TikTok, TikTok, TikTok. You’ve probably been hearing this buzzword for a while now, and, maybe you’re wondering what it is, why it’s essential… or maybe even, quite annoyed hearing all the talk about it!
If you check marked ALL three of the above items, then you’re probably also wondering: should my small business be using the platform? Well, let’s dive into some of your burning questions and hopefully, that will answer the big question.
1. What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media platform that are short-form videos via an algorithm that pushes a user recommended content based on their “interests” or data the platform acquires about you. It is one of the top five most downloaded apps and all sorts of people are using it. From 10-year-olds to older adults who are retired, to businesses and celebrities.
Aside from a lot of other unique features (that many other platforms have started to copy), TikTok’s own For You Page (FYP) is what makes it stand out from the rest. A FYP are the videos you watch and are shown to you based on your algorithm that TikTok has built specifically for YOU. No one else. No two FYPs are the same. The FYP is built off of a multitude of interactions: who you are following, not following, what you comment on, what you liked, how long you watched another user’s video, hashtags, country, settings, phone, and the list goes on.
2. How can my small business use TikTok?
TikTok can really be whatever you make it! Before you jump on the platform and make an account, ensure that it fits with your brand. If making silly videos or informative videos feels like a stretch for your business, then it probably is. And that’s okay – not every business is meant to be built for every social media platform.
Second, there are so many variations of how you can use Tik Tok and the kinds of videos that you produce. A few options are:
- There are always trends on TikTok – whether that be a song trend, a dance trend, or just an overall video trend.
- Doing tutorials.
- Talking about your product or service.
- Lighthearted, silly content.
Remember, these are short-form videos at the end of the day. You’ll want to be quick, concise, and to the point. Attention spans are of a goldfish on this platform.
Not only can YOU create videos and showcase them to the world, but TikTok is a place to build your community, and tap into your niche audience. Talk with them, relate with them. You really would be surprised at how many people see a video in their FYP and think, I am so glad I’m not the only one who thinks this, or experiences this, or is into this!
3. Ok, I want to use TikTok. How do I utilize it and make videos?
At the bare minimum, you should be using a song or audio. Whether that audio is trending or not, always always always have a sound in the background of your video. Make sure that the song or audio fits the bill for your video.
Next, use the other affects the platform has to offer. There are a variety of effects that include text, stickers, captions, filters, and visual effects. Key: TikTok will reward you for using the effects – so keep that in mind when making videos, BUT, don’t overdo it and do all of these effects at once.
Practice makes perfect. You will just have to sit down and take some time to learn the platform and how to create videos. Honestly, that’s exactly how we learned how to use it – and are still learning! Make some test videos and play around with it. You can also turn to the lovely Google.com and find tutorials to help you.
Just remember that trends move fast on this platform. If you see a trend you like that can fit with your brand, hop on it ASAP before it’s too late and irrelevant content.
At the end of the day, you just need to catch someone’s attention and get them to stop scrolling.
4. Using the algorithm to your advantage
The algorithm is your friend (or enemy, depending on how you look at it) if you use it to your advantage and know how it works. Make your account a “pro” account in the settings to see more analytics. In the analytics, you can see what time is best to post, see users, how many profile visits you’ve had, etc. You can then build your strategy based on those analytics.
Do your research on your niche. Look up creators and hashtags that relate to your niche and community to see what they are doing, without copying them. Engage with the people in your community – comment, like, and follow those people. Be real and be authentic.
Video formatting is another essential part of the algorithm. Make sure the videos are high quality and used in the 9:16 format (vertical).
As mentioned above, utilize any effects that you can! Use sounds or audio, meaningful captions, tag locations and people that are in the video, put some text on the video and use the effects.
The more you post, the better! However, we always tell our clients to do what is realistic for them. We would rather have you worry about quality over quantity. As long as you are consistent – if that means one TikTok a week because that’s what works with your schedule, then remain at that cadence until you can build more into your schedule.
At the end of the day
The goal of TikTok right off the bat should be about “blowing up” on the platform. It should be about engaging with your community and building your space. It should be about being authentic with your audience. It will take some time to come up with thoughtful videos that make sense for not just your audience but business, most importantly. It will also take time to get in front of your niche audience, so don’t get discouraged.
It will probably feel a little overwhelming at first, but just like anything else in life, the more comfortable you become with it, the better you will get at it and the more sense it will make to you. Just remember, good things take time!