It’s rare that a new social media platform comes to light and becomes mainstream, let alone one that adds value to a company’s social media strategy. With that being said, TikTok, and its video content capabilities, are currently taking the world by storm.
What is TikTok?
It’s a content-sharing app that allows users to create and upload short-form video content in many different formats. The content on the app can range from comedy, dancing, lip syncing, thought-sharing and much more. A few years back, this app was known as Music.ly. However, in 2018 the company merged with TikTok and completely rebranded – which is the form that took off and became what so many people love today.
You can create video content through uploading previous videos you’ve taken or recording directly from the app. Then, you can add in music or sound effects to make the content more engaging. There’s also options to add effects, hashtags, interact through comments and a variety of other features within the app.
A main reason TikTok really took off was due to the “trending” aspect of the app and how every individual person’s video content has a great chance of being amplified, as opposed to lost in the crowd with other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
The app targets Gen Z and younger demographics. However, older generations have found their place as well. There is a niche for every type of person, and because of TikTok’s algorithm and “For You” page, you’re likely to repeatedly find content that aligns with your interests. According to this article by Later, “TikTok’s biggest dance trends are now an integral part of popular culture — and for music artists, securing a viral trend on the platform can be enough to send their track downloads soaring. But TikTok trends aren’t just limited to dance routines. There are viral trends for almost everything: animals, lip syncs, fashion and beauty, transitions, fitness workouts and tips, comedy moments, camera hacks, pranks and challenges.”
Because of this, mainstream brands, businesses and companies have started to take notice and utilize the app for it’s marketing capabilities. TikTok has a ton of untapped potential and can be utilized to help your brand put out fresh, new content to its audience.
According to an article by Forbes, “We’ve all gotten so caught up in maximizing reach by growing a massive fan base through subscribers or followers, so it’s refreshing to have a platform with an algorithm that rewards content above all else. Because of that, it’s pushing meme culture to new heights, giving Gen Z a visible place to be themselves while allowing brands to inspire their fans in authentic, entertaining ways.”
How to Use TikTok Within Your Brand’s Marketing Efforts
Every social media platform has their own best practices for marketing. TikTok emphasizes more interactive content, as opposed to just straight promotion. Looking to get started? Here are seven best practices and tips for marketing your business on TikTok:
1.) Pay attention to the trends. This app is extremely focused on what’s trending and the majority of new content gets discovered through using specific music/sounds or hashtags. If you use a song or sound that a popular creator used and then apply it to your business in a creative way, you can draw a ton of attention. In this case, complete originality isn’t always the best move. However, this also makes it simple and easy to create content because you can take inspiration from what is currently receiving a ton of engagement.
2.) Utilize meme culture (if appropriate). This tip is really dependent on what your business is and the audience it serves. Gen Z is extremely prevalent on TikTok and they tend to enjoy meme culture. By taking a popular meme, phrase, dance, etc. and merging it to fit within your branding, users will be more entertained by your content. With that said, it’s important to identify if this is the best tactic for your individual brand.
For example, if you have a consumer-facing company with a younger audience, then this will be the perfect way to use TikTok for your marketing. Whereas, if you have a b2b company with an audience that tends to be an older demographic, another method would align better with your marketing goals. Evaluation of your target audience is key in this situation.
3.) Use this as an opportunity to put a face to a name. Consumers are proven to be more invested in a company when they can connect on a human level with them. TikTok is a great way to have executives in a company be silly and make themselves relatable to the public. It’s rare to see a CEO of a company dancing on the internet, but this platform has made this acceptable and a super fun way to interact with your audience. It helps with the “relatability” of your company and putting a face to the name can humanize your business and in turn, increase your sales.
4.) Find your niche. With an app that has so many different types of content and users, it’s important to identify what type of videos will best attract your audience as new followers. This process will probably be trial and error, as it could take a few months to find out what content performs the best for your company. However, there is no shortage of ideas. No matter what category your company falls into, there is a space for you and there are many directions you can go in.
For example, you can try out informative videos, such as tutorials or tips and tricks. Or instead, you could do funny content like memes or comedy videos. You could even do simple dances or just show off your employees’ different talents. Do you have a cute dog in the office? You could make cute videos of your dog pretending to work as a human employee. Pet content performs very well! There are so many possibilities and the main task will be figuring out what feels right for your company and what performs well.
5.) Take inspiration from other brands. There are a ton of businesses that have decided to take the plunge into TikTok and seen great success by doing so. Looking to them for examples is a great first step into identifying what content would work best for your brand. Huge media companies like The Washington Post have found great success in the app. Dave Jorgensen, the face of the Washington Post’s TikTok account, stated in this article by The Atlantic that he sees TikTok as, “a seemingly lighthearted side project that serves, sneakily, to reinforce the paper’s journalistic mission and draw in new readers. The average subscriber to the Post is, according to Jorgensen, “well over 40. So this is a really good way to, at the very least, get [younger people] to trust the brand or to know the brand.” Click here for more information on The Washington Post’s marketing strategy for using TikTok.
6.) Check out the competition. First, check and see if any other businesses within your industry are currently uploading video content on the app. Then, examine their content and see what performs the best. This will give you a great head start on your own page. This app is made for taking inspiration from others and making it your own – so there’s no shame in this!
7.) Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags. As mentioned above, there are many ways for an account with little to no followers to go viral on TikTok. You will notice that the use of hashtags is very prevalent when scrolling through each video. The main goal for any user is to have their video pop up on the coveted “For You” page, and this is actually not that difficult to do since every person’s page is formulated with the perfect variety of content just for them (based on what they have liked, shared or commented on in the past).
It’s great practice to always include a couple hashtags that are currently trending, one or two specifically related to your video and at least one that includes “#foryoupage” (or “#fyp” for short). If you need help with where to start, here is a comprehensive list of TikTok hashtags from Influencer Marketing Hub that can boost your content.
There are endless possibilities for your business on TikTok. Take the jump, sign up for an account, begin brainstorming some fun video content and of course, have fun while doing it. Who knows, you might even go viral.
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