It can be tempting to ignore new social media platforms when they pop up, even the ones that seem to have some staying power. Hands up who remembers Vine, Snapchat, and Google Plus.
It’s frustrating for a brand to spend time and energy learning a new platform, building a following, and creating great content, only to have it all lose steam and get forgotten about.
TikTok, however, does not seem to be yet another fly-by-night social media trend. This platform has gone from strength to strength and is now rivaling Instagram and Facebook in its global popularity.
Why You Need To Get On TikTok
TikTok is the new kid on the block and yet, it has completely disrupted the download stats. Up until the first quarter of 2020, only Facebook’s apps—Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp—had reached the 2 billion downloads mark for social media. The only other social media app in that bracket as of today is TikTok.
On top of these incredibly high download numbers, TikTok also boasts some impressive active user stats. Currently, it has around 689 million active users every month and this audience spans the entire globe.
Another important fact to note is that most of these users are in the younger age bracket, falling into the Generation Z or young Millennial categories. The general age range is between 10-and-30 years old. If that’s your target market, you should absolutely be playing on TikTok.
How To Use TikTok For Building Your Brand
If you’re ready to bite the bullet and start having fun on TikTok with your brand, these are the steps to take to get yourself up and running:
Don’t Let The Learning Curve Put You Off
TikTok is new and fast-paced, meaning it has a bit of a steep learning curve. Don’t get put off by this.
Instead, spend some time on the app and get comfortable with the lingo, the styles people like, the types of content you could make, and how people interact. It’s much better to start with a personal profile and try things out before you kick off your brand’s account.
Start by exploring the Discovery tab to see what other people are creating. Follow hashtags that are relevant to your business and your brand. take time to investigate whether you have any competitors (direct or otherwise) on the platform.
The more time you spend playing around, the more adept you’ll become. Before long, you’ll feel like a bona fide TikToker.
Make Sure You Have A Niche
A major key to TikTok is how many niche groups there are within the platform. There is something for just about everyone—if you know where to look and which hashtags to follow.
TikTok users particularly like this part of the platform’s nature. They can get just the content that they want to see, without having to wade through endless, vaguely related posts. This social media platform has perfected the art of online content curation.
So, when you’re looking around for inspiration on the app, you need to get creative with where your content could fit in, and which niche will make your brand stand out in a good way.
For example, if you sell shoes, you could have a brand account that focuses entirely on cool shoelaces and ways of tying them. Be that specific with your niche, and you will build a following.
Build A Calendar Strategy
Now that you know what kind of content you want to create, you can start mapping out a strategy for posting. All social media marketing needs a strategy—what to post, how often to post, and what time to post.
Think realistically about how much time it will take to create your content and if you can make a lot in advance, or if it needs to be generated on the fly.
Start with a brainstorm session about different content ideas. Come up with a list of videos you can make easily.
Don’t forget to include any special holidays or events in your content calendar. Themed content like this is always a drawcard.
It’s important not to feel like you need to post a lot, all the time. All social media platforms reward consistency in posting. But you can start with posting 3 times a week so as not to get overwhelmed by the amount of content creation required to publish more frequently.
Don’t Worry About Being Perfect
The thing with TikTok content is that it isn’t supposed to be high-quality, television-advert-worthy video. It’s meant to be bite-sized, entertaining, engaging and easy to consume.
The users on TikTok want authentic, real voices. They want to see a brand’s personality and not how good they are at making a cohesive, color-coded feed. Think of it as the opposite of Instagram’s perfectly planned and executed posts.
Your content doesn’t have to be perfectly crafted. In fact, it shouldn’t be perfectly crafted. It might be scary for your brand to relax and show your less-serious side, but that’s exactly what TikTok users want.
Start Your Own Challenges
TikTok has something they call Challenges. To create one, start a hashtag that challenges users to take a specific action and post a video, or to create a video around a specific theme and post it.
Some of the biggest challenges in 2021 so far include:
- #crowdcheers: Users post a video about a little accomplishment to the sound effect of a big crowd cheering for them.
- #withouttelling me: A fill-in-the-blank challenge where users need to create a video that shows something rather than telling.
- #perfectmatch: Show two opposite people who shouldn’t be friends getting along or dancing together.
Challenges are huge on the platform, and users love to take part. If you start a successful challenge, you can build exceptional viral growth for your brand and increase your audience size dramatically.
To get your challenge going, you can sponsor the hashtag and start the ball rolling. If you already have an engaged audience, you can go for the organic growth. Either option works well on TikTok.
Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/AGZAliGQmP4
Social media is an ever-changing landscape. If you’re not yet on TikTok, you need to be. Keeping up with current advertising trends will drive growth and put your brand on the map with a new audience.
Use the tips above to make the most out of TikTok and you’ll ride the wave of success that other brands are already capitalizing on.
Feature Image Credit: Sourced inline where the image appears within the body copy (Unsplash.com)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
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