It started out as a mindless way to pass the time — endless scrolling through videos of youngsters doing wildly inappropriate dances and maybe a talking cat. It surprised many of us that TikTok absolutely blew up and has ended up being a lot more than we initially suspected.
To say businesses have jumped on the bandwagon is an understatement. They've thrown themselves at it and also offered it their first-born, for good measure. It's become an integral part of online marketing.
Are you considering following the crowd? We don't blame you. Let's talk about how you can use TikTok for business to maximize your reach, engagement, and impact.
TikTok for Business: 3 Tips to Make it Work for Your Brand
1. Ride the Coattails of What's Trending and Going Viral
Yes, coming up with original content is always a good idea. (More on that in a minute.) But TikTok can be overwhelming, to say the least. The platform gives you so much creative freedom and power that paralysis by analysis takes hold. Three hours into playing with it and you haven't posted a single Tok.
Follow the leaders, instead! Here are a few suggestions.
Go to the Discovery page to find trending hashtags and sounds. Use these to amplify your reach.
You can also use the search feature to look up the topic or industry you're interested in creating content around. View by the top posts, as well as relevant users, videos, sounds, and hashtags.
Using these two methods can make it much easier to see what kind of content is already winning on the platform. Use this as inspiration to create your own. Or! Find a Tok you love and stitch or duet with it, if applicable. Stitch means that you attach your own content after someone else's. (So essentially, you take someone else's Tok and add your own to it.) Duet means that your content is playing at the same time.
Here's an example of a stitch.
And here's an example of a duet.
It can feel so overwhelming to come up with your own content from scratch. Until you get the hang of using TikTok for business, see what other people are up to and use that to help get the creative juices flowing.
2. Use Hashtags Strategically
Hashtags play a pretty prominent role on TikTok. This means that you can seriously leverage them to reach more people and boost your engagement.
Many users will default to the hashtags #FYP and/or #ForYouPage. They're doing this in hopes that they'll land on the "For You" page, which could mean insane exposure. But here's the problem. Check out the numbers next to the hashtags.
Billions upon billions of people are using these hashtags. There's way too much competition, making these hashtags very saturated at this point. This means that you're going to have a really hard time standing out here.
Now, we're not saying you shouldn't use them at all. However, you definitely shouldn't rely on them too heavily. The smaller your following is, the less pull you have. This means that you need to be going after hashtags that have a smaller reach.
Let's do an example. Maybe LSM wants to post a social media tip on TikTok. We consider using #socialmedia in our post, which — at the time of this blog — has been viewed on the platform 1.5 billion times.
Is it a popular hashtag? Absolutely. Is it going to bring us a ton of visibility? Probably not. However, if we also throw in #socialmediamarketingbusiness, which currently has 284,500 views, now we're talking.
Don't be afraid to get hyper-specific with your hashtags. Smaller numbers aren't a bad thing. You have to remember that you're not really trying to get everyone's attention. You're trying to get the attention of your target market. Using hashtags specific to them will tell TikTok who you are and what your page is about. This, as a result, makes it easier for the platform to show your content to people who matter to you.
3. Post a Ton of Content and See What Resonates
You know the proverbial spaghetti that you throw against the wall to see what sticks? Get busy boiling some noodles, friend.
The really cool thing about TikTok is that when you post something new, it shows it to a small "test" audience. If that audience likes it, then TikTok will show it to more and more people. And it all just snowballs.
Conversely, this means that if your content sucks (it happens to all of us), then TikTok will stop showing your content to people.
The best approach, then, is to post frequently. Don't be discouraged when your 17-year-old nephew is the only person to watch some of your Toks, because others are going to blow up. If you look on any user's page, you're going to see some posts that significantly outperform others. This is normal!
Here's an example from Mr. Mortimer. Two of his (very adorable, entirely too hilarious) posts went viral, while the others were in the lower hundred-thousands. (Still impressive, TBH.)
TikTok is a pretty unique platform; and despite the fact that it's largely used by a younger audience (roughly one-third are in their teens), it continues to grow in popularity among all age groups and generations. There's a reason why some of the biggest brands you know are pouring astronomical amounts of money into advertising on the platform.
Managing your social media can feel overwhelming. Seriously, who has the time for this?