We asked entrepreneurs how they are currently using this rising social media platform to build a brand, drive sales, and curate new audiences to their favor.
Article Summary: TikTok is still rapidly evolving with changing algorithms, and tracking marketing metrics like website traffic is still a challenge. The potential to go viral or build a strong niche audience is greater than on other, established social platforms.
So, maybe you’re like me: an over-30-something Millennial, former Myspace teenage user, who saw the rise and saturation of platforms like Facebook and Instagram, watched Youtube grow into the behemoth it currently is, and now are faced with the potential of yet another new social platform, with new features and endless opportunity.
It’s… daunting to say the least.
First, some facts: Over 37% of users on TikTok are over the age of 30! There is no excuse to not be on this platform if you are a brand owner, (that is, unless you have moral hangups about their murky policies when it comes to personal data, or are on edge over the high-profile corporate war being currently being waged between China and the U.S. over its ownership, but I digress…)
This platform has over a billion worldwide users and still hasn’t reached full user adoption yet. As a brand owner, it’s remiss not to consider it since it’s a direct communication channel, especially with youth audiences ages 13–24.
Not only that, but the platform provides true virility, leveraging hashtags and algorithms in, seemingly, a smarter way than rival platform Instagram does. This means as a brand owner, you can start posting on TikTok today and be a TikTok star tomorrow — or realistically, within days if you go viral, and months if you don’t and simply and continue to post regularly and consistently.
What About My Data?
TikTok is at the center of data privacy concerns when it comes to social media users. While we would be remiss not to mention this to brand owners who are concerned about data privacy, dealing with sensitive information, or otherwise unsure of where they personally stand on the issue, it’s still not enough to overlook the massive sales and growth potential for some.
As a consulting firm owner, I can’t guide you on this one. You’ll have to decide for yourself where your organization personally stands when it comes to data privacy and external third parties.
That said, the baseline recommendation I make to brand owners who are concerned about privacy, yet still are eager to use TikTok as it holds massive market share for them, is to get a burner phone at your organization that is solely used for no other purpose than for TikTok.
Do you have an alternate suggestion on how to engage with TikTok, (or rather, why not?) Tweet at us on Twitter and let us know!
How Marketers and Entrepreneurs Are Using TikTok
We asked brand founders, marketers and growth experts how they are currently using this social platform to grow their brands, and how they believe other brands could benefit. Read their responses below:
Name: Stewart Dunlop Brand: Founder and CEO, PPCGenius.io TikTok: Manages client accounts “I would strongly recommend the “Using a Challenge” strategy to promote your brand on TikTok and by promoting #HashtagChallenge. In this kind of campaign, the brand challenges users to create and upload TikTok videos inspired by their original video using the #HashtagChallenge and tagging 3 of their friends to attempt the challenge. The person with the most hearts on the video wins a free product or service from the brand. This strategy boosted the percentage of my brand searches by about 50% and engagement to almost 25%. Another great strategy on Tiktok is to utilize Influencer Marketing. I wanted to target [a specific geographical region,] and [asked a TikTok influencer to] feature my products in their TikTok videos, as well as share positive reviews about my brand in it. In the same campaign, I requested that the influencer recommended the viewers to try the product and leave a reply in the comments. Once they buy it, one lucky winner after verified purchase will have the chance to meet that influencer in person. This alone helped my brand searches from that specific country surge to almost 60% and I got 2,000+ orders for my product.”
“Over the last four months, I have grown my TikTok account to 45K followers. I’m convinced every business needs to have a presence on TikTok. The amount of organic exposure is HUGE! Not to mention that this type of content is only going to continue to increase over time.
If you want to do well on TikTok, take some time to look at what content is trending, specifically within your niche. You can also check the trending section for some good hashtag suggestions. The more you define your content and who you’re serving, the more likely people are to subscribe! It’s also important to understand that the TikTok algorithm changes a lot, so keep an eye out for updates. Right now, getting shares on your video is really important to rank well on the TikTok algorithm.
If you haven’t already, I would seriously consider the role TikTok could play in your marketing strategy. This kind of content isn’t going away anytime soon!”
We are quite active on Instagram but decided to get on TikTok a few months ago. We collaborate with 100+ micro-influencers monthly both on Instagram and TikTok, and repurpose their content on our accounts.
For example, we collaborated with a TikToker that has 400K+ followers. Her TikTok video had 10K+ likes on her account, and 300+ on ours. Another collaboration generated 15K+ total likes, as she showcased our product in several videos.
It’s challenging to measure TikTok performance as we can’t track website traffic or conversions coming from this channel yet. However, some of the micro-influencers we work with have a unique promo code, so we can track sales that way. The numbers right now are between 100 to 200 sales per month!
My predictions are that when the current audience reaches maturity, there will be a whole new audience coming up on TikTok that replaces the current one. However, it is essential to diversify marketing efforts and stay active on Instagram too.”
“I am using TikTok mainly to provide short snippets of information to my followers and audience, such as relevant content about scholarships to apply for, tips on how to be successful in college, and how to write college application essays.
Despite the fact that I am a member of Gen-Z, I had never used TikTok before, so it definitely took a little while to figure out the quirks of how the app is used, and what type of content users consume the most. Once I started to get the hang of it, I started to see significant upticks in the number of followers and likes to my profile, along with a solid conversion to my website and linked Instagram page.
My best performing content so far is a short TikTok (less than 15 seconds) where I highlight a list of full-ride scholarships — it has almost 100,000 views and 13,000 likes to date.
It is difficult to predict what will happen when this audience reaches maturity in a few years, simply because there are always new apps coming to the market which these users will likely continue to consume. So, I think that even if TikTok doesn’t stick around, businesses will find new and different ways to connect with this audience.
Name: Keenya Kelly Brand: Branding and Marketing Consultant, KeenyaKelly.com TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@keenyakelly0
"I’ve been using TikTok for the last 7 months. We’ve grown to 160,000 followers and I helped one of my clients reach 320,000 followers.
My best piece of content is only 6 seconds and me saying “I’m that lady that helps people get to $10,000 a month.” We gained 60,000 followers in 8 days due to that video. My book has sold way more on TikTok than any other social media platform. I predict that the same way marketers moved to Facebook and Instagram, they will eventually come to TikTok and it will become another social media app for business growth."
"We have a divorce law firm that uses TikTok. We have started using this platform instead of Instagram or Facebook as the main social media platform for our business. Our best performing content is unique advice, something that people are struggling with, or something that is triggering.
For unique advice, don’t just give people run-of-the-mill advice that everyone else is giving. Our best performing content has been about losing an inherited property to your spouse in a divorce and how to avoid that. This is also something that people will share with someone they know who might be inheriting property if they are in a rocky relationship. Our best performing video has almost 500k views."
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Let’s get you started on TikTok the right way! Werner and Media is a media consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs and founders, marketing leaders, and media investors make wise decisions. Get in contact with us here.