For anyone over 25, Tik Tok can seem to be for dancing, singing and other such distractions. Whist initially it was aimed at this market by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, it has grown into a great business and personal brand tool to rival Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. So how can you use Tik Tok to grow your business? That’s what I’m going to try and answer today by giving you my top tips you can use.
The history of Tik Tok
The platform was launched in September 2016 under the name “Douyin”, which was marketed as a video-sharing social networking service similar to Instagram. The musical.ly app was then purchased and migrated into TikTok, hence its early reputation. However it has evolved and grown rapidly over the last several years. Now in 2022, entrepreneurship is one of the top categories on Tik Tok.
In 2021, Cloudflare ranked Tik Tok as the worlds most popular website, jumping ahead of Google. Estimates now put the value of Tik Tok at anywhere within $50billion and $75billion.
Why I decided to use Tik Tok for business
I decided to begin using Tik Tok for business because other entrepreneurs I know and respected, like Lewis Howes and Gary Vaynerchuk, were using it successfully. It seemed like a channel you could go viral on, and it seemed to be disrupting more established social media platforms.
Short form content seems to be getting more popular as attention spans shorten. I’ve always felt it important to test NEW platforms, feeling the pain of missing the viral growth periods of most of the other channels except Clubhouse (where I met Lewis Howes). I now think it’s vital if you want to grow your business to be omnipresent on all channels, as we experience radical competition and decentralisation of social media.
And of course we’ve got to keep up with the kids who are creating viral content for fun, as well as overcoming our own resistance to change.
How I grew my brand on Tik Tok
So I went head first into the world of Tik Tok feeling old and unskilled on young social media apps, but simply committed to posting one video a day for a year, without fail. I did this simply to see what happened.
Within that year I built over 160,000 followers and 2.3million likes, building a brand to a new, younger market, and a significantly larger customer base. In addition to the important consistency factor, I grew from zero followers and experience through content repurposing, which is a big advantage.
So how do you create more and better content? Many entrepreneurs are busy, and doing hours of content daily or weekly can feel both overwhelming and also a low value task or return on time invested. So I simply took content I’d already recorded for YouTube or done on Facebook lives, with guest interviews working especially well, and had an editor edit them specific for Tik Tok. I’ll share those specifics below.
Content repurposing gives the impression of omni-presence. People will say that you are ‘all over social media’, when in fact you are re-using existing content, or at least taking one major ‘origin’ content piece and using across multiple platforms for time and reach leverage.
How an entrepreneur can capitalise on starting a Tik Tok account
Using Tik Tok organically is a great for going viral, building a personal brand and giving reach to a wider customer base.
- Reach a younger, future audience, and build trust to shorten your sales cycle and the time it takes for people to trust enough to buy from you.
- Give perception of increased authority, because visibility is credibility often as much as actual experience.
- Connect with, engage with and understand your customers better than ever.
In real time you can see what your new customers wants and needs are, and what your competition are doing to get a march on you.
You can also earn directly as a creator with gifts (donations) and also the Tik Tok creator fund. As your Tik Tok grows you will also attract bigger brands and companies that will want to collaborate with and sponsor you. You can also run Tik Tok ads. The ad platform is improving and the audience on Tik Tok is growing fast, so if you want to speed up organic growth move some of your test budget to test Tik Tok ads.
How to optimize your Tik Tok content
It is very important to remember that your experience may be different from mine. You will need to conduct your own testing to find your sweet spot. But here’s what worked for me, when I started out and what I have developed over time.
Keep your Tik Tok content short and punchy
Watch time is vital for a video to go viral on Tik Tok. The longer the video is watched, the more the algorithm will share it. You will find a sweet spot length. It could be as little as 7 seconds, or 20 seconds plus. But not minutes. The platform is the king of scrolling content. Comparable to YouTube shorts, the content needs to be hard hitting and memorable in the right time. I have also provided my top tips on how to gain more YouTube subscribers.
Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are used in social media posts to highlight specific phrases relating the posts content. This content could be text, an image or video. These hashtags make your content easily searchable via the platform through these set phrases. Choose hashtags that match your niche and make sure you use the foryoupage #FYP. Select the most relevant 3 to 5 hashtags to add to your video content. This will optimise your content for search. This means people will find your content more relevant and are more likely to watch it.
Create ‘how to guides’ and ‘step by step’ videos
People love the ‘how to’ and ‘the x steps to’ style of content in the entrepreneurs space. They are fast, to the point and informative. Great consumer content. Most obvious examples of this are home improvement or cooking videos.
Focus on the opening 3 seconds
The initial ‘hook’ or ‘grabber’ in the first 3 seconds is very important. It must interrupt the user and make them want to watch more. This key ‘hit or miss’ part of your video is the most crucial and something you need to get right in order to grow your business.
Make sure your Tik Tok’s are engaging
Entertaining and intriguing content does very well, to draw people to watch to the end, and also to share.
Stay on point with your Tik Tok content
Keep your content specific to your niche, it never really worked when I tried unrelated content. This follows on from what I said earlier about relevancy. If you have a cooking channel that starts talking about sport, why would your regular user watch? They want to see how to make a Nutella cheesecake, not the latest transfer news.
Brand and styles gather more views
If you can create a brand or style, this will get your more views. Some of Tik Tok’s biggest brand accounts include the NBA, The Washington Post, the San Diego Zoo and Red Bull.
Remember to use the Tik Tok editor
Always do the edit, or at least the FINAL edit of your videos, within the Tik Tok editor. The algorithm favours it.
Tik Tok trends
Jump on trends such as song trends or video trends on Tik Tok. Major news trends spread fast on Tik Tok, possibly quicker than any other platform right now.
The algorithms want to hook you in. Post weekly. then daily. The 2-3x a day. Test the best times of day to post. Develop the data you need to pin point your ideal posting times. Cracking the algorithm is a science, you need to find your ideal moment.
My Tik Tok predications for the next 5-10 years
TikTok has already changed and disrupted video content. Short form video will become more and more relevant as Tik Tok grows and people’s attention spans shorten. Tik Tok will invest more money into their creator fund and ways for creators and entrepreneurs to monetise full time. This is where Clubhouse went wrong and Tik Tok won’t make the same mistake.
Mark Zuckerberg sees Tik Tok as the greatest threat and competitor to Facebook/Meta, and this will continue. It will continue to be more viral than other channels, so that it can catch up and overtake them. Will it become the biggest social media platform? Only time will tell. But for now, it’s a great and under used tool for entrepreneurs, so commit to consistency and improving as you go, and it could be one of the best marketing tools for your business.
Do you have a question or wish to find out more? Then simply get in touch with me today and one of my team members will be on hand to help.
Remember. If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything