With the end of 2019 in sight, it’s time, for us marketers, to understand what worked, what didn’t, and how to spread our resources and energies as 2020 comes in.
Updates and algorithm changes aside, it’s safe to say that, this year, one of the most impressive and performing social media platforms has certainly been TikTok, the Gen Z-packed app who’s taken the younger demographics by storm in 2019.
But what is TikTok exactly?
TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to create animated videos, between 15 and 60 seconds of duration each.
As of 2019, it represents an excellent video-sharing strategy that keeps growing worldwide, but it’s not just that.
It is a combination of both entertainment and interaction, a powerful mix that’s drawing a lot of younger kids’ attention (whom used to be on Facebook or Instagram and are therefore looking for some kind of novelty) and that presents huge opportunities for marketers in terms of brand awareness.
As a matter of fact, TikTok allows big (and smaller) companies to create that type of quality engagement that most guru marketers preach and dream about, and it can literally do wonders if used properly.
If you’re reading this article, I can reassure you: it doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned marketer with a history of successful predictions and a digital marketing résumé full of big achievements, or you’re just a small business owner who’s trying to get more traction through social media.
This article constitutes a great starting point, full of great tips on how to take advantage of the hottest platform in the modern communication realm and 10X your brand awareness without spending a single dime on paid reach.
If you already have a TikTok account, you might have unknowingly implemented some of these tips already. If you don’t, pay close attention to them, as they can give you a strong advantage among your competitors.
What are the best TikTok practices?
Here’s the list:
- Pick the right username.
As with any social media platform, choosing an easily recognizable and effective username is one of the most overlooked steps to take, but it is nonetheless what will set you apart right off the bat when it comes to brand awareness.
- Familiarize with the platform.
After signing up, I advise you to go to the “Discovery” section on the bottom left of the menu, and start following two types of people: either the ones who’ve gained the most traction on the platform, or the ones who operate in the same niche as yours.
Spend a couple of hours getting comfortable with knowing what type of content gets the most engagement and how creators are leveraging their influence, as well as TikTok’s overall tone of voice and communication style.
- Create your content, but not arbitrarily!
After completing step two, it’s time to create content.
However, before putting out anything, it’s best to stick to TikTok’s guidelines, some of which include:
– Appropriate, relevant hashtags, ideally a combination of yours (i.e. first name, second name, and business’ name) and trending ones (which can be found on the same “Discovery” section we mentioned earlier);
– A coherent and homogeneous tone of voice, aimed at a specific target audience. When it comes to social media, it’s always better to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than the other way around;
– Consistency, a “must” not only in terms of posting frequency, but also timing. TikTok’s rush hours come usually during early afternoon and after dinner, regardless of your audience’s time zones (with an exception on the weekends, when the platform’s core demographics can engage more actively due to having more spare time).
- Be a part of the community.
Even though TikTok, just like many other platforms, is a digital-based environment, don’t underestimate the power that creating genuine and authentic connections can have on both yourself, your brand, and others who come across your online presence.
That sense of belonging is what gave birth to social media in the first place.
We needed to feel part of something even if that something isn’t real.
Wherever we are, we look for people who are just like us, who cultivate the same passions, who understand what we’re talking about and who share our same vision.
From that perspective, TikTok is no difference.
Hence, make it a point to actively engage in your community, to find people that might have similarities with your brand’s culture and values, and invite them to engage with you.
Here’s the catch, though: people will keep engaging only if you’ll keep putting out valuable content on a regular basis.
- Engage in micro-interactions.
Even though TikTok has the potential to reach millions of people, don’t ever forget the power that small-scale engagements can have on your overall brand growth.
As the audience keeps growing, it’s easier to slip up and lose sight of the importance of the small things, such as answering comments regularly or outlining and putting on a pedestal our most important followers.
That’s something that should never be lacking in any social strategy worthy of respect.
That’s why, as of lately, micro-influencers have gotten way more recognition and respect than larger, more famous ones.
Although the followers’ number might be different, the formers know how to properly harness their influence, compared to the latters, and they end up benefiting from higher engagement rates as a result of that.
The digital world starves for real connections, and whenever a brand is able to show that human side in it, whether it’s in a one-to-one conversation or in a personalized customer experience, they get drawn to it.
Best TikTok practices: conclusions
For someone, it’s just a fad.
For others, it’s going to be around for years to come.
Whatever the opinion on TikTok and its future might be, you can’t ignore the fact that millions of eyeballs are there right now.
Not being part of it, whatever its fate will end up being, is a huge miss on a great brand awareness opportunity.