To keep up with the times, brands need to stay current with social media trends and platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now TikTok. That last one is giving businesses the best opportunity to go viral.
Known for its short 15-second videos aimed at Gen Z, TikTok is drawing attention from older generations who are joining in on the trend. With over 1 billion active users worldwide, it continues to be one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. And a whopping 93 percent of users have taken action after viewing a TikTok video.
Forget FOMO and get your business TikTok ready.
Why businesses should use TikTok
There are numerous benefits to having a TikTok business account, such as increasing your brand awareness, engaging employees and extending the life of your business. TikTok is a social media platform that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Quickly increase business awareness.
Increasing brand awareness is a perpetual business goal, but what if you could complete your goal overnight, in a week or in a few short months? If your audience is on TikTok, it’s possible no matter the size of your business.
If you are unsure whether or not TikTok is suitable for your company, see if your competitors are having success on the platform. If they are, it might be time to give TikTok a try.
Once you choose TikTok as a social platform, study TikTok trends. How do they align with your company?
After answering that, you need to develop a steady content calendar and spend extra time on the platform to keep the momentum going. Participating in interactive live streams, responding to comments and questions, commenting on relevant TikTok accounts, following trends, and using polls and questions will help cement your place on the social media platform.
Is your company lacking a robust online presence? If your business tends to get lost in the crowd, starting a TikTok account and staying consistent with posting can get you out of a creative rut.
You only need a smartphone and the TikTok app to post short videos. Make sure any creative ideas you post are original and follow your brand’s messaging. Then, take some creative liberties. TikTok users appreciate the creative effort and will reward you for your vulnerability.
Share high-ranking TikTok videos to other social media platforms, i.e., directly to your Instagram Stories, post them on your website, or embed them in your email newsletter.
Educate your target audience.
Your audience is eager to learn, and TikTok users enjoy hacks and insider information in short, easy-to-digest bursts. It’s good to keep your target audience in mind when making educational videos.
Choose topics that are meaningful or solve a problem. The better you connect with your audience, the more you will be rewarded in likes, follows and algorithm accuracy.
Maintaining employee morale can be difficult when mundane tasks and communication are inconsistent. Involving employees in TikTok content can boost creativity and encourage employee engagement.
Use your employees to develop content ideas like educational videos and comedy sketches. Employee involvement gives your company authenticity, and users are likelier to relate to your team than to management.
Connect with Generation Z.
Over 78 percent of TikTok users are under 40, according to Wallroom Media. So, if you want to grow your Gen Z audience, TikTok is one of the fastest ways.
Increasing conversions among younger generations can help your company stay relevant and ensure revenue for the long haul.
How to create a TikTok Business Account
You can easily create a TikTok business account. The first step is to download and open the TikTok App.
We recommend taking this step even if you’re still deciding whether to commit to social media. Reserving your business name can help decrease confusion from people finding your brand in the future.
Once you have the app downloaded and opened, follow the steps below. If you already have a personal account, skip to Step 4.
- Create a personal account.
- Tap “Me” in the lower right corner, then edit the profile by choosing a profile pic and adding a bio and other social media links.
- Switch to a business account by tapping the three dots in the upper right corner, then Manage Account.
- Tap “Switch to Pro Account” and choose Business or Creator.
- Pick the best category that describes your business.
- Add a website and email address.
Familiarize yourself with the platform.
Now that you have your account, familiarize yourself with the platform:
- Browse relevant videos on the For You page.
- Play around with filters, effects and advanced editing.
- Read up on TikTok video trends.
Get your game face on.
Learning and benefitting from TikTok is the same as any social media platform. However, once you sign up and understand the inner workings, you must apply this knowledge to your specific business.
Consider the following before posting your first video:
- Who is your target audience, and how does your audience overlap and correspond with Gen Z?
- Are your competitors already on TikTok? What videos performed well?
TikTok dos and don’ts for business
Do create the majority of videos yourself.
Most videos on your business TikTok account should be created by you or a team member within your company. TikTok users prefer authentic videos without a lot of editing.
Choose team members that connect with an online audience. The more likable they are, the faster your audience will grow. Choose video topics like comedy, company fails and audience challenges to increase engagement.
Don’t over-edit your videos, fill your account with company sales ads or produce discriminatory content. Always get a second opinion before your post. Nixing a video before it goes live is more manageable than fixing a PR nightmare.
Do celebrate follower content.
Once your company becomes a regular staple on TikTok creating videos that resonate and make people laugh, users may try to imitate your videos. User-created videos can exponentially grow your channel and offer free advertising too.
