TikTok is the new, new kid on the block! It’s exciting for social media marketing… way more exciting than Snapchat ever was. Why? First of all, incredible engagement. People love it (especially but not only young people). It’s super addictive! Second, it is a true social media platform similar to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter while Snapchat really isn’t. Snapchat by its own admission is a ‘messaging platform.’ TikTok obviously is very keen on B2C (Business to Consumer) brands, so if your brand is consumer, you definitely want to watch it, and dive in.
First, download and install the app. Start using TikTok as a “user” / get to know it. You can also browse it on the desktop at https://www.tiktok.com/, though much of the functionality only occurs on the app / mobile phone version. Find and follow – a) some influencers / super fans / super active individuals, b) some brands. Find both competitors (if they exist on the platforms) and companies-to-emulate.
Here are some brands that seem to be doing TikTok well –
- Wendys. The snarky brand is “all in” on TikTok and amazing to watch. Notice how much UGC they get, generate, and cultivate.
- Southern Living. This old-school, grocery-story magazine about Southern Living, cooking and gardening is getting a TikTok reboot.
- Chipotle – another consumer brand that is CRUSHING it on TikTok (and also Instagram).
- Crocs – Crocs never went out of style. Or did they?
- Sticky Lollies – from Down Under, comes a candy shop that does TikTok amazingly well. Notice how they really interact with what’s trending. For example, subject your ears to the “ear worm” of Watermelon Sugar.
All your big “pop culture” stars are embracing it. For example – Arnold, Will Smith, Bill Nye, etc. Identify your “pop culture” icons and find them on TikTok. What’s unusual about it, however, (so far) is the domination of the “Masses” of new stars rising and, to be honest, some hostility towards mega stars coming into the fun turf of TikTok. Hashtags, algorithm discovery, and music-based discovery are ENORMOUS. So use those. Investigate them. What do you see users doing? Engaging with? Loving?
Hashtags? Yes, please. Like Twitter and Instagram, TikTok heavily uses hashtags such as #learnontiktok or #songofsummer. Remember that what’s innovative is the algorithm itself, and the ability to “discover” convent by clicking on the bottom right in the app and browsing by music. Music is huge on the platform, such as #watermelonsugar. Like Instagram it is full of superfans and influencers, so people who have a following are very eager to interact with brands, including (but not only) for money. Contests and challenges are very big, too, the former always involving money or some remuneration, and the latter involving more the ability to be showcased by the brand. Wendys has done an incredible job at this type of “encouraged” UGC, as in this video, here.