TikTok is the newest addition to the social media scene and it’s taking the world by storm. In just four short years, TikTok has amassed 1 billion monthly active users – surpassing Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Pinterest and Snapchat. With users spending more than 10 minutes per day on the platform, TikTok has also claimed the throne as the most engaging social media platform. So, what does this mean for brands? How can businesses successfully harness the power of TikTok to build brand affinity with the next generation of consumers? Let’s first break down what you need to understand about the platform and then dive into strategy.
A Platform Unlike Any Other
Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok has a unique algorithm that caters content to each specific user. The “For You Page” (FYP) is exactly what it sounds like, a tailored content feed for YOU – a unique individual with your own specific interests. While you can still follow people and brands you’re interested in, your FYP will gather content from accounts that are similar to content you’ve positively interacted with. You can like, comment, and follow accounts with videos you enjoy, as well as manually tell TikTok “I’m not interested in this video,” so you won’t see similar content again. TikTok does not base video recommendations on follower count or previous success of another video, rather, it determines the type of content or theme within the video and then disseminates that video to the appropriate audience. Because your FYP is unique to you and how you engage with content on TikTok, it changes over time. This unique approach to content distribution is what makes TikTok valuable to brands, presenting the perfect opportunity to reach target audiences without requiring them to follow your page. The challenge becomes getting your videos in front of the right people at the right time and we’ve got tips to help.
Humor, Trending Topics, and Hashtags, Oh My!
To increase your odds of going viral and reaching your target audience on TikTok, you need to first find the existing TikTok community you’d like to tap into. With that specific audience in mind, create your content with a focus on personality and humor. Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok is primarily driven by humor and authenticity. It’s imperative to establish an authentic personality to your brand profile that translates well to your intended audience’s sense of humor and interests, without coming off as a phony or a try-hard. To effectively achieve this, take the time to conduct a deep dive into what types of content perform well on the platform and any particular trends that would work well with your brand.
TikTok is comprised of trending audios and themes, driving content creation on the platform. Users create their own version of a trending topic or video using the trending audio. For brands, this means it’s necessary to stay up-to-date on timely TikTok trends and continuously create content that is relevant to trending audios on the platform. We recommend taking the time to watch TiKTok videos to fully grasp how the platform works and the role that trending audios play. Many times, trending audios may not make sense to those that are not on the platform. It’s important to understand TikTok trends before posting to ensure the content feels authentic and not forced. Some TikTok trends are easy to participate in, while others may not be brand-friendly. Use your best judgement to weigh what works well with your brand personality. Here is a list of a few TikTok trends from the past year to give you an idea of where to start and how the trends work.
Take the time to research specific hashtags that are relevant to your target audience. Hashtags are an easy way to see what is trending on TikTok, to brand the content you’re sharing, and listen to what consumers are saying about your brand. By adding trending hashtags to your content, you’re increasing the chances of the TikTok algorithm picking up your video and going viral. Some popular examples include: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, #FitTok, #Artist, #BeautyBlogger, #DIY, #Recipe, #Lifestyle, #Family, and #MentalHealth. You can view a full list of the top 100 trending TikTok hashtags here. You can create your own hashtags to easily brand the content you’re sharing, making it easy to search and view your content under one hashtag. Hashtags can also be used to see the types of content customers and consumers are sharing about your brand. While hashtags are not as important or popular as they are on other platforms (think Twitter and Instagram), they are a good way to increase exposure and easily search videos.
Tips for Posting on TikTok
Whether you’re jumping in on an already popular trend on TikTok, or starting from scratch, it’s important to create high-quality content that grabs people’s attention.
TikTok is an ever-changing platform, with new trends and hashtags popping up every day. To take advantage of the speed and agility of the platform, make sure the first few seconds of your video are captivating. Hootsuite reports that TikToks that feature a powerful emotion within the first few seconds see a 1.7x lift in views and impressions, when compared to those that start with a neutral expression.
While the content of the video is key, it’s also important to write an engaging caption that adds value to your video. You can choose to incorporate humor, insert your brand slogan, or simply add detail to what’s going on in the video. Either way, it’s critical that your caption coincide with the content of your video. Also be sure to use the appropriate hashtags to reach your target audience. All TikTok posts should include #fyp, as this allows the TikTok algorithm to easily insert the video into user’s For You Pages.
One final thing to consider is what time of day you’re posting on TikTok. TikTok is a world-wide platform with one billion monthly global users, so it’s important to consider where your target audience lives and what time they’re on the platform. Influencer Marketing Hub recommends Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m., Thursdays at midnight, and Fridays at 5:00 a.m. (all times EST). However, posting at these times doesn’t define whether your content will be successful. The key to a successful TikTok strategy is to post when your audience is on the platform. Make sure to take full advantage of the analytics available on your TikTok Pro account. You can view what days and times your followers are online and cater your posting schedule to accommodate your followers existing habits.
TikTok Isn’t Scary, It’s Just New
Given the nature of TikTok and how new it is on the marketing scene, building your brand’s presence on the platform can feel intimidating and sometimes overwhelming. Fear not! Many brands are in the same boat. NST offers a wealth of resources to help brands launch and manage TikTok accounts. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your brand use this valuable platform to reach the next generation of consumers.