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TikTok for business: how to get started

Blog post   •   Mar 02, 2020 17:37 CET

If you’re not familiar with the world dominating social platform that is TikTok, read this article first.

Step 1: download the app and create an account

You can actually use the app without an account, but in order to start posting your own content - which you’re going to want to do - you’ll need to sign up.

Step 2: start scrolling and exploring

If you want to gain a following on TikTok, you need to understand its demographic. Who are they, what do they like? What gets hearts (= likes) and what doesn’t?

You’ll find this out by scrolling the for you page, aka. the feed. The TikTok algorithm that controls the for you page is extremely clever and will very quickly understand what a user likes and tailor its feed thereafter. While every feed is unique, viral trends transcend personal preferences and versions of them end up on pretty much everyone’s for you page.

So, what you really need to do is to start identifying trends. When a song, challenge or dance move becomes popular on TikTok, they start showing up in everyone’s for you page, and if you make a successful interpretation of it, yours could too.

PS. Check out what other companies are doing and see what works for them.

Loading screen/For you page/Discover

Step 3: create your first TikToks

Now that you understand the app’s style and jargon, it’s time for you to start hopping on trends and coming up with your own TikTok ideas. NB though, you can’t just mimic someone else; you need to make it your own, and it has to feel genuine. If you haven’t noticed already, Gen Z are an extremely socially aware generation and demand transparency and authenticity from just about everyone, including (especially) you as a brand. TikTok content is a type of UGC, just created by your own employees instead of customers, so consider it as such.

Remember to act natural. It’s not an audition, it’s not an official ad. You’re one of them now so avoid being formal, be as casual as they are. Don’t overdo it and don’t try to make it look too professional, they won’t like that. Part of the TikTok charm is that there’s not much more to it than a person and a phone camera.

Step 4: keep track of what works and what doesn’t

The overview on your profile shows you how many people watched each of your videos, which makes it extremely easy to see what worked, and what didn’t.

On TikTok, there’s no such thing as ”too much”. There are over 500 million users and some of them have hundreds of videos. You can do the math yourself - that’s a lot of content. There’s no risk of spamming, so you can post as much as you like, but the videos that you do post needs to be really good. Say it with me: quality over quantity. Do yourself a favor and don’t post a video that you wouldn’t stop to watch yourself. It’s not going to hurt your brand if you do, but the energy and time you spent making it will be wasted.

Step 5: start your own challenge(s)

If a challenge is fun and inclusive, there are no limits to how much attention it can get. For example, the general hashtag #challenge has 32.1 billion views, the #raindropchallenge has over 988 million views and the #inmyfeelingschallenge has 125,9 million views. Once you feel at home enough in the app and you’re ready for the next step, come up with something fun that’ll make people want to try it and join in and create a matching hashtag.

Either you hope it grows organically because of the mere fun of it, or you could opt for a sponsored Hashtag Challenge that gets featured on the discover page, or a Hashtag Challenge Plus which includes an e-commerce feature that lets TikTokers shop products associated with the hashtag without leaving the app.

Bonus step: sponsor a TikToker

If you want to get even more exposure out of TikTok, consider doing a sponsored partnership with a popular creator. It’s more or less the same as a sponsored post on Instagram or a sponsored video on Youtube, but in a much smaller and faster format.

For more information, contact:

Bianca Rior, Content Editor, Flowbox

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