Strategies and tips on using TikTok for business

Strategies and tips on using TikTok for business

By 2023, TikTok boasted an astonishing 1.7 billion users worldwide, comprising nearly a quarter of the global population. In the United States alone, the app had 150 million active users, while the UK counted over 23 million.

This exponential growth solidifies TikTok’s position as one of the leading social media platforms globally. Notably, almost half of Generation Z is active on TikTok, a demographic trend with significant implications, as we’ll delve into later.

The platform’s user engagement is remarkable, with over 1 billion TikTok videos viewed daily. Moreover, TikTok disclosed that nearly 1.5 million UK businesses leverage the platform to enhance their operations. Given these staggering figures, the surge in TikTok marketing is unsurprising. Perhaps it’s time for you to consider harnessing the power of TikTok for building your brand?

Finding your target audience on TikTok

When you think of TikTok influencers, who comes to mind first? Perhaps a Kardashian or another universally recognised celebrity, or maybe an unknown teenager dancing in their bedroom. But what about Laura Pomfret, Holly Holland, or David Poku?

Holly and Laura, known as @Financielle, and David Poku, under the handle @PokuBanks, represent a burgeoning trend known as #FinTok. As the name suggests, FinTok focuses on financial advice on TikTok. David delves into the risks of unregulated advice and offers tips to avoid online scams, while Holly and Laura simplify financial jargon and tackle questions like ‘should I rent or buy?’

Together, they amass over 350,000 followers, with the FinTok hashtag accumulating nearly 5 billion views. This underscores the diversity of niches on platforms like TikTok, where attentive exploration can uncover an engaged audience for any business.

TikTok videos reign supreme in content creation!

When it comes to posting videos on TikTok, insights from Sprout Social Media’s 2023 Index report offer valuable guidance on effective content strategies. Short-form video emerges as the top-performing format, unsurprisingly, given its high activity and engagement levels. Therefore, prioritising short-form video content is crucial for your TikTok channel, as Sprout’s report indicates its superior engagement compared to longer formats.

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Moreover, the versatility of short-form videos allows for easy repurposing across other platforms like Instagram, amplifying their value. To further enhance your marketing efforts, consider leveraging dedicated paid advertising options through TikTok ads.

In essence, integrating video content into your content strategy is essential. But what does this entail in practical terms?

Crafting a tailored content strategy

When utilising TikTok for business, the specifics of your content will be entirely unique to your brand. Your TikTok channel serves as your platform to narrate your story in your distinctive brand voice, so embrace experimentation.

Many successful TikTok users approach content creation with an open mindset, recognising that testing and learning are integral to maximising TikTok’s potential. The platform’s algorithm can be unpredictable; a piece of content may initially receive minimal engagement, only to thrive upon reposting weeks later. Maintaining an open mind, a willingness to engage with trends and themes, and the confidence to accept that not every attempt will resonate are crucial for TikTok success.

As a business account, consider posting content that enhances brand visibility and awareness.

Develop content that embodies your core values

Be authentic. This is particularly important with TikTok for business. The most successful businesses and brands using TikTok are doing so without filters or pretence. It should be an honest portrayal of your corporate values. TikTok users want authenticity, so give it to them.

Tell your story

Whether you’re a local butcher, an emerging tech scale-up or a global mega-corporation, everyone has a story to tell. Use the platform to show and tell your story, knowledge and experiences to your TikTok community.

Showcase your people

Put your people front and centre.

Give them the latitude to create engaging content on their own terms (obviously with the businesses’ best interests in mind). This kind of user-generated content typically performs very well on TikTok and is a strong method of enhancing and amplifying employer brand.

Share knowledge and expertise

Try to teach your target audiences something they don’t know. Our FinTok examples above do an excellent job of breaking down complex subject matter into educational and easily digestible audio clips.

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Entertain

Social media platforms are entertainment platforms. The content you put out into the world has to be entertaining. You have less than two seconds to hook in your target audience… so it has to be entertaining above all.

Collaborating with partners and creators

To further grow your presence, creator collaborations could be the next step.

You might not consider TikTok a defecto B2B platform… and you might be right. But, remember that not too long ago, neither was Facebook. Neither was Instagram.

The B2B creator and influencer space on TikTok is still emerging. Forward-thinking businesses can get in on the action early and explore partnerships with emerging creators, influencers, industry experts and thought leaders.

Again, look at the great example of FinTok, with billions of views all relating to financial advice. The odds are, that if you’re a business looking to engage with creators or direct users, there will be a pool of people out there for you.

When you do reach the stage of working with creators and influencers. There is yet more interesting data from Sprout Social, on the engagement rates of smaller creators:

5k-10k followers: 76.23%

10k-50k followers: 37.77%

50k-100k followers: 27.87%

100k-250k followers: 20.43%

250k-1m followers: 16.59%

1m+ followers: 12.69%

As the data shows, smaller-level creators are having much more cut-through with their audiences, when compared with higher-followed accounts.

TikTok and the talent crisis

The battle for young talent is a sector-agnostic challenge. But could TikTok be the answer to many-a-businesses recruitment woes?

In December of 2022, PR Week delved into this concept, with some very interesting anecdotal evidence, to prove that TikTok is already having a major positive impact on recruitment and employer brand.

Battenhall

“It’s been a huge driver of recruitment interest for us,” says Taja Woods, senior account executive at Battenhall. She adds that the agency’s most popular video was directly responsible for more than 50 job applications.

Here Be Dragons

“Every time we post something cool, within the next week our inbox goes mad. That’s normally people looking for their first job or an internship, so it really is Gen Z. These are people looking to enter the workplace for the first time, who’ve identified marketing as a discipline they might want to get involved in, and have looked it up on TikTok, found our channel and gone: ‘That’s a bit of me.’”

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Emerge

“We have seen a significant increase in job applicants, new business and awareness as a consequence of our TikTok presence,”

TikTok offers business account users a platform to showcase their values, their culture and their ways of working in new, exciting and engaging content. The largest age demographic on TikTok is the 18-24 category, at 36%.

This younger audience is key demographic in the talent crisis and we can see from these three examples, that TikTok is already working to attract both potential candidates, new customers and new business.

If it’s working for them, then why can’t it work for you?

Initiating your TikTok business profile

TikTok stands out as a powerhouse among social media platforms, making it indispensable for enhancing yourdigital marketing efforts. Beyond mere video creation, leveraging TikTok for business can amplify your online reach, bolster brand visibility, and foster deeper connections with potential customers, teams, and target audiences, in conjunction with other social media platforms.

Moreover, the barrier to entry is remarkably low. You don’t need elaborate production setups or expensive equipment to create TikTok videos—all you require is a smartphone and a willingness to explore creative possibilities.


Sarah Woodhouse

Sarah Woodhouse

Sarah Woodhouse is a director and co-owner at AMBITIOUS, a strategic communications agency. Sarah is a seasoned public relations and communications professional with over 21 years’ experience working in the UK and Asia. Based in Bristol, but with a national and international reach, AMBITIOUS helps clients find, engage and grow audiences. From print and digital PR to communications strategy, media training, social media and content services – it connects clients to the conversations that matter.

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