At a glance, it might seem like TikTok is simply a platform for comedy sketches and dancing moms, but the business opportunities on TikTok are juicy.
After all, TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users. It’s the place to see and be seen, which means ample opportunity for brands to engage with audiences in a whole new way. And with the launch of TikTok Shopping, the commercial potential here only continues to grow.
Follow the lead of the big brands who are already optimizing the potential of TikTok, and tap into trending topics and hashtag challenges, experiment with TikTok live streams, or play around with editing tools and trending sounds to create high-energy short-form videos that represent your business.
It can feel overwhelming, though, especially if you’re new to the platform. So consider this your one-stop shop for all you need to know to get your TikTok Business Account up and running.
Read on to learn how to use TikTok for business — from setting up an account from scratch to measuring your success.
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How to use TikTok for business
Step 1: Get a TikTok Business Account
If you’ve already got a personal TikTok account, it’s easy to switch over to a Business Account: just skip right to step 4.
- Download and open the TikTok app.
- Create a new personal account. You can use your email, or log in with your Google, Twitter or Facebook account.
- Tap Me in the lower right corner, then tap Edit Profile. Here, you can add a profile picture and bio, plus links to other social accounts.
- To switch to a Business Account, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, then Manage Account.
- Tap Switch To Pro Account and choose between Business or Creator.
- Now, pick the category that best describes your brand and tap Next.
- Add a website and email address to your profile.
And that’s it! Congrats on your new TikTok Business Account!
Step 2: Create a winning TikTok strategy
Even if you’re a whiz at Instagram or Facebook marketing, it’s important to remember that TikTok is its own beautiful, chaotic beast that requires a specific game plan. And building that game plan starts with gathering information.
Get to know TikTok
Before you build a TikTok strategy, you need to get to know the platform inside and out. Get familiar with TikTok: spend time browsing through the videos on the For You page. Play around with the editing features, filters, and effects. Spend a few hours losing yourself in the infinite variations of whatever the latest dance craze is.
You’re welcome babes💅🏻 IB: @gibz_
Understand the TikTok algorithm
The TikTok algorithm is constantly evolving, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Read up on how TikTok ranks and distributes videos, and just what trending videos have in common.
Learn about the key players
At this point, TikTok stars have parlayed their fame into not just lucrative sponsorships but also reality shows, movie roles, and business ventures. These are the characters around which the TikTok world revolves, but your industry or niche likely has its own power players. Keep your eye on those rising stars.
Identify your target audience
Before you dive into making your first video, know your audience. While TikTok is extremely popular with teenagers and Gen Z, a wide range of demographics have fallen in love with the app.
Source: Pew Research Center
Where does your target market overlap with TikTok users? Or is there a new or unexpected audience to reach here? Once you’ve got a good grasp on who you’re talking to, the content planning can begin.
Scope out your competitors
Is your business nemesis already on TikTok? Watch what they’re doing to get a sneak peek of what’s working and what’s not with your shared audiences.
TikTok influencers or creators may fall into the category of “competition” here on the app, too, so don’t rule them out as sources of inspiration or information, either.
Set goals and objectives
Once you’ve compiled all this intel, it’s time to set some goals. Your TikTok strategy should establish what you hope to achieve on the platform.
A good place to start is with your business objectives: how can TikTok help you accomplish them? Try applying the SMART framework to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Plan out a content calendar
There’s certainly something special about a spur-of-the-moment, when inspiration strikes post, but plotting out content in advance is typically a good idea for a busy social media manager.
A social media content calendar ensures you don’t miss important dates and allows you enough time for creative production. Look for opportunities to capitalize on holidays or events or develop themes or series that can guide your creativity.
Ideally, your posts will go up when your TikTok audience is online and hungry for new video content. Check out our primer on the best time to post on TikTok here.
Step 3: Optimize your TikTok profile
You’ve only got a few lines and one opportunity to share a link, but your TikTok profile is basically your digital storefront, so do it up right.
Be particular about your profile photo
Make sure your profile photo looks good and represents your brand. Ideally, it should connect your TikTok account visually to your other digital platforms, using the same logo or colors to make it clear this is part of the same family as your website, Instagram, and Facebook.
Keep your bio short and sweet
With only 80 characters to work with, your TikTok bio needs to cut to the chase and include a CTA. Use an emoji if it’s appropriate for your brand voice: it can add personality and save on the character count. Win-win.
Pick your URL wisely
Should it direct to your ecommerce site, a specific landing page, your other social accounts, or a current blog post? That all depends on your strategic goals.
Step 4: Create content that people will want to watch
There’s no secret recipe for making a successful TikTok video, but there are some good rules of thumb to follow.
Make sure your video looks good
It may seem obvious, but the better your sound and video quality, the more enjoyable your content will be to watch. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in pricey equipment, but be conscious about filming in well-lit spaces where the audio is going to be clean. If clean audio is impossible, add a trending track to your video instead of the original sound.
Who loves to visit Canada?
TikTok hashtags will help your content get discovered via search and help the TikTok algorithm identify what kind of topics you’re covering.
Learn more about the best hashtags to use to grow your reach and view counts here.
How-to videos and tutorials are always popular
Whether it’s a fitness video or a cooking demo, audiences tend to like a little bit of education in their feed. Show off your expertise or reveal some behind-the-scenes intel to keep them watching.
That dipping sauce + these potato’s 🤤
Team up with other creators
Try out the Duets feature to engage with other videos, or commission an influencer for a partnership.
#duet with @jason_on_comms
Step 5: Engage your audience and grow your following
First off: Don’t buy followers! We tried, and it’s a very bad idea! Stop it! Put that credit card down.
Ultimately, creating great content (see above!) is the #1 way to get those sweet, sweet views and follows. To keep those followers interested and engaged once they’re on board, the same rules of thumb apply as to any other social media platform:
- Try out interactive live streams.
- Experiment with polls and questions.
- Respond to comments and questions.
- Comment and like content on other TikTok accounts.
- Practice social listening to make sure you’re on top of trending topics in your TikTok community.
Step 6: Dig into analytics
Once you’ve been playing around with TikTok for a while, it’s important to look objectively at how things are going. How are your reach and engagement metrics? Are those tutorial videos actually hitting? Who is actually watching and following your content?
Analytics take the guesswork out of content strategy: they prove what’s working — and what’s not. TikTok’s in-platform analytics tool can show you some really interesting metrics to help inform your next steps.
Step 7: Explore TikTok’s advertising options
Advertising isn’t a fit for everyone’s social strategy, but if paid reach is something you’re interested in, check out our guide to TikTok ads here.
One key takeaway? Almost half (43%) of TikTok users are aged 18 to 24. Women in that age category make up nearly a quarter (24.7%) of TikTok’s advertising audience. So if you’re marketing to younger adults, especially women, advertising on TikTok is a natural fit.
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Okay, there you have it: TikTok for Business 101! Get your account up and running and start exploring all the opportunities this wild and wonderful platform has to offer, and explore the rest of our expert TikTok guides to deepen your knowledge even further.