Crewmate art by @thisishannako

Deconstructing Among Us’ TikTok Strategy 🎵

Breaking down over 15 million likes, 2 million followers, and what worked (…or didn’t!)

Hi!

Follow the account here.
  • Among Us had no official presence on the app before, and joined a bit late to when the content was the most popular on TikTok.
  • Core Innersloth team consists of 9 people including me, and we get a TON of outside help for player support, merch, business development, etc. Community touches upon on all of these things to varying degrees and it absolutely makes my job easier and contributes to growth.
  • I’m currently the sole person handling the social media accounts for Among Us, with help from mods for Discord. However my job is MORE than just social media —community design, partner work, branding, strategies, campaigns, marketing, PR, etc. There’s a lot to get done so keep in mind I am unable to put as much time as I would like into content creation sometimes.

Disclaimers

  • My experience with Among Us is unreliable data. Take everything I say with giant fistfuls of salt! I’m privileged to be working with a popular game with a large playerbase, so plenty of my advice may be survivorship bias.
  • I can’t say TikTok actually does anything in terms of sales for Among Us. When we go viral on TikTok, there isn’t a clean “this is how many more game sales we got” or “we got X number of people joining our Discord because of this” like a number of other indie games. Among Us’ visibility is too large to notice a sizeable dent from a viral TikTok (very privileged position!! We are grateful.) I certainly check backend stats to see if any changes in player count, but those often fluctuate on their own for an endless amount of reasons. So the goal for us isn’t visibility on TikTok — it’s maintenance, engagement, and sustainability. Keep in mind this affects the kinds of content I post and my posting strategy.

✨ 1. Content Types ✨

There are 5 main buckets I’d pool my game development TikToks down to, which are:

  • Personality: Videos hopping on trends or having fun with the community.
  • Behind-The-Scenes: Showing off more developer focused looks at the game and what goes into making it.
  • Gameplay: Videos that focus on game content that is already out.
  • Misc: Anything else — reactions, showing off Among Us merchandise, etc.
  • Consistency. Shot in the dark, but I think it’s beneficial for a TikTok account to have 1 person (or character) continually and distinctly appear videos. Scrolling through videos is quick and not everyone checks the username/profile pic, so a distinct face someone immediately associates with your TikTok account helps people identify your content easily. Most accounts on the platform, after all, are centered around 1–2 people making content, and is the one platform where it’s not weird to continually show your face everytime you post. (Imagine if we tweeted selfies everytime we had a game update lol.) If you don’t want to show your face, use consistent elements — certain lighting, a distinctive mark, an object, etc.
  • Hook. The first 1–3 seconds of a video is extremely important, so you want to front load your video with the most interesting thing possible. That doesn’t even have to be visual! It could be a question — “how did I make feet move in my game?”, “hidden details in Among Us”, “everyone hates this task”, “what to expect in the next Among Us update”, “times I used the Among Us account for my own personal gain”. Basically, pose an idea and use the rest of the video to expand on it.
  • Trends. The beauty of using a viral trend on TikTok is that that is your hook — will the beginning not seem interesting at all? That’s fine! People know something is coming due to the sound or content of it and will tend to stick around. Examples include the Adult Swim trend.

✨ 2. Content Case Breakdown ✨

Now that we have an understanding of the content types and our brand voice, let’s look at some numbers.

The fact it’s an exact 50/50 split brings me great joy.

Game Updates

Game updates, by far, get the highest engagement and share rate for Among Us. Not a shock, but the difficulty here is how to make a game update interesting — especially when you don’t have much to show for it or you need it to be keep people informed about bug fixes.

Vent Task

Goal: Let players know a small bug update was coming out soon.

Watch the full version here.

Results:

  • Originally posted on: June 30, 2021, 2:10pm PT
  • 8.8 million views
  • 1.4 million likes
  • 49.2k comments
  • 23.1k shares

Thoughts:

  • Centered the entire update around the vent task, which is a running joke excuse in the community when an Impostor jumps out of a vent. This made it more interesting than just a casual bug update full of fixes.

Game Bugs

Goal: Explain we were aware of the enormous game breaking bugs that occured after an update, and that it as being fixed but people needed to keep their game updated.

Watch full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: March 10, 2021, 6:05pm PT
  • 1.9 million views
  • 367.1k likes
  • 6.8k comments
  • 2.1k shares

Thoughts:

  • Hooked onto a trending meme at the time, which was Hayloft (great song) and the gesture.
  • Made fun of the fact we completely broke the game, which people took well to.
  • Successfully conveyed information about keeping the game updated and that were were aware with the problems with a meme.
  • Got a lot of software developers relating to the video too haha.

