TikTok is a newer social video platform.
Millions of users on the TikTok platform offer a unique opportunity for your business to connect with new potential customers. — Getty Images/SeventyFour

While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube remain popular social media options for businesses to connect with customers, TikTok should also be considered due to its immense reach. The social media company, founded in 2016, has more than 100 million monthly users in the U.S. and 800 million monthly users globally, as of late 2020.

With so many people hooked on TikTok’s short and creative videos, the platform provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with a young, engaged audience. Here are seven tips to help companies get started with TikTok and learn how to drive sales in a new way.

Understand the platform first

TikTok, like most other social media platforms, takes a little bit of time to get acclimated. First, create a full profile on the service. It’s highly recommended to use the same user name and logo that you use on other social media platforms to have brand consistency. You also should fill in a “bio” with information and related keywords about your business.

Once your account is set up, spend time with the app to see how people create videos, what is trending and the tone of the content. An estimated 62% of U.S.-based users on the platform are age 29 and under, so know that your content should often target a younger audience.

Creativity and fun should be the focus

One thing that nearly all popular TikTok videos have in common is a sense of creativity and fun. Famous TikTok stars frequently participate in dance challenges, pair unique footage to hit songs, perform stunts and tell witty jokes. While businesses will not necessarily want to copy these tactics exactly when driving sales, they will want to tap into their creative side when making TikTok videos.

For example, if you’re a restaurant, you could use your TikTok presence to teach how to make particular recipes to tease your skills, pair footage of you making food with songs or sharing content produced by your customers that feature your dishes. One example of a food brand that may provide inspiration is Chipotle, which has amassed more than a million followers for its irreverent videos.

Collect user-generated testimonials

If your brand is looking to create engaging videos with little effort, encourage your customers to submit their own videos. These user-generated videos, especially from younger users, can feature short testimonials or them cleverly using your product.

“Generation Z loves the full immersive experience,” writes Influencer Marketing Hub. “That’s why they don’t sit at home watching traditional broadcast TV – it’s too much of a passive experience. If you can find a way to encourage your customers to share videos of themselves using or interacting with your products in some way, you’re likely to get a high buy-in.”

The TikTok Ads Manager lets you choose your goal, create a targeted audience, assign a specific daily or lifetime budget and helps you design the ad.

Provide useful information and ideas

One type of video that is especially popular on TikTok is when a person quickly teaches how to make something or succinctly explains a topic. Businesses can create videos like this as well, especially ones that show off their expertise. A large car dealership, for example, could dedicate its channel to creating content that showcases easy-to-understand explainers about auto loans, vehicle maintenance and essential car features.

Take advantage of popular hashtags

Using the Discover feature inside the TikTok app, you can see what hashtags and song samples are trending worldwide. Businesses can craft relevant videos related to those trending topics or sounds so more people will find them. Don’t feel the need to chase every prominent hashtag, but if something trends that ties to your business, work quickly to take advantage.

Use TikTok’s ad platform to expand your reach

Another way to expand how many potential customers see your videos is to use the TikTok Ads Manager. The TikTok Ads Manager lets you choose your goal, create a targeted audience, assign a specific daily or lifetime budget and helps you design the ad. TikTok provides a step-by-step guide for businesses interested in making ads.

Work with a TikTok influencer to showcase your product

Finally, one trick that may help drive sales on TikTok is working directly with an influencer who already has a large following. The influencer can then incorporate the product into one of their videos.

“Generation Z is typically opposed to anything that looks like a traditional ad,” Syed Balkhi writes in Entrepreneur. “So, working with TikTok influencers can really help you make a connection with that generation of users. To find the right influencer for your business, you can look for online tools that let you search bios on TikTok, look for mentions of other brands, the most popular languages used in an influencer audience and more.”

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Published February 04, 2021