If you weren’t blessed enough to be born as a millenial, then this new social media platform will probably have you stumped.
You may think that you’re a bit of a social whizz – you’ve created your first Instagram story, you’ve got Facebook mastered, you know how to write a tweet – but then TikTok came along. And this new platform has gone and burst your bubble.
TikTok is a new addition to the world of social media, but it’s certainly come out with a bang.
The app was released for the very first time in September 2016. In less than five years, it has experienced phenomenal growth.
According to statistics published by WALLAROO, TikTok has around a billion active monthly users. The app has been downloaded more than 2.6 billion times, by users all over the world.
You’re bound to want to get a slice of this pie. But how do you even begin?
If you’ve never even used TikTok before, how can you develop a marketing strategy for it?
We get that managing a small business requires constant learning, and ongoing trial and error. It’s a job which requires you to wear a lot of hats, that’s for sure.
That’s why we’ve created a guide to TikTok for absolute beginners. In this blog post, we’re starting slow, right from the very basics. That way, you can successfully get this new element of your marketing strategy off the ground.
#1 Don’t run before you can walk
If you’ve never even used TikTok before, start slowly. Don’t make your first ever interaction with the app the publishing of a business video.
First, create your own personal TikTok account. Then, follow people in the same industry as you. Get a sense of what they’re doing, what is successful, get ideas, find out what you like (and don’t like), and jot down these thoughts.
If you rush into publishing your first video too quickly, you’ll probably miss the mark with it. So, you probably won’t see the engagement that you’d hoped for.
You’d be best investing your time into research first, then creating your videos when you have a good sense of how to attract your target market.
#2 Understand the tone
In our previous How to Use Different Social Media Platforms blog post, we spoke about the importance of using the right style and tone for each platform.
This is because each platform has its own way of creating content, which distinguishes it from the rest.
With TikTok, the tone of the videos and their written captions is designed to be easy. First and foremost, it is fun.
Unlike it’s more serious counterparts (LinkedIn and Twitter in particular), TikTok is super lighthearted. It is this pitfall which most failed small business marketers fall into, so be mindful of it with every single post you create.
The end goal of these posts is simply to entertain. So, try to keep your content personable, chatty and relaxed.
#3 Keep an eye out for trends
TikTok is renowned for its ongoing, evolving, new and ever-changing trends.
Keep seeking these latest trends, and then use them on your channel. From a marketing perspective, this is a huge perk of the platform – your content ideas are basically made for you!
Trends span a huge range of different topics. A great example is the ‘Tell me without telling me’ trend. These videos are designed to provide a witty response to the caption, where the video makes it clear that they have this trait, without explicitly saying it.
For example, say your caption was ‘Tell me you’re stressed without telling me that you’re stressed’, the video would then be you acting in an exaggeratedly stressed, frenzied way. The key is to make it goofy, silly, and super funny.
One of the key ways to succeed on TikTok is to respond to these trends in your own creative, on-brand way. This will quickly drive up your audience.
#4 Keep your posts regular
This platform is all about fun, creativity and a consistent stream of exciting content, so you will need to manage your platform in a way which speaks to this.
Regular posting will keep your feed fresh and engaging, which will encourage people to follow you (because they know that they’ll always have something new to watch).
Even if it’s just chill, day-in-the-life content – people love to see it! They want to get to know you, as the person behind your brand. This informality is what TikTok is all about. So don’t get too stressed if your content isn’t constantly perfectly polished.
#5 Get your audience involved
Once you see your follower count grow, get them involved in the platform.
User-generated content is another brilliant feature of TikTok. Not only does it make it easier for you to meet the demands of new content, but it also amps up the engagement of your audience.
You can create a brand challenge for your page, which encourages your followers to get involved.
This may sound a bit daunting, but it has the potential to bring huge benefits, so it’s well worth having a go. According to the report ‘Consumer Trust: Keeping It Real’ (conducted by Olapic), content which features real, non company-affiliated people are seen to be 7x more trustworthy.
You could harness this in loads of different ways. For example, if your company sells coffee, you could get your audience to share their own morning ritual videos.
Or, you could take inspiration from what the big brands are doing. For instance, in Adobe’s Art Maker Series, creatives across the world were invited to share their art with the business on social media.
The main things are to make it fun, interesting to watch, and relevant to your business.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to give the challenge it’s own specific hashtag too!
#6 Contact influencers
On TikTok, people respond brilliantly well to influencers.
This more engaging, more real form of business promotion has proved to be hugely popular. Rather than having a paid advert with some actors saying how great a product is, viewers now want to see their favourite influencers using the product, then sharing what they like and dislike about it with their followers.
So, get in touch with a few influencers, who you think might be a good fit for your business (i.e. their followers neatly tie in to your target market).
Then, you can send them a freebie, or ask them to do a paid influencer campaign with you, depending on your budget and their availability / popularity.
And there you have it, our quick guide to getting on the TikTok bandwagon. Our main piece of advice is, don’t get put off by the newness of this dynamic platform. It may all seem a bit strange at first, but the main thing to remember is that everyone is here to have fun.
TikTok is filled with creativity, energy and enthusiasm, which is highly infectious (it’s easy to see why so many of us are on it). So, have fun with it, and this sense of fun will quickly translate into successful content.