By Allie Bryant
While a few key platforms have dominated social media for several years, TikTok is rapidly becoming a formidable player in this space. TikTok’s users have ballooned past one billion, including 138 million in the United States, and more and more brands are looking to tap into this audience as part of their social media marketing.
TikTok is generally regarded as the domain of younger audiences, and indeed more than half of its users are under the age of 35. Yet just as Facebook grew from a user base of college students to its current reputation of serving an older demographic, TikTok has been steadily accruing older users.
If your brand is considering adding a TikTok channel to its social media options, be sure to follow these best practices:
Get your feet wet first
Familiarize yourself with the platform before creating a brand account on TikTok. Set up a personal account, review TikTok trends and communities, and try creating a few videos.
You should also study TikTok for Business options available to brands. These include advertising, e-commerce, and influencer partnerships.
Focus on niche marketing
TikTok allows you to form strong, genuine relationships with audiences who are most likely to be interested in your brand. To establish these relationships, you shouldn’t overload your posts with hashtags or use tags that are too broad.
Look for tags that align strongly with your brand, or create ones that can support an ongoing campaign that represents your brand. Geographic markers are a good way of zeroing in on your target audience.
Example: If you’re a pizzeria operating on Cape Cod, you’ll have a hard time getting noticed with the hashtags #pizza or even #capecod. You’ll have better luck with options like #capecodeats and #capecodbites.
Keep it visual, authentic, and entertaining
TikTok recommends that brands pursue content that’s “rooted in entertainment” and campaigns that connect with users. The platform’s strong focus on entertainment means you’ll quickly alienate your audience if you’re too promotional.
TikTok videos can be up to three minutes long, but you should try to create a hook that keeps your audience interested within the first few seconds. Think about how to showcase your company visually. Be casual, and aim to produce authentic content that matches the tone and message of content enjoyed by your target audience.
Commit to regular posts and engagement
The internet is littered with the abandoned husks of social media sites representing companies both large and small. It’s not uncommon for a brand to start a social media channel, then fail to keep up with updates and engagement.
Commit to posting regularly on your brand’s TikTok, at least a few times per week if not more. You’ll also want to spend some time each day monitoring current trends, watching videos for future inspiration, and engaging with your audience in your videos’ comments.
Don’t share posts from other social media platforms on TikTok, as the result won’t be visually appealing and will come off as lazy. However, one advantage of TikTok content is that it can be shared easily on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Do your homework on influencer relationships
Influencers have plenty of clout on TikTok, and collaborating with these creators can be a good way to boost your brand. However, you’ll only realize this benefit if you can create a strong relationship with an influencer.
Just as your brand’s content should come off as authentic, any influencer partnerships should be a good fit for your brand. Look for collaborators whose messaging will come off as casual and not scripted. Ideally, you should find influencers with whom you can build long-term relationships, not creators who will give your brand a single plug and then vanish.
Do some research to make sure an influencer will have as strong an impact as you expect. While many influencers boast a high follower count, this could simply indicate that they have a lot of bots subscribed to their videos. Influencers should also be able to show strong follower engagement through likes and comments.
Allie Bryant is a Social Media Specialist at Miranda Creative
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