Using TikTok to Promote Your Business

With so many social media platforms available nowadays, it can be tempting to create accounts for your business on every single one to reach more viewers. However, managing social media accounts takes a significant amount of time, so it makes far more sense to focus on those most popular amongst your target audience. A relatively newcomer to the field is TikTok, an app designed for the sharing of short 15 to 60-second videos. Given that the content primarily consists of comedic skits and challenges, it may seem like a strange place to market your business. Yet some businesses have found great success on the app, some becoming viral sensations.

If you’re contemplating entering the world of TikTok, pursue these three main strategies. 

1) Promote User Generated Content With Challenges and Hashtags

For businesses that don’t have the means to create large amounts of promotional content, it might be best to rely on your customers for material. The simplest way to encourage the creation of such content is by simply sharing existing videos that depict your products and services in a positive light. If you’re interested in a more intentional hands-on approach, TikTok has a convenient feature for business owners that allows them to launch a hashtag campaign. That means people will be prompted within the app to create videos highlighting a specific hashtag.

In some cases, hashtag campaigns conclude with some form of end goal or prize to help motivate users to participate, but that isn’t always necessary. Fashion brand Guess launched an extremely successful hashtag campaign asking their customers to model their favorite Guess denim, sharing their looks in TikTok videos tagged #InMyDenim. The campaign resulted in over 5,550 user generated videos, which netted 10.5 million views and increased engagement rates as people raced to publish their own takes on the challenge.

2) Pay For Advertisements on the Platform

Another option is to pay for actual advertisements on the platform. These adverts can be displayed in many different places. Some promos appear when users first access the app. These are referred to as brand takeovers, as opposed to in-feed videos, which pop up as users navigate down their feed after a period of time.

The TikTok ads platform allows you to define several parameters for your campaign, such as your main objective and budget, as well as your target audience. This helps to ensure that your brand isn’t promoted to people to whom your products and services are irrelevant, such as those from a specific age group.

3) Create Your Own Content and Publish Regularly

Depending on the resources you have at your disposal, you might prefer interacting directly with your customer base. In that case, you can create an actual account on the app. TikTok gives business owners the option to verify their accounts. While this is not required, it gives you more credibility on the platform, in addition to granting you access to other features. Once your account has been created and successfully verified, you can start publishing content.

While creativity is certainly encouraged, using humor is key when trying to reach viewers on TikTok. Having members of your team take part in trending challenges is a great way to make your brand relatable; consumers like seeing companies that are willing to let their guard down and be silly. Another thing to keep in mind is that the inclusion of children and pets is always popular.

Aside from the above advertising features, TikTok also allows the use of branded filters to further your presence on the app. 

Building Your Brand on TikTok

If you decide to go through with creating an account, there are a few different components you should need to take into account. TikTok allows you to customize several aspects of your profile, including your username, profile picture, and bio. Make sure your choices reflect your brand so that people can recognize who you are after navigating to your page. For example, including your logo in your profile picture and using the name of your business as your username is a great start. TikTok also allows you to link additional social media sites so that new viewers can easily follow you on other platforms.

Anytime social media is used for promotional purposes, users tend to place extra scrutiny upon the content. It’s important to be authentic and relatable. A business that doesn’t understand common references or misuses terms native to the platform is immediately labeled as an outsider. Decide what type of content on TikTok best matches the personality of your brand, then be consistent.

Is TikTok Right For You?

Despite all the tools and features TikTok offers to businesses, you might still be wondering whether or not it’s a viable avenue for your business in particular. The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not your target audience is on the app. While TikTok is popular with people from all demographics, users are primarily between the ages of 16-24. If you’re looking to target the Millennial and Gen Z generations, then this is a great place to dive in.

You also need to determine whether or not the overall tone of the app is compatible with your brand. TikTok is filled with online memes and jokes. In order to relate to users, it’s necessary to avoid seeming overly corporate and showcase a youthful, more lighthearted angle instead. Even organizations that have traditionally represented themselves in a more serious manner, like the Washington Post, have found great success utilizing silly, absurdist humor in their posts. While their videos are a stark contrast to the professional persona on display at their website, they are consistent with their content creation on TikTok, allowing them to continue being perceived as authentic.