TikTok

What is TikTok... and is it right for my business?

Imogen Davies

Social Media Expert
What is TikTok... and is it right for my business?

When TikTok first launched, nobody could have predicted how dominant the platform would become in the world of social media. Now boasting 2 billion users (and counting) you may be wondering “what is TikTok?”, and should your business join in on the hype?

TikTok quietly first launched onto the social media landscape back in 2018, when Chinese-owned company ByteDance Ltd acquired the app Musical.ly, merging all accounts to TikTok in August 2018. Musical.ly was an app that blended social media networking and music together into a do-it-yourself video platform, allowing users to film up to 15 seconds of content. The platform was primarily used for lip syncing to sound bites for comedic purposes or music, using the Musical.ly sound library as a source for content creation, much like TikTok is used today. In comparison to Musical.ly, TikTok also offers “trending” sounds for users to lip sync to for comedic content, as well as music - and the platform is well known for users jumping on trending content themes and dance challenges.

Although TikTok is primarily used by influencers and creatives, businesses are also joining in on the fun. From Gucci’s fashion focused videos and behind-the-scenes content, to DuoLingo’s laid-back and humorous approach to the platform. There are many ways that businesses can use the platform to share engaging and interesting content. 

But before considering posting to TikTok - you need to be aware of the different types of account.

Type of TikTok accounts

TikTok has two different account types: personal and pro. The difference between these types of accounts is that on a personal account, you cannot see any analytics or insights - but you can still enjoy TikTok and create videos. For a more detailed outlook, including insights and analytics, a pro account may be beneficial for you.

There are two type of pro accounts: 

  • TikTok for business
    Offers access to resources specifically for businesses and brands in order to up their content strategies. This type of account means you can measure performance metrics, audience insights and you have the ability to market your products and/or services.

  • TikTok for creators
    Allows users to be more creative with their account. It has less options for marketing and advertising, but you can still access all analytics and insights that are beneficial to your business. A great feature of the creator account is that you can become eligible for the TikTok creator fund, and you can be more interactive with your followers by using the Q+A tool. This account type may be more suitable if you are one person running your business.  

Content ideas for businesses and brands on TikTok

When it comes to creating content on TikTok as a business or brand, the most important ingredient is authenticity. The best types of content for business on this specific platform often include relatable content, trending topics or challenges, and content showing the more human side of the company.

With that in mind, let’s look at the different types of content pillars you can take into consideration when joining TikTok as a business.

Humour

Funny content is perhaps one of the best performers on TikTok, with some users even referring to the platform as the new Vine. For anyone out there wondering “what on earth was Vine?” - it was a social media platform where users could share short-form videos in a comedic and creative style that looped continually. The platform was primarily used for comedic content and creative purposes. If you’re not sure how to create humorous content on TikTok, you should explore what other brands and businesses are up to and use their accounts as inspiration. We’ve spoken about them before in our blogs, but RyanAir are really great at this. A general approach to this is to feature trending audio on the app, creating your own videos to accompany the sound.

RyanAir on TikTok

Storytelling

If your business is joining TikTok, this is a great opportunity for you to show a different side to your company. By embracing a more personal tone and telling the story of your business, you could make your company feel more trustworthy and relatable, leading to happier - more reliable customers. Why not create a video where you compare your business first starting out, to where you are now? Everyone loves a glow-up.

#BusinessGlowUp on TikTok

Behind the scenes

Many businesses and brands use TikTok to share behind-the-scenes content of their work, from packaging products in a “pack an order with me!” video, to how products are made, to BTS of photoshoots and promotional assets. We’re talking about that human-side of your business again, and it’s a common approach on TikTok - the more open you become, people will be more invested in your story.

#PackAnOrder on TikTok

Innovative
Using cutting-edge technology and the latest trends is also a great way to use TikTok as a business. Look at ZARA, for example - their TikTok blurs the line between fantasy and reality by featuring innovative 3D and unique content from ‘Zara Creators’, leaving users fully immersed in the content they are posting.

@Zara on TikTok


How do I get my content noticed on TikTok?

To get your content noticed on TikTok - like every other social media platform - it’s important to understand how the algorithm works. And as with any platform, it’s also important to know who you’re targeting and whether your company can create engaging content for that audience.

TikTok’s algorithm prioritises the concept of community, curating your ‘For You Page (commonly abbreviated to FYP)’ to match similar content to that which you’ve engaged with and liked in the past.

For example: If you engage with videos related to social media marketing, you should expect to see more and more social media marketing-related videos popping up on your homepage/FYP. 

So, by engaging with your target audience on TikTok - they may in return engage with your content, thus prioritising your videos on their FYPs. Landing on FYPs equals more chances of building your audience on the platform. This is why TikTok has so much potential as a platform for users to go viral in comparison to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

So - should my business join TikTok?

 Whether or not your business fits in on TikTok is completely up to you, but this overview of the type of content to expect should help inform your decision. So now that you know more about the platform, the types of content that you can make and how to get noticed - will you be signing up?