A smiling young woman recording a video demonstrates how to use a skin care product.
TikTok differs from other social media channels in that audiences don't want to be sold to. Instead, they want content that is inspirational, educational, or entertaining. — Getty Images/Rockaa

Last year, a study by Hello Alice found that of the small businesses currently using TikTok, 78% say they plan on increasing their investment in the platform. And more than 65% of those surveyed said they were most optimistic about their growth potential on the popular platform.

TikTok offers several resources for merchants in its Small Business Resource Center. There, you’ll find articles and guides to help you make the most of the video platform. Once you’re feeling confident navigating the platform, try some of these trending ideas to boost your brand on TikTok and engage with customers.

Use trending hashtags and songs

Hashtags and songs are how content gets discovered and spreads. “Using a trending song will help you garner a bigger audience as well as a following. So it’s always good going through the Discover page and seeing anything that’s trending to make your own and do that,” said Vanessa Acosta, the owner of Wasi Clothing.

To find popular and trending hashtags, songs, and filters, check out TikTok’s Discover page in addition to your "For You" feed. “Creators can help boost their content by using the Discover page to look up which hashtags are currently trending and adding them to their videos, which can help their videos end up on more users’ feeds,” wrote Shopify.

[Read more: Inside How 3 Startups Generated Exponential Sales Growth on TikTok]

Be authentic

When you’re looking for a trend to try for your business, find one that feels natural. “You don’t have to do a viral dance or TikTok challenge to entertain your audience if that’s not on brand for you,” said Shopify expert Emily Brown. “But there are ways to put your own spin on TikTok trends that will help you make sales, grow business visibility, and strengthen your brand’s presence.”

Trends on TikTok move fast, and trying to capitalize on every viral moment can backfire. Audiences on TikTok don’t want to be sold to; rather, they’re looking for content that is inspirational, educational, or entertaining. And, most of all, they want brands to be authentic. Trying too hard to “go viral” can backfire.

To find popular and trending hashtags, songs, and filters, check out TikTok's Discover page in addition to your "For You" feed.

Put your own spin on it

There are some formats that never go stale, no matter what the trending topic of the day may be. Put your own spin on some of these content ideas and see how your audience responds:

  • Day in the life: Take your followers through a typical day of running your business, showing “everyday” tasks like testing a new product, talking to customers, working with your staff, and launching a marketing campaign.
  • Story time: Creators share a story that’s funny, interesting, or weird while building something or completing a task. It’s a great way to talk about how you started your business or developed a skill while doing something that avoids talking straight into the camera.
  • Join a subculture: Like Reddit, there are tons of smaller communities that could be good places to find inspiration. #CleanTok (for cleaning tips), #BookTok (for reading recommendations), and #FoodTok (for recipes and cooking ideas) are some communities with high engagement.
  • ASMR: ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. It’s a strange, tingly sensation that you get listening to certain sounds, and it can also be deeply relaxing. Think of the sound of an ingredient sizzling when it hits the pan, the sound of crinkling wrapping paper, and any other myriad sounds that happen during the workday. ASMR and #OddlySatisfying videos get thousands of views.

[Read more: How TikTok Cooking Videos Landed This Homemade Seasoning Mix in 13,000 Retail Doors]

Spend a little time on the app to see what content you respond to the most. This can give you a good idea for what content your customers may also be interested in and how you can put your own twist on popular trends.

Engage with your audience

TikTok is a highly social app. It wants users to connect their ideas to those posted by other people but slightly differently. Essentially, users are encouraged to put their own spin on existing videos.

“Duets and Stitches are ways to build on existing TikTok videos. With Duets, you add on to another user's existing video, and with Stitch, you clip specific scenes from another user’s video to add to your video,” wrote HubSpot.

This concept is different from other social media channels, where user-generated content should always be kept distinct from your branded material. But it also means you can interact with your audience in unique ways. Ask followers for ideas of what you should post next. Stitch your videos with those of your loyal customers and employees.

Use TikTok’s community-minded approach to build an active and interactive following on the platform. From there, content ideas should flow naturally.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Dedicated to turning our advantage into yours.
Unmatched 5G network : Get work done where your business happens with the speed, bandwidth, and reliability your business needs.
Learn More

Connect with vendors who can meet your needs

Answer a few questions to tell us more about what you're looking for, and we'll help you reach vendors who can provide you with more information, pricing, and products.