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3 Ways to Use TikTok for Your Brand

Evelyn Ritzi
Communications Specialist
Evelyn Ritzi
BY: Evelyn Ritzi ON September 15, 2020

Should our brand be on TikTok?

It’s a question every marketer has been pondering in light of TikTok’s social media takeover this summer. With about 80 million active users in the U.S. – many in the trendsetting Gen Z demo — TikTok offers an intriguing opportunity for ambitious brands. 

So, does your brand belong on TikTok? The short answer is, it depends. 

TikTok is an exciting new platform, but it isn’t right for every company. Here’s how to tell if a TikTok presence could be a good fit for your brand:

  • You want to connect with a younger target audience 
  • Your products or services are well-suited for video
  • You’re willing to devote extra time and effort to learning the platform and creating content on a consistent basis
  • Being silly, spontaneous, and fun feels genuine for your brand (or you’re trying to move in that direction!) 

Still on the fence? Here are three ways to make TikTok work for your brand:

Use it for trendspotting

Your brand doesn’t necessarily need to have an active presence on TikTok to take advantage of its popularity. It’s not uncommon to see trends that originate on TikTok gradually make their way onto other platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram. 

Devote some time to exploring the latest topics, hashtags, music/sounds, dances, and memes. You could get ahead of a viral trend that aligns with your brand’s identity and mission! 

Try influencer marketing

TikTok is ripe with “nano-influencers” — creators with 1,000 to 10,000 followers. Usually, nano-influencers have a following that’s very niche and highly engaged. If your product or service fits a creator’s audience, a paid partnership could be a smart option. 

TikTok users are interested in fun, original, low-production quality content — ads that look too polished and professional will probably be ignored. The benefits of influencer marketing on TikTok is that you can leave it to someone else to create authentic content that they know their followers will enjoy. 

Create your own content

Perhaps the best part about TikTok is that anyone can go viral in an organic way. TikTok’s algorithm focuses more on feeding users content that matches their interests — not necessarily the videos made by the accounts they follow. This means your brand can start from scratch and gain attention, even if you don’t have any followers yet. 

The businesses that succeed on TikTok don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re willing to be light-hearted, authentic, and imperfect. Rather than focusing on selling, they share content that’s useful, entertaining, or both! They don’t repurpose highly-produced videos either. It’s best to create original content specifically for the unique TikTok environment, often on a smartphone! 

Take Chipotle, for example. After countless fan requests over the years, the brand is finally sharing its signature recipes on TikTok with step-by-step videos, like this one for their famous corn salsa. The in-store video is low-production, and the audio is imperfect and quirky, perfect for the TikTok platform while still being true to the brand’s new tagline, “Chipotle, For Real.”

Other than Chipotle, some big brands making the most of TikTok include The Washington Post, Fenty Beauty, and Wendy’s. These brands are not only creating their own videos; they’re using social listening to find and share relevant user-generated content.   

Not sure if you’re ready to put in the time and effort to build a brand presence on TikTok? Consider experimenting with TikTok’s new self-serve advertising platform to reach your target audience on the app. 

Stay tuned for the next post in our series on TikTok, where we’ll look at the pros and cons of advertising on TikTok.

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