Kim Kardashian is proof you’re never too old for TikTok.
The 41-year-old patron saint of social media — who joined the app last week and racked up a few million followers in just a few days — is paving the way for 40-somethings and older to sign up for Gen Z’s playground.
But if it seems like that generation dominates TikTok — well, it’s because they do. According to the number-crunching 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 bashing Gen Z for their social media craze, Gen X and Baby Boomers are creeping into their territory — comprising approximately 30% of users on the app.
Kardashian joined the ranks of other 40-something celebrities on TikTok — including Reese Witherspoon, 46, and Kate Hudson, 43 — and even debuted her first clip, featuring her glam team, of course. After younger generations bullied older celebrities, like 63-year-old Madonna, for baring it all online, Kardashian’s arrival on TikTok may signal a new attitude toward people older than 25.
Kim Kardashian’s arrival on TikTok signals a new wave of nearly middle-aged — and older — content creators flocking to the app.Getty Images
While the average, noncelebrity parent might only be using the platform to watch clips, it’s not too late for them to start creating their own content on TikTok, which is the most downloaded app of 2022 so far.
At 54, TikTok star Tricia Goldsmith has racked up a whopping 2.7 million followers in just two years as @YourFitGrandma, reaching Gen Z viewers everywhere.
“Just because I’m over 50 and I’m a grandma doesn’t mean that I can’t cross over and do that younger crowd of music and stuff,” Goldsmith, who has always loved pop culture, told The Post.
In fact, she’s such a hit amongst younger generations, she said she’s easily recognized every time she leaves her Nevada home.
“I usually will look at the parent, and I’ll say, ‘I know you don’t know who I am, but your kids do,’ ” she said with a laugh.
Since she has hit 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 lay of the land
Let’s start with the basics.
Like any social media app, there’s a curated feed chock-full of recommended, trending videos. But just how do the invisible algorithm gods know what brings you “joy”?
What videos you like, share or comment on — as well as content you create and accounts you follow — all play into your unique “For You” page. Information such as geography, language, hashtags, captions and sounds also contribute to what you see, according to TikTok.
When it comes to reaching a targeted audience, then, Goldsmith said she seeks out a musical “sound” or audio clip that is getting the most engagement — also known as “trending” — and uses that.
“I go with what’s trending,” she said, adding that jumping on a trend early is best. “On my ‘For You’ page is more, like, younger genres of music, and I try to be the only older person that is in that trend.”
Mastering the tools
Getting geared up 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 equipment, Goldsmith wanted to copy their recipe for good-looking clips.
“I would look at videos and I’m, like, ‘Oh, I need to get a ring light.’ I’d see people with the purple lights in the background and I was, like, ‘OK, I just need to order some stuff off of Amazon,’ ” she said. “Really, my setup and things that I use are not expensive at all.”
Enlist some help
But good lighting, hair and makeup don’t ensure a viral video. For Goldsmith, she also had to learn to use video transitions and TikTok’s in-app editing tools.
“I’d see somebody do a transition, or they’re using 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 certain trend.”
And 92-year-old Lill Droniak — a k a @GrandmaDroniak, a sassy senior influencer with 4.2 million followers — also had the help of her grandson, Kevin, to show her the ropes.
“I had fun, so we kept doing it,” she told The Post. “I think TikTok is for all ages, so you’re never too old to start doing it. Just post anything, and see how people like it.”
Even celebrity parents — like Witherspoon — have relied on their Gen Z (or younger) kids on TikTok, whether they run an account themselves and focus on embarrassing their kids to generate millions of views, or they make 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 on her own.
North, clearly the creative director on the account, enlists the help of Kardashian. In one clip with more than 4 million likes, the pair rock out and lip-sync to Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold.”
Know your audience
Describing her content as “youth-driven,” Goldsmith said her page was “saturated with Gen Z” viewers after changing her content. While her account was once yoga-focused, jumping on trends made her viewership grow.
“After a year, I finally hit my goal of the audience,” she said. “I was ready to quit a year ago.”
Her younger audience tells her she makes them “feel like it’s OK to be old” or that they want to be like her when they’re older, she said.
But she warned against “trying too hard.”
“Don’t be afraid — just be yourself,” she said. “You have to be your authentic self because the camera sees everything.”
As do the commenters, of course.
“Gen Z is harsh,” she continued, referencing the critiques she receives. “For every 30 amazing comments and stuff, I have 10 that just go for the jugular.”
So perhaps don’t take after superstar quarterback Tom Brady, who may try a little too hard to be hip, despite getting millions of views.
For those not so lucky to be Super Bowl champs or attain socialite status, Goldsmith said to seek out inspiration. “Find somebody you really like — whether they be younger, older, a celebrity, whoever that may be — and you model your content after what they’re doing,” she said.
Goldsmith also advised having “a sense of humor” and just keep trying to find one’s sweet spot.
“It’s like anything you do in life: You have to practice at it,” she said.