How to use TikTok for business

TikTok has shot onto the social media scene and solidified its position in the last two years. The video and trends driven app has taken the world by storm, with a wide range of features letting users add their own personal touches to global trends.  While it’s often seen as an app for GenZ, there are 1.2 billion monthly active users, spanning all demographics and communities.  

With this worldwide popularity and engaged audience, there is a huge opportunity for brands on the platform. But before you get started, there are a few things you’ll want to check in order to determine if it’s the right platform for your business.  


 1. Get to grips with the platform 

The best place to start is to use TikTok yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of a user and get a feel of what the experience is like. What catches your eye initially and what holds your attention? What tone of voice and features make content stand out? What trends and topics receive the most engagement. Search for topics and trends related to your business. Chances are you’ll find some posts, even for some of the most exclusive categories. If you struggle to find anything related to your business, don’t fret. You could be the perfect brand to fill that niche. 

From exploring TikTok you’ll see it’s a fun, fast-paced platform with a passionate audience across different communities, so you’ll be able to imagine how your business will fit in.  


2. Understand the behind the scenes 

TikTok has a high content consumption rate, meaning users will see a lot of content from different users in a short amount of time. The algorithm feeds each user’s “For You Page” with recommendations based on what you have interacted with before. This means even brands with smaller audience followings can be seen by millions of people if they hit the right notes in terms of topics and trends. Advertising is an option on the platform, but well thought out and reactive content will often perform better.  

Knowing how the technical side of the platform works, and that success is driven by ‘being on trend’ can help when thinking about how your brand will work on the platform. Would you be able to contribute to these trends and create engaging posts? 


3. Set your intent: Authenticity over virality 

As we’ve mentioned the shared communities and viral trends are how TikTok broke onto the scene and became instantly popular, especially during the pandemic when it provided an avenue for people to feel less isolated from each other. The viral trends are a way from people to connect, all doing the same thing while adding their own personal twist.  

There will be moments when this could work for your business but do assess how it will affect your brand image. If the trend is completely irrelevant to your business, it could be seen as trying too hard, or just jumping on the band wagon because other people are doing it. Your own idea produced in a natural way could be much better and create impactful engagement. Much more than your marketing manager lip synching and dancing to The Weeknd.  


4. Brainstorm: how will it work for you? 

From spending some time on the platform, you’ll find that often the biggest videos aren’t the ones with the highest production value. They are the ones that are a great idea, delivered with passion and energy. The barrier to entry on TikTok is essentially non-existent (you just need a way of taking videos) which means you can be creative when thinking of ideas.  

Sit down with the team that will be creating your content and throw around ideas. No idea or topic is too small, as there really is a community for everything. Look at a current trend together and think of some videos you could create in response.  

Between you, you should be able to come up with enough ideas to post a couple of times a week. If you are struggling for inspiration, it might not be the right time to make the commitment.  


5. Make sure you have the time and resources 

You’ll see by now that TikTok presents plenty of opportunities for those ready to make the most of them. However, much like other social media platforms, it requires much more that thinking up posts in isolation in order to succeed. For your posts to be seen, you’ll need to continue to immerse yourself in the platform, discover new features and trends along the way. If you don’t dedicate this time, you’ll be too slow to react to trends in time to create an impact or you might miss them altogether.  

The other major thing to consider before committing is do you have the right resources to produce the content. While you only need a phone camera, it takes an eye for quality and a creative brain to regularly be making videos. The engaging content also usually has people in front of the camera, so make sure you have at least one person, if not more of your team, who are happy to get involved.  

To streamline your content planning, rather than doing a little bit each day, having a planner can help draft posts ahead of time. Make sure you hit all of your key messages across a range of posts and save yourself some time and stress. You can download our free Social Media Content Planner here to kickstart your content and drive audience engagement.  

For more information on TikTok for businesses, listen to this week’s Revitalise and Grow Podcast, where we ask the question, “Should you be on TikTok?”