TikTok, a social media app that just celebrated its first birthday, is the newest social media network to find success. Formerly known as Musical.ly, the app has become a place for short-form and long-form videos and memes to find an audience and grow, similar to Vine in the early 20teens.
Two-thirds of TikTok’s users are under 30, with about half being Gen Z, reports Forbes. But from pre-teens to grandparents, there are representatives of every generation on the app. No matter the user age, there is a cult-like enthusiasm to TikTok users, and being on the app can score cool points for songs (like Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”), clothing and makeup trends (“e boys” versus “soft boys”), and even giant organizations (like the NBA). Learn more about using TikTok for your business today.
How to Brand Your Business’ TikTok
There is no easy answer to if your business should be on TikTok. You have to ask if your brand agrees with what the app’s styles demand. Below are different ways you can showcase your business through 15- to 60-second videos.
Of course, the main feature of TikTok is memes. Songs emerge with a specific format, and over the course of just hours the meme’s format can evolve. If your brand voice is used to pop culture and casual attitudes, jumping in on memes can be a great way to attract younger audiences to your business.
Behind the Scenes
Businesses with an interesting background, such as shows, sports, or even zoos, can TikTok things that visitors wouldn’t normally see. Athletic teams post player interviews, and zookeepers share their daily routines with wild animals. The Washington Post has a TikTok account where they both join in on popular memes and also share humor-based clips to give users a peek into life working at The Washington Post.
Some businesses share instructional content on how their services are performed, such as metalworkers and cosmetologists. Others, such as dog trainers and interior designers, make TikToks with step-by-step instructions on how a viewer can get the results the business achieved.
Providing a Resource
Businesses can also use their accounts to give feedback or useful information. This includes chefs giving recipes or duetting users with tips to make their meals better and hairstylists duetting users with suggestions for their own makeovers.
TikTok Tips and Tricks to Consider
The “For You Page”
TikTok is a humor and entertainment-based platform. If your content isn’t engaging or interesting to users, your videos won’t receive much traction, which is important for being on the good side of TikTok’s algorithm.
There are three ways to see videos in the app: the Following page, searching through the Discover page, and the For You page, which is the most commonly used. The For You page uses an algorithm to show users content they are most likely to enjoy seeing, and it operates much like Instagram’s endless scrolling (jokes about accidentally being on the app for 4 hours aren’t a joke). There’s no science or art to getting onto the For You page, but if your video begins to get quick and high engagement, it will appear on the page for more users and continue to grow in views.
The thing that makes TikTok stand out from other apps is that it’s more authentic. It has dark humor and lighthearted, effortless jokes coming together. The app has a loyal (and addicted) following, where most users joined “as a joke” and now find themselves looking forward to TikTok time. High production value isn’t necessary (though a perfect loop or impressive effect will always rack up likes).
Unlike other social media apps, there isn’t much location value on TikTok. Users in New Orleans can see posts from Berlin, Moscow, and Shanghai one after another. If your business provides a location-specific service and is looking for a social media account with ROI, having a TikTok may not be for you.
Time and Effort
While the videos may be just 15 seconds, it can take hours to put together a good TikTok (or even a not-so-good one). Getting the right take, mastering the lip sync, making the text overlay timed perfectly all require a lot of effort—and that may be more time than you have to spend on an extraneous marketing effort that isn’t guaranteed to be seen.
So Should Your Business Be on TikTok?
At the end of the day, we cannot say if being on TikTok is or is not the right idea for your business. If you’re looking for a fun and original way to make content and try to get your name out there, give it a shot. But if you’re looking for a surefire way to drive new business, traditional digital marketing efforts, such as social media and search engine optimization, may be the way to go.