Don’t forget to interact with active followers. You can target your engaged audience for special promotions, exclusive releases and to say thank you.
Do use the advertising and shopping platform.
In 2020, TikTok launched its advertising platform called TikTok for Business. You can take advantage of several different ad options:
- Brand takeover: Take over TikTok for the day with images, GIFs, linked videos and hashtag challenges.
- Hashtag challenges: Use branded hashtags to increase brand awareness.
- Branded effects: Make use of lenses that can be placed in the foreground and background of videos.
TikTok Shopping (2022) allows users to buy products without leaving the app. Users can select their favorite brand’s page and click on a shopping bag icon via a tab on the brand’s page. Users can then view the product and immediately be forwarded to the checkout process through the TikTok app or redirected to the brand’s online store.
Don’t focus solely on TikTok advertising and TikTok Shopping before establishing your brand on TikTok. Failing to provide users with a consistent content calendar can limit the reach and stunt your ROI from the advertising and shopping features.
Do partner with influencers.
While you might not have the budget to hire a top influencer right away, adding this option to a business TikTok account that is established can help take your brand to the next level.
When looking for influencers who are a good fit for your brand, look for those who meet the following criteria:
- They have an engaged audience.
- They have worked in or with your industry.
- They have a passion for your product/service mission.
TikTok Creator Marketplace uses analytics to help brands connect with relevant partners. You can access detailed influencer stats such as engagement, reach, view, demographics and more.
Once you’ve chosen an influencer, make sure you can approve the content they are creating, mutually agree on a timeline, and have the resources to measure the ROI from the campaign.
Don’t spend money you don’t have on a top TikTok influencer. Working with an influencer is only one of the many ways you can grow your target audience with TikTok.
Examples of businesses using TikTok successfully.
Several businesses in industries across the board are thriving on TikTok. Chipotle, Adidas and HP are just a few examples of how engaging TikTok users can help ensure the longevity of brands and increase engagement.
TikTok has more active users than Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Pinterest and Snapchat.
- Number of videos: 280+
- Number of followers: 2.1 million
- Number of likes: 49.8 million
Chipotle was looking for a way to engage with its customers personally. When the company noticed it was mentioned repeatedly on TikTok, it created a Business Account.
Chipotle uses a casual approach by making videos that look less like an advertisement and more like a message from a friend. Behind-the-scenes footage and comedy content round out the account.
Along with videos, Chipotle has participated in successful Branded Hashtag Challenges such as #LidFlipChallenge and #GuacDance.
- Type of campaign: Influencer
- Number of impressions: 57 million
- Brand safety rate: 99.9 percent
- Brand suitability rate: 99.9 percent
Adidas used TikTok to create brand awareness around its influencer partnership with basketball superstar Candace Parker. The campaign communicated with a targeted audience of sports-minded people between 18 and 34.
TikTok influencers generally charge less for partnerships than influencers from social platforms like Instagram. Now is an excellent time to take advantage of the cost savings while still receiving significant reach.
TikTok uses an AI inventory filter so advertisers like Adidas can have more control over the companies they advertise alongside and ensure a positive brand reputation. TikTok provided Adidas with the platform to reach over 50 million impressions while keeping a nearly perfect brand safety and suitability rate.
- Hashtag Challenge video views: 1.4 billion
- Engagement rate: 18 percent
- Ad recall: +5.9 percent
- Brand favorability: +1.9 percent
Consumers are interested in brands that focus on sustainability. For example, HP is a technology company that reuses plastics as part of its pledge to reduce its carbon footprint.
Currently, over 50 of its products include plastic that would have ended up in the ocean. HP used TikTok to get the message out to educate consumers about its mission.
HP was able to leverage TikTok to engage users to make videos through a Branded Hashtag Challenge called #HPRadicalReuse. Users were asked to make videos on how they reuse plastic daily. The hashtag challenges encourage content that can be linked to the hashtag challenge, educate users on various ways to reuse, and positively connect users to take care of the planet.
With the Branded Hashtag Challenge, HP used One Day Max In-Feed Ads (36 million views in a single day) and Reach & Frequency Spark Ads (4.4 million views) to maximize ROI. While HP’s reach amassed over a billion views during the campaign, it is still being viewed after the campaign. The video now has over 9 billion views.
While all the numbers are impressive, the most remarkable stat is what TikTok can do for its brand reputation. After the HP campaign, according to a Brand Lift Study, there was a nearly 2 percent increase in brand favorability, proving that engaging your audience in social causes gets people talking and can significantly increase revenue.