Tick. Tick. TikTok. Boom!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no escaping the rise of TikTok, the latest social media app for sharing short videos. TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity over the past two years and currently has 1 billion monthly active users with 50% of its global audience under the age of 34. In addition to being named the most popular web domain by Cloudflare, TikTok has also surpassed Facebook as the most popular social media site. With its astronomically high engagement (11.83% versus 0.35% on Instagram and 2.75% on YouTube), Tik Tok looks set to top the social media platform in 2022.

TikTok touts itself as the leading destination for short-form mobile video. It is highly saturated with videos from content creators, casual users, and business accounts. While many brands have already hopped on the bandwagon, is this the right platform for every business? The short answer is – Yes! Even for small businesses because of its low cost and growing popularity. And it’s not just for Gen Z or creatives, it appeals to almost every generation. 

Setting up a TikTok account is pretty easy but making creative videos about your bartending skills is just one step to building a successful presence. Because, you really have to get people to watch your videos, and then keep them coming back for more. Before you get all excited (and you should!), do consider the following when using TikTok for your business.

Your business target audience characteristics: Research and study your target audience’s demographics and geographical location. This information can help determine if TikTok is the most effective social media tool to reach your target audience.

Evaluate the content you want to post online: Each TikTok video length ranges from 15 to 60 seconds. This means you’ll have to concise your video ideas and content within this time frame or split the video into different parts. Consider whether this time frame is sufficient for the video content you need to create for your audience.

Managing your TikTok account: Content creation for short videos, maintaining and managing a TikTok account can be time-consuming. Assigning someone internally or an external hire to manage your TikTok business account will help ensure a smooth flow, from ideation to posting the video.

5 tips to stand out on TikTok

Tip #1: Get a good grasp of TikTok’s content
Following users, watching videos in the ‘following’ and ‘for you page’, and finding videos with hashtags that align with your business and your target audience will give you a gauge on the desired content you wish to create. Check out the competition! What are your competitors doing by way of pushing content? Research and research more. You’re bound to get ideas that will help with your own content creation. Keep an eye out for stories and trends on TikTok as they can change on a daily or weekly basis.

Tip #2: Enhance your knowledge of TikTok’s algorithm
TikTok Algo 101, a document produced by TikTok’s engineering team in Beijing, explains TikTok’s algorithm in simple terms. Some of the details discussed in the document include algorithmic recommendations, i.e. how the application recommends videos to users and how TikTok draws viewers to stay on the platform as long as possible.

This vital information gives an idea of how to resonate with your audience and increase the visibility of your videos. By the way, TikTok’s algorithm is quite tricky. For example, no two users will see the same videos on their For You page, and the videos you see might change over time based on your viewing preferences and even your current state of mind.

Tip #3: Upload brief, clear & enticing videos
Create brief and clear content so that the essence of your videos is captured within the 15-60 second time frame. Furthermore, TikTok’s interface allows users to endlessly and quickly scroll through videos.  In reality, you only have 1-2 seconds to grab users’ attention through visual or audio cues. Take a look at how this TikTok creator uses stop motion to convey a story: https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSeg62bWC/

Tip #4: Cast a wider net
Create videos that TikTok users can recreate, duet with or use in their posts. This not only encourages viral content, but more importantly, allows your audience to recreate and share in the content making process, and in turn, you amplify your message across a wider net. A perfect example of this is the TikTok duet song challenge: https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSeg6jsou/

Tip #5: Post at the right time
TikTok, like any other social media platform, has a global audience which means the videos are available in any region and at any time through its For You Page algorithm. So, pay close attention to detail when it comes to posting your videos.  Consider your audience, hashtags and sounds you use, and the actual content quality.  The best recommended times to post on TikTok are 6 to 10 in the morning, and 7-11 in the evening.

One more thing! Once you’re ready to put out your video for the world to see, double check to make sure that everything is how you want it to be.  Choose a cover image, add hashtags, write up a quick video description and tag friends. 

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