TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, but is it worth using for your business? Since its launch in 2016, TikTok now has over 1 billion users, and the brand estimates the same 1 billion being active per month. The exposure is truly next-level. And while these numbers may sound intimidating or like it's too late to get in - that is certainly not the case, and you're certainly not alone. In fact, many business owners are now starting to see that they could be missing out on this major marketing opportunity because TikTok is so different from other social media platforms. And in 2021, it's new enough to get in early and create content for your brand, but also large enough so that you have an audience right away. The time is now, and the place to learn why is here.
Here's why you should be using TikTok for your business in 2021.
How is TikTok Different from Other Social Media Platforms?
You may have already heard of TikTok as it has been getting a lot of media attention recently, but what does the app really entail? TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create short videos of their own up to 3 minutes long. It's different from other social media platforms because while Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are primarily focused on sharing images and text, TikTok is all about sharing videos- which opens a whole new level of connection with your target audience.
"I Already Have Enough Social Media"
You may be thinking, "My business already has enough social media, I don't need to add another account to my list." And while that is a completely valid initial reaction, we would argue that it is still an investment worth making for your brand long-term. Even if you don't create tons of content from the start, we'd encourage you to at least create an account to reserve your business' username on the platform in case somewhere down the line you choose to begin creating content.
The great thing about TikTok is that it's not just a platform where you can share content with your followers, but it actually allows users to create their own content with the app - which is more of an investment for your brand. When you create a video as a brand that sparks conversation, educates, or triggers emotion for users - you're likely to be pleasantly surprised and rewarded by user engagement. TikTok allows users to use common sounds with another user, duet, stitch or even react to videos through their green screen feature. This opens your exposure to an audience wider than you could ever imagine, and TikTok's unique and accurate algorithm makes it likely your business' posts will end up on your ideal client's For You Page.
Many companies have found success on TikTok not only because of the creativity and authenticity it offers, but because of the incredible algorithm and exposure it offers. TikTok will give your business access to an audience that other platforms don't have, and by investing time into building your audience and following now, it will no doubt pay off with consistent effort and valuable content. For business owners, one of the most important things you can have is exposure - the more exposure you have, the better chance you're going to have in retaining customers, getting new ones, and building overall brand awareness. TikTok is one of the best ways to do this in 2021 because by using a video-focused approach to your brand's social media content, you're able to tell your story in the most relatable and way possible.
If not now, when? That's the question to ask yourself when considering TikTok for business. The first thing to note is that TikTok is not going away anytime soon. In fact, the platform is so successful that other social media platforms feel threatened by the competition, and are shifting their focus to video to keep up with TikTok. Just recently, Instagram's head Adam Mosseri announced that their app would be taking a more video-focused approach to their platform moving forward. Since Instagram's announcement of reels in August 2020, there has been a hint of competition with TikTok- but in Mosseri's recent Twitter video, he confirms this by saying, "There's some really serious competition right now - TikTok is huge". The fact that the leader of one of the world's most-used social media platforms is admitting they need to keep up with TikTok, should sell you in itself.
"Isn't It Just for Gen-Z?"
Another reason to get in the game now is that we have seen repeatedly over time that an excellent indicator of 'the next big thing' with social media platforms, is where the younger generation puts their time and attention into.
While initially, it's easy to rule TikTok for business out with thoughts like, "TikTok is just for Gen-Z, my target audience isn't on there", you'd be surprised. If we take a look back on other social media platforms that are major for marketing in 2021 like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - these also all started off as very 'young' platforms, with little-viewed value for businesses. Obviously, these platforms are now full of multiple generations and serve millions of businesses as a marketing tool. The same is to be expected with TikTok, as it's already happening and increasing every second. If anything, a more accurate thought about TikTok for your business might be, "My target audience isn't on there - yet". As we've seen time and time again, the businesses and personal profiles that get in early and post consistently valuable content are extremely likely to be rewarded short-term and long-term.
Different From The Rest
TikTok also offers a unique user experience on its platform as opposed to other social media apps. This includes the ability to create short videos by shooting, adjusting clips, customizing audio, applying effects, and enhancing with filters all within the app. The opportunity for creativity is truly maximized all within the one app, and it's nowhere near the end of its interface growth. When you use TikTok for your business, your marketing strategy essentially multiplies indefinitely.
The app is also known for listening well to its users' feedback. When users like certain features or trends, TikTok actually will create new editing features or effects to allow users the ability to create similar content easier. The same goes the other way, where if a new update or feature released receives only negative feedback, the platform is quick to adjust it to users' liking. In doing this, TikTok is already miles ahead of other social media platforms that are somewhat notorious for 'changing too much', or not listening to what their users like and dislike.
TikTok started off as just a music and video social media platform, but has since evolved into an app that showcases millions of trends that allow for endless creativity. TikTok has implemented an effective algorithm to show users trending videos relevant to their interests, making it easy to create content that is relevant and on-brand to your industry without having to do too much research.
The best part about TikTok trends is that there is always a new one. This makes content creation easier for marketing teams since there are never-ending fun trends to create and apply to your industry. The For You Page is the app's 'explore page', which showcases an endless feed of trending videos for users to enjoy and engage with. It becomes apparent that a certain style of video is 'trending' when there are multiple videos using the same sound and structure. You can think of TikTok trends like a live-action meme. Applicable across multiple scenarios and industries, easily understood, and endless ways to create content with it.
Tips for Getting Started
So, you're ready to start your TikTok for business strategy. Amazing! To do this, it's key to understand some principles for getting started. Here are 3 essential tips to take with you as you enter the #ForYouniverse.
1. Determine Your Goals
The first tip to getting started with TikTok for business is understanding what you want your brand to get out of the platform. You don't need to have the most specific answer to this right away, and your answer is likely to change over time - however, it's good to have an idea of what initial direction you want to move in. Here are some ideas for 'goals' that will help lay the foundation for your business TikTok account:
- Grow Brand Awareness
- Educate Target Audience
- Target Future Employees
- Target Future Clients or Customers
- Increase Sales
- Stay On-Brand
- Increase Clicks to Website
- Increase Your Audience Reach
2. Share Valuable Information
Now that you've got your goals, it's important to create valuable content that serves the purpose of these goals. Think of your overall goal as a plant you're growing, and each TikTok you upload is watering that goal. The more valuable the content, the larger the drink of water that grows your overall goal-plant. Follow that? Good.
In other words, it is so important to consider your audience when creating content, and provide what you know they are seeking through your videos. If your content is not valuable to your target audience, it will likely flop in the algorithm, or end up on the For You Page of someone who is very unlikely to be interested in your business. Content with little to no value is not rewarded and should be avoided at all costs.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is key. Keep posts coming by posting on a regular basis if possible. When you first get started, you may feel like your content isn't receiving its fair share of attention, which can be discouraging and make you want to quit. Our advice: Stick with it. Pay attention to your content that performs (even slightly) better than others, and evolve your strategy accordingly. It's a never-ending learning cycle, but with consistent effort and trial and error, you are sure to be rewarded. We believe in you!
Onward and Upward
If you’ve been wondering how to incorporate TikTok into your digital marketing strategy, or contemplating if it's even worth doing - we hope this blog post has helped you make your decision. If you've got questions, want to learn more, or are interested in professional digital marketing services, we've got you covered. Say hello today! We can't wait to meet you.