Social media is constantly evolving. There seem to be new up-and-coming trends and apps everywhere you look. One app that has been making an incredible impact in the social media world is TikTok. Weird name, right? Not only has it been providing ordinary users like you and me large followings, fame, and tons of teenagers fangirling (or fanBOYING) over them but name brands and small businesses are also finding great success in spreading their services and products across the platform.
TikTok was originally launched in the U.S. in 2018 after merging with an already popular platform, Musical.ly. By October of 2018, it was the most downloaded app in the country. One continuous comment made about this app is that when it is taken at face value it seems to be a platform for teenagers to interact and post goofy videos for the individuals that are following them. As a member of the younger generation, I can confirm that this is partially true but I also find it to be so much more. TikTok is for all ages, all people, and all businesses.
When it comes to branding on the app, there are endless possibilities. One feature that is particularly prominent is the “For You” page. This page features content from users that the app algorithm has found to be similar to the content you have liked, commented on, or shared in the past. This feature is key for the businesses that are using TikTok to expand their brands. If you either are a part of or own a small business or restaurant and a user on the platform has liked content that is similar to yours, it is possible that any video you post will show up on their “For You” page. Being featured on this page can be very beneficial if you have the content and imagination to draw viewers in. The videos that you post can be at most 1 minute in length. This is very beneficial for those who want to share their company story and the content/products that they produce. Another key aspect to the “For You” page is any user’s usage of hashtags. Each week there are new trending hashtags. This can be exhausting, I know. But the usage of hashtags on posts or sponsored content is key for expanding the audience you reach with your content on a daily basis.
For example in this post by @alamodeemoji got over 239,000 likes and 669,000 views:
This small business is trying to promote their company. While doing so, they incorporated a sound that was related to the products they are selling (which I must say are quite snazzy) and showed the process of how their orders are prepared to be shipped out. They also used hashtags such as #smallbusiness, #etsy, and others related to what they are selling so people that are interested in these kinds of products will hopefully be able to see the video. There are various types of videos like this one that essentially “blow up” on TikTok and as a result, some of these small businesses have been completely selling out of their products within minutes of posting their videos!
Another way that companies are using TikTok to their advantage is reaching out to well-known creators on the app to see if they would like to be sponsored by their brand. In return, the creator would make a video promoting a particular product, app, or website and post it to their account. This allows the company to post sponsored advertisements with that video that can be shown to anyone on the app as they scroll through their feed, similar to a pop-up ad.
In this sponsored post for Grubhub that got 62,000+ likes, the creator, @teriyakimegan captioned the video “Tip for college students during quarantine: download the Grubhub app, they have the best service and rewards.” It shows all the things that you can do with the app and what she in particular likes about it. These sponsorships are usually paid and vary from person to person.
Along with the previous posts, @addisonre got 3.5 million likes and 31.8 million views in her post promoting the Sketchers campaign, #DanceForMasks, along with her sponsorship. This is another way that companies have spread the word about new products or their company in general. As you can see, this post is not a sponsored ad; instead, it is an ordinary post on her feed that reached her incredibly large audience. It is mind-blowing to see the number of likes her post received from her millions of followers. I could only dream of that kind of fame…
You may be thinking to yourself, “I want to get my company’s name and work out there, but TikTok doesn’t seem to be the right fit for me.” This is why Rule29 is here to help you out. The content that is posted on the app covers a variety of trends and topics to reach millions of people with different interests. All you need to do is figure out what direction you want to go with your content and you will fit right in with a given audience. Because of the wide variety, your company’s creative possibilities are endless. Your posts may vary from informational videos about your brand, videos of your employees dancing, posts about new products/work, or maybe even a campaign that encourages people to duet or promote the post to receive free or discounted products! Don’t be afraid to make content and put yourself/your business out there. There are endless opportunities on this app, and it’s time to go find them!