The Beginner’s Guide to Using TikTok for Business

Written by Laura Roeder

On December 2, 2020
guide to tiktok

TikTok is a social media network that revolves around video sharing. TikToks are 15 or 60 seconds in length and can be created right in the TikTok App. The app allows for integration with other social media channels and you can create, edit, and share your videos right in the app itself without any outside video editing software or experience.

Most people know TikTok for things like lip-syncing and dancing videos but the app is surging in popularity and many brands and businesses are adding it to their social media content strategy because of it.

Today we’re going to share how TikTok works and the best ways to use it in your content marketing game plan.

guide to tiktok

How Does TikTok Work?

TikTok gives you the chance to connect with your audience in snack-sized video clips. The algorithm allows for things to go viral quickly, allows for hashtags to sort content to the right audiences and niches, and gives creators the chance to tag friends and add links so that their reach is focused and purposeful.

The potential to reach a specific, engaged audience is why many brands are taking the time to use TikTok in their marketing, and the fact that you can share your TikToks to Instagram and Facebook (and other users can share your posts too) makes it an even more vital tool for social media engagement.

What Kind Of Content Should A Business Share On TikTok?

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules for what types of videos gain success or go viral, there are some key things to consider as you post your TikToks.

Users Like Content That Feels Authentic

Highly polished content exists on TikTok but authentic posts do better. This is good news since you won’t have to buy expensive equipment to add Tiktok to your content game plan. Showing off your brand personality is a great trust-builder and connection-creator.

tik tok example


Users Engage With Fun Or Funny Content

Children, pets, and dances or lip-syncs tend to do well but with the right subject matter more informative posts can shine and with the right music most of your posts can have a chance to go viral. (And if you have access to an office pet or a coworker’s child who can do the latest TikTok dance, give that a try too!)

crocs example

Visually Captivating Posts Are A Must

From beauty and workout transformations to challenges and lifestyle hacks, keeping viewers intrigued by the actual content of the video is just as important as the marketing you’re providing. Keeping things visually appealing is necessary for any video-based content but it’s essential for TikTok success especially.

You Don’t Need To Reinvent The Wheel

While creating content that’s all your own is a great move, don’t be afraid to try out some of the trends if it suits your brand or you can add your own flavor to it. Even if you’re not an office of professional dancers, a fun and imperfect dance challenge might get more engagement than a polished post about the benefits of your legal services, particularly on this platform.

TikTok Helps You Create a Community

Speaking of challenges, consider how you can join or create a larger community on TikTok. Taking part in hashtag challenges or hopping on the latest hot songs can give you a better chance of going viral and connecting with your audience more often.

Giving people the option to “duet” your video means that they can repost it with their take or response to it. This is a great community-builder and an awesome source of feedback on your work. Plus, responding to duets and comments can help you continue engagement with those who took the time to connect with what you created in the first place.

You can also create your own hashtag and challenge. This will help you engage your current audience and give you plenty of opportunities to collect some user-generated content along the way.

Not Funny? You Can Still Inspire and Inform

If your brand isn’t one that has a ton of humor associated with it, you might think that TikTok is not for you but that simply isn’t the case.

Opting for more informative, helpful, or motivational content can still offer you a pathway to success on the app. Coaches, entrepreneurs, counselors, teachers, and lifestyle bloggers have all found ways to keep things informative as they create their content and many have amassed large followings because of it.

If you are going to shoot for a more inspiring or educational approach, be sure you’ve identified the niche group of people you’re targeting so that your hashtags and copy get your posts to those people more often.

You Should Share Your TikToks

As we noted, these brief videos are snack-sized enough for your audience to share them on Instagram and Facebook but you should also consider doing that too!

Add a TikTok to your Instagram or Facebook story and ask your audience to follow you on the TikTok app. This will allow you to grow your TikTok following and continue to provide value to your other social platforms.

Small Businesses Can Still Enjoy Huge TikTok Success

When you post a TikTok the video is shared with people in your general geographic area first. This means small businesses can reach locals quickly and their content can be shared quickly by the people most likely to resonate with it. it also means that you don’t need to be huge to have a huge reach.

And if your first video isn’t a viral success story, don’t worry. Things like watches, re-watches, shares, and comments can build over time and a 3-month-old video can go viral at any point based on those things and the popularity of the audio you’ve selected too!

You Should Hashtag Your TikToks Two Ways

Hashtags are helpful on TikTok just as they are on Instagram. On TikTok, hashtags help the algorithm decide who should see your content, even if they’re not a follower of yours quite yet. Using general hashtags can help you reach a larger demographic who has a general interest in what you’re covering.

At the same time, it’s also helpful to zero-in on hashtags that reach those who are most likely to buy your product or use your service and those who would really enjoy the specific content covered in a particular video.

So, be sure you’re adding some general and niche-specific hashtags to make sure that your content reaches the right people.

Consider That Your TikTok Content Is Different Than Other Content

Maybe you’ll show some behind-the-scenes videos followers can’t find elsewhere, or you’re going to do quick “how-to” videos on the app and create an album just for that sort of content.

Whatever you decide, having a clear content game plan can allow you to try things out. And your engagement data (things like shares, comments, likes, and rewatches) can tell you when your followers are engaging with your content and whether you’re reaching the demographic you want to reach in the first place.


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