Some people may look at TikTok and think that it’s just another video app where teens can lip sync to different kinds of music. Others will see its potential as a proper marketing platform. After all, TikTok is the hottest new social media platform—and it’s not going anywhere.
TikTok was launched in September 2016, and to say that it has blown up since then is an understatement. TikTok now has over 800 million users, and it is still growing.
In fact, the platform has become more than a lip-sync app, and evolved into something people can use to post memes, comedy skits, and other types of viral content. TikTok has become something similar to Vine—another widely-popular social media app.
But can TikTok really be used by business professionals and companies? The answer is yes—but only if you use it right. It has a massive user base, which means it is a great platform to endorse your brand. But first, we need to take a closer look at TikTok and how it could potentially help you as a professional.
Should Respected Business People Use TikTok?
There’s no doubt that TikTok is popular. It is the 9th most popular social networking site, which means it has pulled ahead of better known sites like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and even Twitter. TikTok has been enthusiastically welcomed by many Asian countries like Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and even China.
But the question is whether or not TikTok is right for you. How will it benefit your career? If the app can give you a particular edge—in terms of your professional career or your business, then there is no reason not to take advantage of this massive platform.
The truth is that you can be funny and dance on TikTok and still be serious on LinkedIn. If anything, it can introduce a whole other dimension or aspect of your personality that can endear other people. TikTok can be used to show off your fun side. It’s a good way to show that you’re not all business all the time.
Having a TikTok account can make you appear more genuine and approachable. This is even more impressive if you can deliver high quality results consistently for your clients. Having both a LinkedIn and a TikTok account can work well for your professional image.
More than reputation management, you can use TikTok to run ads and expose your brand to a larger audience. TikTok offers four different types of ads including: In-feed Native Content, Brand Takeovers, Hashtag Challenges, and Branded Lenses.
Native content on TikTok works the same way as Snapchat or Instagram story ads. Brand takeovers allow marketers to take over TikTok for a day and create images, GIFs, and videos, etc. Hashtag challenges create promoted hashtags that increase engagement. And finally, branded lenses are like Snapchat 2D and 3D lenses for photos.
If your target audience is on TikTok and you really want to reach them, then running ads is not a bad idea.
Know Your Audience & Platform
The key thing about TikTok is that you need to know your audience if you really want to make this social media platform work for you. Despite its popularity, it is only widely-used by teenagers and young adults. If this is not your target audience, then you are better off looking elsewhere.
At the same time, you also need to understand your brand and whether TikTok is a good fit for it or not. If you force TikTok to be just another marketing platform, it’s not going to benefit you that much. You may even come across as insincere or trying too hard.
Do your research and try to learn if the TikTok user base is the right audience for your content. It doesn’t hurt to use the platform for a few weeks and get a good feel of the kind of posts that are going viral here.
TikTok is all about fun and visually appealing content. You’ll find that the trending page is full of silly videos set to popular songs. The more niche content may not even make sense at first. It pays to get familiar with the type of content and the type of audience you will find on TikTok.
Know the Demographics on TikTok
If TikTok is a good fit for your content and your brand, you can start posting your own content and try to drive engagement. Going viral here may be tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Work with TikTok influencers if you want to widen your reach on the platform. Younger audiences are typically opposed to anything that looks like a traditional ad, and so working with influencers can help you reach those users.
You Don't Post the Same Content on TikTok As You Do on LinkedIn
Know the demographics and keep your content simple and fun. Do not post content that is too sales-y. People will quickly tune out. On this platform, authenticity and lighthearted fun are the most important things.
You’re not supposed to have the same approach as you do when posting on LinkedIn. It’s not even about being informative. TikTok is all about eye-catching entertainment.
TikTok encourages fun and creativity—and that’s the only reliable way to go viral on this platform. So whatever your goal is, try to enjoy yourself.
Lastly, always keep your brand in mind. If wacky and outrageous videos are not really suitable for your brand, then you might want to check out other social networking platforms instead.
TikTok is a very popular social networking app with a very particular demographic, so familiarize yourself with it, see the type of content that goes viral, and have fun.