Talking the ‘Tok: Finding Success on TikTok

Get ready to talk the ‘TokTikTok, that is. The video-sharing app has long alluded both millennials and baby boomers, but the platform once dominated by teens has grown into one used by celebrities, influencersbrands and publishers alikeSo, as the kids say, don’t sleep on it. 

Although it’s been part of the social media scene for a few years nowTikTok is riding a wave of popularity that shows no signs of slowing downTrust us, the numbers don’t lieSince its launch in 2017, TikTok has acquired 800 million monthly active users and has been downloaded over 2 billion times. In March 2020 alone, it was downloaded over 115 million timesAnd it’s not just for kids anymore––80% of monthly active users in the U.S. are between the ages of 16 and 34.  

What does this mean for your company? Well, for starters, you may have a lucrative marketing tool in the palm of your handsThanks to the app’s algorithm, even accounts with no followers can accumulate millions of views on their videos. Brands like Guess, The Washington Post and ESPN have already found success using it. But as with any social platform, you should only invest time and effort into TikTok if it makes sense for your brand. Let’s dive in a little deeper, shall we? 

Content Is King 

This popular marketing adage has been said time and time again, but it especially rings true for TikTokIn a nutshell, the app is used for making and sharing short videos (anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds) and creators have a wide range of sound bites, filters, lenses and effects at their disposal. Like Instagram, it’s a highly visual platform. But while Instagram profiles can be sustained by sharing user-generated content, TikTok success depends on creating your own content. Brands looking to establish a presence need to be ready to get the camera rolling, literally.

What’s Trending? 

From dance routines and makeup challenges to lip syncand pranks, trend culture is a huge part of TikTokTo take advantage of this, marketers will need to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s trending and act quickly when an opportunity presents itselfAfter all, trends come and go, and there’s no use trying to do something that’s played out. On the flip side, you could also be the trend setter. The key here is to be entertaining and easy to replicate. Chipotle, for example, launched #GuacDance challenge just before National Avocado Day. The result? 250,000 video submissions and Chipotle’s biggest Guac Day to date.  

All Fun & Games 

You may have Facebook and Twitter on lock, but TikTok is an entirely different beast altogether. Your run-of-the-mill informational videos won’t work here, and you won’t find anything too curated or overly produced. The most successful videos are engaging, creative, and most of all, fun. If you want yourto make the mark, you’ll need some serious out-of-the-box thinking. Get creative with transitions, filters and voiceovers. Ask yourself how your brand can join in on the latest trend. And don’t play it safe. 

@nbaDancing into the weekend like… ##fridayfeeling ##weekendvibes♬ U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer

Now that we’ve talked the ‘Tok, it’s time to walk the walk. If you think this is a platform worth trying out, ask yourself: 

TikTok is quickly becoming one of the big kids on the social media playground. Does your brand have what it takes to play? With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way.