New Colours

Goal: Tease the upcoming colours coming to Among Us.

Watch full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: June 3, 2021, 1:06pm PT
  • 886k views
  • 163.7k likes
  • 6812 comments
  • 2891 shares

Thoughts:

  • While it didn’t do terribly, a more interactive TikTok probably would’ve gone over better — some sort of voting system, maybe?
  • Pretty standstill, no real hook or personality to it other than waiting for colours to come out.

Personality

These TikToks are more wildly varied in terms of virality. That’s okay though — the point of these TikToks isn’t necessarily to get big numbers (though it’s always nice), but to solidify our tone with the community and create that connection as an indie studio. That’s a huge advantage of Among Us being a surprise hit with a tiny team — it really is just a tiny group of us trying our best. These mainly feature me, but I’m working on getting the team on it too if they’re down (e.g. this old clip)! It’s just difficult when we are all so busy.

Nervous

Goal: Acknowledge that at the time, the only question I was ever seeing was when the new map was going to come out, and I was getting anxious.

Watch full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: Feb 24 2021, 11:16am PT
  • 1.4 million views
  • 269.2k likes
  • 5.7k comments
  • 523 shares

Thoughts:

  • Hopped onto the trend while it was still timely
  • The self-awareness went over well, and people were very nice about it haha.

Twitter

Goal: Show off our Twitter account and share our appreciation for other games. Also just show them that I was a human reading their comments.

Watch full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: June 8 2021, 4:06pm PT
  • 532k views
  • 99.8k likes
  • 2023 comments
  • 229 shares

Thoughts:

  • The video was quite long, only 15.4% of people actually finished it.
  • I don’t think I was particularly eloquent in this video, probably could’ve actually scripted it out so that I’d have more snappy lines or clever quips.
  • However, the comments were still really fun and engaging, so overall a win in terms of getting the community to know us a little bit better.

Streamers & Pandemic

Goal: Show people that we weren’t prepared for the Among Us blow up at all either!

Watch full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: March 16 2021, 9:44am PT
  • 1.9 million views
  • 473.5k likes
  • 5144 comments
  • 1444 shares

Thoughts:

  • Thought this was interesting because it’s one of the few TikToks I’ve gotten that had Sound as a source of traffic.
  • Hopped onto the trend while it was still relatively new.
  • Generated quite a bit of discussion about how we actually blew up.

Behind-The-Scenes

Videos in this category are the poorest performing ones. Is it because I’m not making these right? Possibly! Is it also because sometimes I’m simply answering questions with no other visual aids? Yep! Or is it because the majority of our community cares about *new* items, not old ones? Also that.

Question

Goal: Answer questions from our TikToks for community knowledge and for them to see I pay attention to the comments.

Watch full version here.

Results:

  • Originally posted on: June 28 2021, 3:14pm PT
  • 361.2k views
  • 50.4k likes
  • 1.7k comments
  • 58 shares

Thoughts:

  • It have been a better hook if I had shown gameplay while talking about this and not just my face, but alas, I remember it being quite busy and I just didn’t have the time to do more. That’s okay though! It just means this could be a future video with more effort put in later.
  • I don’t know, maybe the answer was too long? I wasn’t feeling particularly clever with my response here.

Old Concepts

Goal: Show a little of the behind-the-scenes work we’ve done.

Watch the full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: May 4 2021, 9:51am PT
  • 379.2k views
  • 72.8k likes
  • 1969 comments
  • 232 shares

Thoughts:

  • Since all of the images were quite static, there wasn’t TOO much going on or eye catching. Also I don’t think my explanations were that amusing. Could’ve been better?

Gameplay

These are specific focuses on, uh, gameplay! It straight up takes content from the game and plops it into a fun little video.

Food details

Goal: Show off the tiny, charming details in Among Us that people may have missed.

Watch the full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: Feb 19 2021, 9:58am PT
  • 1.7 million views
  • 284.8k likes
  • 5385 comments
  • 794 shares

Thoughts:

  • Lots of people referencing the forbidden soup, which was a joke I hid in there.
  • A peek at the new map at the time!

Anxious Impostor

Goal: Riff off the joke that our game makes some people super anxious.

