TikTok in a nutshell

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By Suzanne Brown & Maria Chilcott. Read time 3 mins

The highly addictive video-sharing social media app, TikTok, is giving Facebook a run for its money as the most popular App in the world. As one of the fastest-growing platforms, by early 2021 it had 1.1 billion global users (Investopedia) creating, watching and sharing short videos filmed on their phones. If your ideal audience is mainly Millennials and Generation Z women (69% of all users are in the 13-24 age group, and 60% are female), then TikTok could be the perfect social media platform for your brand or cause.

Similar to other social media, the TikTok algorithm automatically serves up content that users are likely to enjoy, based on their preferences. Because the videos are short in length and often funny, viewers tend to watch lots of them, scrolling through to see what comes up next. The average daily viewing time is about 46 minutes a day! Audiences can ‘heart’(like) your video and leave comments, which can also be ‘hearted’.

TikTok makes it easier for video creators by suggesting topics with local trending hashtags. It also sends personalised recommendations, so you’re always up to date on the latest ideas for video creation and what’s trending. The App also has a library of 100,000 free songs to access, or you can use your own recordings, or record your own original sound.

TikTok videos are vertical and can be anywhere between 5-60 seconds long, although TikTok recommends 12-15 seconds as the average user’s attention span. If in doubt, remember this: “A video should be as long as it is interesting”. 

The TikTok Content Guide is a good place to start. It suggests showing off your brand by demonstrating your product or service in everyday settings. The videos don’t have to show all the benefits, but delivering one key memorable point is important. Visuals should align with your brand image. 

TikTok users usually like to learn or laugh. The most popular videos are funny and/or musical – lip-synching to songs or movies, simple dance moves to music, comedy or challenges. The next most popular are informative videos – life hacks, brand/product reviews, restaurant reviews, unboxing products or anything else you think is exciting and will provide value. The main thing when creating content for TikTok is to keep it fun, relatable and authentic. Creativity is much more important than the number of followers. Whether you’re a business or a not-for-profit organisation, showing your product, service, or cause with real-life people and storylines resonates the most with TikTok users.

Like Facebook or Instagram, you can pay to promote your video, and TikTok also makes it easy for you to advertise on the App. Once you’ve created a business account and an ads account, you’ll have access to the Ads Campaign section. TikTok guides you through the process of creating your ad, based on your goals. 

If you don’t want to pay for advertising or promotion, try encouraging users to generate fun brand-related content for you. Challenges are popular on TikTok, such as lip-synching to your jingle or wearing/using your product, as well as contests. And if you have an influencer or celebrity who can creatively endorse your brand, all the better! 

You might have heard of some of the big players like, Guess, Apple Music, Netflix and Coke getting great engagement on TikTok, and Australian small businesses and not-for-profits are getting on board too. Businesses as diverse as Australian Reptile Park, voice coach Sally Prosser, and lolly shop Sticky have had huge success in Australia and not-for-profits like ReachOut.com, Batyr, Australia for UNHCR and Australian Red Cross, to name a few, are finding new and younger audiences with TikTok. 

TikTok is a great low-cost way to show a different side to your business or cause, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Get your staff involved to showcase what you do, or just start with pictures, music and a voice-over. By using hashtags and tapping into trends, you can quickly and easily grow an audience. Don’t forget to add your URL to your profile or include your account in your Linktree so people can find you.

If you need any help navigating the world of TikTok, give us a call! 

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