‘Oh, I need a ring light.’ I saw people with the purple lights in the background and I was like, ‘Okay, I just need to order some stuff from Amazon,'” she said. “Really, my setup and the things I use are not expensive at all.”
But good lighting, hair and makeup don’t make for a viral video. Goldsmith also required her to learn how to use video transitions and TikTok’s in-app editing tools.
“I would see someone make a transition or use a certain feature… I would save the video and go through it frame by frame,” she said of her learning technique. “I would search tutorials for a specific trend.”
And 92-year-old Lill Droniak — aka @GrandmaDroniak, a cheeky senior influencer with 4.2million followers — also had the help of her grandson Kevin to teach her the ropes.
“I was having fun, so we moved on,” she told the Post. “I think TikTok is for all ages, so you’re never too old to start. Just post something and see how people like it.”
Even celebrity parents — like Witherspoon — have relied on TikTok for their Gen Z (or younger) kids, whether they run an account themselves and are focused on embarrassing their kids to generate millions of views, or whether they have guest appearances in their children’s clips.
Luckily for Kardashian, she had the help of her daughter North West on their joint account – @kimandnorth – before going solo.
North, clearly the account’s creative director, enlists Kardashian’s help. In a clip with more than 4 million likes, the two lip-sync to Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold”.
Know your listeners
Goldsmith described her content as “youth focused” and said her page was “saturated with Gen Z viewers” after changing her content. While her account was once focused on yoga, jumping on trends has seen her viewership grow.
“After a year, I finally reached my audience goal,” she said. “A year ago I was ready to quit.”
Her younger audiences tell her she makes them “feel like it’s okay to be old” or that’s how they want to be when they’re older, she said.
However, she warned against trying “too hard”.
“Don’t be afraid – just be yourself,” she said. “You have to be authentic because the camera sees everything.”
The commentators too, of course.
“Gen Z is tough,” she continued, referring to the criticism she received. “For every 30 amazing comments and stuff like that, I have 10 that just hit the mark.”
So maybe don’t take it after superstar quarterback Tom Brady, who may be trying a little too hard to be hip despite having millions of views.
For those not lucky enough to be Super Bowl champions or achieve celebrity status, Goldsmith said to look for inspiration. “Find someone you really like — whether they’re younger, older, a star, or whoever that is — and base your content around what they do,” she said.
Goldsmith also advised having “a sense of humor” and just keep trying to find your sweet spot.
“It’s like anything you do in life: you have to practice it,” she said.