TikTok can be a useful tool for brand awareness and growing your audience, but you need to get to know the platform first.
With more than one billion active users, TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world. And what started off as a teenage craze is becoming hard to ignore.
With in-app shopping growing and creators supporting small businesses, more and more companies are starting to experiment, but how do you know if you should join them?
Here’s everything you need to know about TikTok.
What is TikTok and how does it work?
TikTok became popular in 2020 as a platform for dance challenges and comedy videos, but has since evolved. Now, you’ll find all kinds of short video content – from tutorials to news sharing; hauls to reviews; there’s really no limit. And with the app offering the opportunity to edit videos and add special effects within the platform, there’s no end to the creative possibilities.
The hub of TikTok is the ‘For You’ page – in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter this would be called the ‘News Feed’, which updates based on each individual's behaviours and preferences. So, when posting a video, you know it’ll often be served to the right people, and often without the need for ad spend.
Who can use TikTok?
There are two types of TikTok accounts – personal and pro. And within ‘pro’ there are two further options: Business and Creator.
A Creator account isn’t always suitable for businesses, because it focuses less on advertising and measuring results, but rather centres on delivering content to an existing audience, like an influencer’s account.
On the other hand, a Business account is tailor-made to help promote and advertise products and services on the platform. What's more, the analytics and insights included as part of your profile will help you reach a larger target audience. So, a business account is the way to go.
How to get started
Now you know what TikTok is and which account to go for, it’s time to get started.
Step #1: Download the app and explore. There’s no better way to get to grips with what the platform has to offer.
Step #2: Browse different hashtags, such as #SupportSmallBusiness and #BusinessTikTok, and look at trending themes and music. The more you explore and engage with content, the more personalised your ‘For You’ page will become.
Step #3: Create your own video. Play around with the settings and see what’s possible. Know that you can create videos without publishing while you’re still learning – simply save them to your ‘drafts’ folder. The great thing about TikTok is that ‘homemade’ and low production value videos are exactly what people are expecting to see, and they work well. Don’t panic about not having a professionally shot video, which is slick and polished.
Step #4: Look at what other businesses are doing. See what kind of videos they’re sharing and pay close attention to which videos are performing well, and which aren’t. Here are some really great examples: Gymshark posts a good combination of workout videos, workout memes, and inspiration; while Duolingo features its mascot, Duo the owl in funny, and often chaotic videos dancing to trending audio and jumping on the latest trends.
Step #5: Don’t forget to check whether your competitors have accounts too. See which advertising techniques they’re using, how often they’re posting and how successful their videos are.
Step #6: Think about your audience. Who do you want to engage with? What type of content are they interested in? Do some research. After all, there’s no point posting like-worthy content if it isn’t going to get in front of the right people.
Step #7: Decide what content you want to share and what it should look like. At this stage, bear in mind that TikTok is a place for authentic video content – this isn’t the place to post high-quality, polished videos.
That’s it – you're ready to start posting.
Remember, you might not see results right away – and that’s okay. Get to know the platform well, put a strategy in place and keep posting. Before you know it, you’ll be reaching the right audience and growing your business.
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