4 things you need to know to be successful on TikTok

In case you hadn’t heard, TikTok’s short videos are the latest and greatest way (until something else comes along) for companies to showcase their brand and interact with consumers, especially those of the Millennial and Gen- Z variant.

Take Duolingo for example. The language learning platform’s account went live in late 2021, when many of its videos — which usually feature the company’s mischievous, fuzzy green owl mascot — went viral. Now 3.5 million TikTok users follow Duolingo’s account. But to match that success, you’ll need some strategies beyond dashing mascots, so we’ve gathered advice from TikTok marketing experts to help you get younger eyes on your brand.

1. Be authentic

“Throw out your brand book,” advises Evan Horowitz, CEO of Movers+Shakers (#78 on the 2021 businesstraverse.com. 5000). The marketing agency tells clients like Elf Cosmetics and Neutrogena that what works on Instagram won’t play well on TikTok: “It should feel low-stakes,” Horowitz says, noting that TikTok users prefer videos with a low production value. , and anything that feels too advertorial will not perform well. He adds that TikTok users want to feel like your brand is a person: “We always recommend using the first person singular in subtitles.”

2. Follow the trends

Jonathan Chanti, chief growth officer of marketing firm Viral Nation Group, advises jumping on daily trends posted on TikTok’s “Discover” page. There you can fine-tune which topics, video soundtracks and editing formats grab the attention of users. Test what works best for your audience and don’t be afraid to experiment. Tracks featured in videos with 10,000-500,000 views have the best chance of making your TikToks a viral success, advises JT Barnett, founder and CEO of TikTok marketing firm StrategyX.

3. Communicate

TikTok comments are a great way to see how customers feel about your brand. Pinning comments to the top of posts is a great way to show authentic reviews and questions, Chanti says. And Horowitz advises commenting on trending posts to keep traffic and followers.

4. Move fast

Small businesses can get an edge on the platform by posting faster than larger brands that need approval before they can share, notes Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and CEO of Influencer Marketing Factory. And if you start posting three to four times a day, you can find your key demographics — and collect enough data for analytics tools to be useful, says Brett Mirman, creative director at marketing firm Go Ventures. He adds that you should check your analytics to see what works best, but certain days (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and times of day (6am to 10am ET; 7pm to 10pm ET) are currently optimal for to post.

From the May/June 2022 issue of businesstraverse.com. magazine