How to use TikTok for business

How to use TikTok for business

As TikTok takes the social media world by storm, learn how your business can reap unexpected benefits

 
What’s your take on TikTok?
 
You probably know it as the app where teenagers go to learn funny dances, record videos with filters, and sing along to popular songs and audio clips.
But what you may not know is that TikTok has also grown to accommodate businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs. 
Gaining traction as the most groundbreaking, talked-about app of 2020, it’s also caught the attention of tech giant Microsoft, who is interested in purchasing sections of TikTok’s U.S. business.
It’s no surprise that users have been flocking to TikTok since its release in 2016. Much like Snapchat, TikTok’s authentic atmosphere and delivery of instantaneous entertainment appeals directly to its Gen Z users. What’s more, with an expanding user demographic, opportunities for advertising, and an 800-million-user audience, businesses are quickly beginning to see TikTok’s potential as a marketing tool.[1]
 
To explore more about TikTok for business and learn if it’s a good fit for your company’s social media strategy, continue reading below.
 

What is TikTok? 

TikTok is a mobile app that can be used to create and share short videos. These videos are between 3 seconds and 60 seconds in length and are displayed in a vertical-scrolling format.
While creativity and content creation is a large part of TikTok for business and marketing purposes, understanding the app’s expansive user base is equally as important.
tiktok for business infographic

What can I achieve with TikTok for business?

TikTok can help businesses of all sizes in a number of ways. For example, through your brand’s knowledge and utilization of social media trends on TikTok, you can solidify and communicate your business’s cultural relevance to Gen Z and Millennial audiences.
TikTok also fosters ample branding opportunities through video creation and in-app interaction with users; the content that your business creates and shares can help to refine your brand’s tone and voice. Feedback on said content in the form of comments and likes also serves as valuable insight into the positioning of your brand.
 

Advertising on TikTok

TikTok offers multiple options for advertisements and sponsored posts, such as: 

  • In-feed video: These ads are shown on the native news page of Tiktok (the For You Page, or FYP).
  • Brand takeover: Ads appear as a full-screen video on the user’s FYP for a few seconds before turning into an in-feed video.
  • Hashtag challenge: Ads are shown on the Discovery page, encouraging users to participate in themed content creation challenges. Retailers can also add a shoppable component to the ad.
  • Branded AR content: Ads are shown in the form of branded lenses, stickers, and other 2D/3D/AR content that users can incorporate into their content.
  • Custom influencer package: The ad is shown as a sponsored in-feed video, featuring a TikTok influencer in that particular market.[2]

Pricing for TikTok’s advertising options can range anywhere from $50 to $150,000, ensuring that both small businesses and large corporations can take advantage of TikTok’s extensive consumer base.[2]
With the support of TikTok’s targeting algorithm, highly customizable advertising formats, and diverse influencer base, you can be sure that your ads will be circulated effectively and shown to your desired audience.
 

What makes TikTok different from other social media platforms my business is present on?

The key difference between TikTok and other social media is that TikTok is an entertainment platform rather than a lifestyle platform.
This means that TikTok is centered around authentic content as opposed to aspirational content—resulting in an atmosphere that provides opportunities for your brand to connect with the Gen Z and Millennial audiences who seek honest, approachable messaging. TikTok also features video content, allowing for a more immersive, flexible advertising experience.
 

Some TikTok accounts that are winning:

Chipotle (@Chipotle)
This fresh-mex restaurant giant is making all the right moves on TikTok. Chipotle announced their “Flip the Lid” challenge to make customers aware of their free delivery special for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo. With the help of influencers like David Dobrik and Brittany Broski, Chipotle received over 111,000 video submissions for the challenge in the first six days of the campaign, resulting in a record-breaking sales period.[3]
The Washington Post (@washingtonpost)
Even though this classic publication specializes in traditional media, their content that’s formatted specifically for TikTok is gaining major traction amongst Gen Z and Millennial audiences. The Washington Post’s TikTok content focuses on bringing personality to the news and providing behind-the-scenes glimpses into journalism and reporting.[4]
Crocs (@Crocs)
Crocs, the company behind the iconic rubber clogs, is using TikTok’s informal, humorous atmosphere to their advantage. Often the butt of jokes, Crocs has not always had luck advertising on social media platforms. However, Crocs’ self-aware humor appeals in a major way to Gen-Zers. Their recent campaign encouraged people to show off just how classy they could style their crocs, submitting their videos to the hashtag #ThousandDollarCrocs. This campaign resulted in an 18% increase in Croc’s followers, 50,000 pieces of submitted content in the first 36 hours of the campaign, and tremendous brand visibility.[5]
 

In conclusion

In modern advertising, oftentimes the most important characteristics of a successful brand are visibility and authenticity. TikTok is the epitome of both of these qualities, making the platform an excellent way to modernize your social media strategy, extend your reach, and personify your brand. 
Before jumping in, it’s important to first evaluate if:

  • The audience you want to reach is active on the platform
  • You have the resources to consistently create new content for your business TikTok channel, and
  • You are willing to show your audience an informal side to your business.

If you answered yes to the questions above, TikTok might be the missing piece to your social media strategy. 
 

Want to learn more?

Contact us today to explore how your business’s social media strategy can utilize TikTok and other platforms! 

 
More resources for you 
6 tips to build a successful YouTube channel for your business
Should you be using Snapchat for business?
4 social media mistakes you’re probably making (and how to fix them)
 
Sources:
1: Oberlo
2: Hootsuite Blogs
3: Ad Age
4: HubSpot
5: PR Week
 

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