TikTok has exploded onto the social media scene in the last few years, with over 500 million users. After launching in 2016, TikTok is reminiscent of the app Vine, in that it is a video platform where people can create and share short, edited videos, mostly using an existing template. While TikTok is primarily used by younger generations, plenty of businesses are getting involved in the booming app. With consumer charts indicating that many of their customers are from these younger generations, TikTok has become a fantastic way for businesses and promoters to engage with this younger market. Here are some tips on using TikTok to boost your business.
First, you need to understand how TikTok works
TikTok is an app that allows users to create and share short videos, allowed to be either 15 or 60 seconds long, or a photo. Users can like, comment, and share content amongst each other, and use hashtags to flag their videos to larger communities and categories, or participate in competitions. What makes TikTok different from other social media apps is that it is really fun and easy to create with. Users can lip-sync to their favorite songs, share clips of their day, sports highlights, music gigs, etc. Before creating a business profile, create an individual one for yourself and test out the functions – in the world of the internet, one mistake from a company can blacklist them forever. By testing out the platform first, you’ll get your bearings and can see what other similar companies are doing.
Incorporating TikTok into Your Digital Strategy
After getting familiar with the platform, it is time to start creating a digital strategy for bringing your business onto the app. Since TikTok is a light-hearted and fun app, make sure that your content is fun and creative. “Highly-polished videos go largely unnoticed; what viewers on TikTok want is simple, fun, and genuine content. A great example is the UK cosmetic retailer Lush, who use TikTok to show off their products by video demonstrations with fun music and bright colors,” explains Gabriella Ramos, a marketer at PhDKingdom.
The videos parody the company’s known reputation for being overbearing towards customers who have just walked in. For example, Lush had the staff of various stores re-enact the popular Pink Windmill Kids meme. They also post shorter musical videos introducing new products, like the “Sex Bomb” video shown above, demonstrating the bath bomb fizzing and coloring a pool of water bright pink. They also publish videos on how to get free products from them and other tips and tricks, making customers feel as though they are part of a secret group when they follow their social media.
Use Hashtags to Go Viral
Aside from demonstrations, a few businesses have blown up on TikTok by utilizing hashtags to create challenges. Before TikTok boomed in the US, McDonald’s food chain created a contest on TikTok in Malaysia called the #BigMakTikTokChallenge. Users would upload dances or lip syncs to pre-recorded #BigMacTikTok music clips in order to win prizes. By creating a fun challenge, users will share their own videos linked to your hashtag to their followers, increasing visibility and engaging with potential customers.
This challenge was so popular that it made many people in Malaysia set up TikTok accounts just to participate in it, greatly contributing to the popularity of TikTok in Malaysia.
Get Creative with Your Content!
Since TikTok users want to see authenticity and creative content, you don’t need to invest in high-tech equipment or spent hours creating polished content. Part of the reason TikTok is a great tool for digital marketing is that by simply using a smartphone, taking a few short, catchy videos, and pairing with trending music, you can make an impact on a wide audience in seconds. Pay attention to viewer and user feedback, and let that influence the direction your content takes. Like Lush, re-enact a fitting meme or two and watch your business go viral.
Partner with TikTok Influencers
As with other leading social media apps, TikTok has users who are deemed ‘Influencers’, as they have large followings they can influence. Influencers can promote your brand, product, and company in their unique video styles, giving you a new audience and higher visibility. “Younger generations are nearly immune to traditional advertising, and wary of companies that utilize it. Working with influencers can help make connections and promote your brand in a more authentic way to this generation of users,” says Daniella Hips, a social media marketer at 1Day2Write. A great example of this is the burrito company Chipotle, who collaborated with TikTok influencer David Dobrik for a hashtag campaign #ChipotleLidFlip, which challenged users to flip their lids. This challenge, in particular, got over 100,000 submissions and over 230 million views on TikTok.
The hashtag is now so popular that people are using it in less relevant TikTok videos. It still gets many new hits a day.
Why Join TikTok now?
In the US, this app is just starting to boom, so by joining now you will be ahead of the trend. Unlike the oversaturated markets of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, TikTok is easier to stand out on and cheaper to advertise with. This platform is fun and fresh, allowing you to play with the more creative side of your business and product while increasing audiences and viewership.