Watch the full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: May 4 2021, 9:51am PT
  • 738.4k views
  • 119.1k likes
  • 2430 comments
  • 1094 shares

Thoughts:

  • Didn’t do well on the FYP page, yet still hit decent numbers according to traffic sources of people going onto our profile and being interested by it. Hints to me that people will often click on the Among Us profile and scroll through our videos looking for interesting titles.

Misc.

Among Us has plenty of other things to talk about — whether it’s dueting videos or showing off new merchanise. I don’t do this as much, but it’s proved to be more successful than I thought!

Watch the full version here.

Result:

  • Originally posted on: May 4 2021, 9:51am PT
  • 2 million views
  • 397.5k likes
  • 22.8k comments
  • 13.6k shares

Thoughts:

  • Honestly I think it’s just the merch speaking for itself — it’s really cute!
  • … Okay some people also had dirty minds, which added to the view count and shares, probably lol.
Couldn’t resist responding.

Stats Overview

So for the TikToks I discussed above, here are their stats in one table.

  • However, Game Update Tiktoks get the most visibility overall.
  • The most shareable content was the Water Bottle (Misc) video, which makes sense since people probably wanted people to see the merch and possibly buy it.
  • The second most shareable content was anything involving Game Updates, likely because people would want to share it with friends and communities they are part of.
  • Behind-the-scenes content should be the videos I produce the least of or change the way I handle those videos
  • Gameplay is a solid middle-of-the-road content I can produce for when I am running low on video ideas and need filler content
  • The FYP page is obviously the best place to be in for visibility, but once people are on your profile page, having content that interests them will help boost stats.

One Bad TikTok

What would a case analysis look like without at least prodding one of my bad TikToks, right? Right!

My quest for a new phone continues, and it’d probably go faster if I actually asked Innersloth directly hehe.

✨ 3. Comments ✨

Speaking of comments, I’m not going to lie — one of the hardest parts of running the TikTok account in the beginning was seeing all the “dead game” comments. While there is the ability to filter comments, it doesn’t necessarily work all the time nor is it desirable. And unlike Twitter, where I could selectively respond to comments and that would pop them up to the top, the first TikTok comments you see aren’t determined by if the creator responds, but by how many likes it gets (and probably other factors).

Crying in da club.
  • Respond to way more positive comments than negative ones, and only respond to negative ones if they’re clearly not moving from the top
  • If you can respond to negative comments nicely, do it
Left: Me responding to as many popular negative comments as possible ||| Right: The shift in comments I started to see afterwards.

✨ 4. Miscellaneous Tips ✨

Whew, almost at the end! Here are a few last tips I have that didn’t really fit anywhere else. Keep in mind a lot of my recommendations below are not actually confirmed by TikTok, but my best guesses.

  • Talk and engage with others in your target demographic and/or relevant hashtags. You generally want to fall in the algorithmic pool of people who are interested in the type of content you post and will engage with it. Not only is engaging with content outside of yours beneficial and contributing to the community itself, but it’ll help adjust the kinds of videos you see on your FYP and hopefully get you in front of more relevant eyes. Plus it’s a lot of fun for people to see you, as a studio,engage with them!
  • Try again. You never know what kind of content will land! Experiment! I can give you all the tips and best practices in the world and none of it is going to matter unless you try it out for yourself and see what works for you. For example I love how Jacob Janerka’s TikTok videos have absolutely exploded, and you can see the turning point in the view count when you scroll down. For good reason too — he’s hilarious. I die everytime. The fact he made Paradigm, is working on a new game, AND is amazing with social media is killing me. We’ve never talked and I don’t actually know anything about him but if anyone knows him, tell him I’m a big fan of the content. Okay this is turning into a weird section. Sorry. I digress.
  • Best time to post? I’m generally less concerned about this, but I’ve found right around 12pm or later in the day (evening) works best. That being said, experimenting is recommended — TikTok will give you the times the people who follow you are most active in your analytics. However, I haven’t found this to necessaily be the make-or-break stat.
It seems our followers are most active at around 1pm PT!

✨ 5. Ending Thoughts ✨

I don’t think I’m particularly good at TikTok, honestly. This isn’t me dissing myself— this is to say that I do my best when I fail and experiment. I don’t have some magical skill at being good at content creation. I only know basic video editing. But I try, and on most platforms, that’s going to take you far.

Community Director at Innersloth, creators of Among Us. Fascinated by compassion, ethics, and making better online communities. ✨ victoriatran.com