Helping businesses to grow, thrive & blossom through award-winning Marketing, PR and Social Media services.
When you think of TikTok, the first things that come to mind are probably cute videos of dogs or teenagers doing dance challenges. But with 800 million monthly users, an increasingly wide variety of people are using the app. Certainly, TikTok is particularly useful for reaching young audiences, with forty-five percent of users are aged between 16 and 24. But while this is a significant proportion, with over half of users falling outside of this category, TikTok has great potential to reach audiences across different demographics.
Differences in how content is ranked and displayed to users compared to other platforms mean that it can also be easier to reach audiences without building a substantial following.
But with TikTok trends constantly turning over, it’s difficult to know how best to use the app. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need a huge number of followers to generate sales through TikTok.
You just need to know how to create quality, shareable content that fits with the platform’s "vibe" (as Gen-Z’ers would say), and how to set up your business on there in the first place.
You don’t need a huge following
TikTok is highly secretive about its algorithm, compared with Instagram who has been highly transparent. But one thing is certain: TikTok’s algorithm is unique in that accounts with no followers can receive millions of views on a new video. This could never happen on Instagram or Facebook. In fact, our TikTok account only has 21 followers. And yet, having only been on the app for two months, we have achieved just over £600 of sales.
How this works is that videos are ranked individually. So, if a couple of your TikTok videos perform badly, this won’t impact the success of your future videos. Your follower account also has no bearing on a video’s success.
Better than Instagram?
Let’s compare this to Instagram. A single post is evaluated as part of a user’s entire account activity, so you have to build a following before achieving any significant results. Posting too often? You might get shadowbanned for being ‘spammy’. Though Instagram has tried to be transparent about why certain posts get lost on their way to followers, let alone on the Explore page, they are continually coming under fire for stopping users from reaching their audiences. TikTok users should have no such issues, creating a level playing field for all.
There’s less admin when it comes to setting up a business profile on TikTok. While on other platforms you might need a cover picture and to fill out a bunch of contact information, TikTok’s business profiles are incredibly streamlined. All you need is a profile picture, a short bio, and a link to your business’s website.
As TikTok has grown and more businesses have signed up, the platform has begun to adapt to become more marketing-friendly. You can now switch from a personal to a business account, which allows you to add a link to your bio. This is absolutely key if you want to translate your TikTok success into sales.
TikTok Ads come in a couple of different formats. In-feed videos are dotted within a user’s discovery page, so they fit naturally within the feed of non-sponsored content. The scrolling feed format is tailored for instant gratification - if a user doesn’t like what they see immediately, they’ll swipe away. So, make every second count.
The TikTok creator marketplace is designed to match you with the most relevant creator for your brand. Influencer marketing is on the rise, with 86% of marketers using influencers to increase brand awareness. But as with any marketing strategy, it’s important to do your research for maximum payoff. For any influencer that you work with, make sure you get evidence of their credibility. This includes their conversion rates - how many sales have they achieved through previous brand deals?
If you’re a newbie to the platform, the quickest way to understand its content is to spend some time scrolling through the Discovery Page for inspiration. This will show you content from trending hashtags based on your location, as well as popular videos by category. You will likely discover some ‘trends’ very quickly. These are threads of videos that use the same audio tracks as a backdrop to a challenge or specific type of content.
Search by audio
You can search by audio or filter to explore certain trends. Specific audio clips serve as backgrounds for dance challenges or other types of content. In the bottom right corner of a video, you’ll see a spinning circle icon, which will take you to a page filled with videos that use that audio. Once you’re on this page, you won’t be able to miss the bright red button that urges you to "use this audio". Now, you’re set to join the trend.
Don’t always follow the crowd
This isn’t to say that you should feel restricted to following trends and copycat audio. As great as these tools are, you can also achieve great results by using original audio. With audio trends, a user’s feed might be dominated by repetitive tracks. Using something different and original can capture a user’s attention.
Our Founder, Ellen, took part in the "small business check". Taking part in trends by using audio tracks like this will help people discover your content easily, and help you go viral (or at least receive a decent number of views).
If you are a business owner, ignore TikTok at your peril. With the app in its prime and showing no signs of declining any time soon, it’s a valuable tool for reaching your audience without the limitations and restrictions that other social media platforms’ algorithms present.
Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.