What can’t you do with TikTok?

The short-video app exploded in popularity in the past couple of years. And content on the platforms runs the gamut – from dances, memes, pranks, history lessons, cooking tutorials, and everything in between.

TikTok could be the right marketing tool to grow your brand and attract potential customers, but you need a large enough following. Recent stats show that TikTok has more than 800 million users — that’s more than twice the population of the United States. If you keep that in mind, and know your audience is hanging out there, there’s plenty of opportunity to find your niche on the app.

10 Marketing Tactics to Build a TikTok Following

1. Stay with the trends. TikTok is most famous –sometimes, infamous – for its trends. Challenges relating to dances, pranks, games, questions or memes rule the platform. Stay current with these trends, take inspiration from others’ content and watch your engagement soar.

2. Create your own trends. Take this tip from one of the most successful TikTok campaigns to ever hit the app. Elf Cosmetics created a song called “eyes. lips. face.” and a hashtag challenge to go with it. The challenge caught fire on TikTok, hitting 1 billion views in only six days. The song became so popular that the brand created its own music video for it.

The takeaway is that Elf Cosmetics cultivated interest in its brand naturally in a way TikTok users understood. The brand’s culturally relevant approach to a massive group of Gen Zers raised the company’s profile like crazy.

3. Post at the right time of day. Once you establish your identity, audience, and brand on TikTok, the next step is to focus on growing your following. The best way to do that is by posting at times when the highest number of your followers will see, like and share your posts.

TikTok doesn’t have a built-in scheduling tool, but services like Loomly, Crowdfire and Social Pilot allow you to schedule posts. Check them out and test-drive before you buy, 

Determining the best times for your posts depends on your audience. Expect some trial and error, but as you profile your target audience, it’s easier to think about when they’re online.  There are no hard-and-fast rules for posting times, but this graph is helpful and based on data.

4. Ask questions. Asking questions serves a few purposes. First, viewers want to know the answers, which you can give. But wait till the end to reveal them. When you delay gratification it keeps everyone watching. The longer you keep your audience’s attention, the more memorable the interaction. 

For example, if you post a TikTok with the title, “How can you load up on protein, and still eat vegan?” viewers will probably listen to the end. They don’t want to miss the secret tip. If your same post had the title, “Best vegan protein sources,” it doesn’t create the same amount of urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out) as it could. 

5. Build out your profile. In any situation (life and business, and social media), first impressions are important. With TikTok, make sure your profile showcases the real you, or the best version of your company or brand. Include a profile picture, well-written bio and an easy-to-remember, clever or witty handle.

Another important marketing tip is to link platforms. Do you already have a significant following on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube? Your fans may already be on TikTok. Make sure they (and you) don’t miss out.

7. Tailor content to the platform. TikTok is the youngest form of social media out there. With its rapid-fire popularity comes a distinct form of humor and type of audience. As a social media platform, it’s known as the home for Gen Zers.

This video from Gushers is funny, creative and tells a story that’s meant for TikTok’s main audience. If the same thing were posted on Facebook or Twitter, it just wouldn’t feel the same. Tailor your content to the platform and audience, and you can’t go wrong.

8. Harness User Generated Content (UGC). User-Generated Content (UGC) is content created by others and lucky for you, your company doesn’t pay anyone to create it. Vessi, a Canadian shoe company, found quick success with this strategy by hosting giveaways and sharing UGC based on its products. A simple campaign showing how many TikTok users enjoy the company’s product establishes trust and interest.  

9. Choose the right hashtags. Hashtags are the lifeblood of most social media platforms because they concentrate interest in specific topics, events or people. They also allow interaction with other accounts than the ones you already follow.

Take time in researching the right hashtag. Don’t guess or choose one so obscure that nobody knows what it means. At the same time, don’t claim one that’s too broad or gets lost in the chatter.

Search the platform for different hashtags to figure out which tags fit your product or service.  Another idea is to try the TikTok Hashtag Generator from Influencer Marketing Hub. It can help you create the perfect hashtag, too.

10. Try a social media growth tool. You can grow your TikTok following organically and inexpensively, but it takes time, effort, and consistency. If you want faster growth, sites like Social-Viral, SocialBuddy or FeedPixel can help you establish credibility by buying followers or engagement to speed up the process. As always, buyer beware. Make sure you check the details before you commit. 

Not that familiar with TikTok? Here’s a blog I wrote a while back, which talks about it in more in detail. It will give you a foundation to start from so you can speed up the marketing process.  

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