How To Use TikTok For Business

Large illustration of the TikTok logo on a white background. TikTok for business blog post
Large illustration of the TikTok logo on a white background. TikTok for business blog post

Social media has forever changed the landscape of digital marketing. As new platforms become available, marketers must be ready to direct their attention to the next big thing if they want to continue reaching their target market. Right now, that next big thing is TikTok.

This Chinese-based video sharing app is a favorite among Millennials and Gen Z users, two of the largest consumer groups marketers are keen to target. Learning how to use TikTok for business is key to meeting these consumers where they already are and building authentic connections with them.

Here’s your guide to TikTok marketing for business. Take advantage of this explosive platform, starting with creating a TikTok business account to level up your social media marketing efforts.

Table of Contents:

Tip: Read this blog to learn more about all TikTok basics you need to know.

TikTok template.

How TikTok Works for Businesses

TikTok for business is fairly straightforward. As with any social media platform, you’ll first need to create a TikTok account. From there, you can start posting your own content, run paid ads, and engage with other users or brands.

That’s the easy part. To really know how it works for your business can take some trial and error.

Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok users crave authenticity. The ability to inspire is what attracts users to the platform in the first place. They want to engage with brands and content in ways that are unique and impactful.

The best way to learn how TikTok works is to spend time on TikTok. You’ll learn a lot by watching what others are posting and how they’re engaging. See how other businesses are leveraging TikTok features, such as TikTok videos, in-feed ads, hashtag challenges, user-generated videos, and influencer marketing.

Specifically, watch for high-performing content and engagement from your target audience to see what they like and respond to. You’ll have a much easier time developing your own strategy.

Who's on TikTok chart.

Why Should Businesses Use TikTok?

TikTok’s massive global audience is enough to perk your ears. If your target customer is in the United States and is between the ages of 16 and 34, there’s a good chance you’ll find them on TikTok.

If you’re worried about not getting found on such a huge platform, don't be. TikTok’s unique algorithm isn’t like other social media websites. Rather, you can get in front of users even if they aren’t following your brand’s profile. That’s part of the fun — you never know what you’re going to see in your TikTok feed!

The app also gives you new ways to create and share content. Many of its features are specific to the TikTok platform; you won't find them anywhere else. All of your content is created specifically for TikTok, which gives you new ways to be creative and share your brand with the world.

This social network is especially beneficial for e-commerce brands. There’s a growing theme of “TikTok made me buy it,” where users discover and buy new products as a direct result of seeing them on the platform.

Users have so many ways to find and engage with content here, including a dedicated Discover page that shows an endless feed of videos. 

How Can Businesses Use TikTok to Reach Their Target Audience?

Want to know how other TikTok businesses are striking it big? The opportunities (and their benefits) are far-reaching. Let’s look at some ways you can use TikTok for business and social media marketing.

Invest in TikTok advertising

Like other social platforms, TikTok ads offer several ways to advertise your business. Popular ad formats include:

  • Brand Takeovers: Brand takeovers are limited to one brand category per day and make a grand entrance when a user opens their app.
Top TikTok ads.
  • TopView Ads: A TopView ad is placed at the top of a user’s feed, making it one of the first things they see. These TikTok ads can be as long as 60 seconds — significantly longer than the average video.
  • Video Ads: Great videos are the hallmark of a successful TikTok strategy. Creating a branded video exposes your brand to more people in a way that’s native to the platform.
  • Branded Effects: Branded effects can take the form of stickers, filters, games, or other features that other users can apply to their videos.

This is one platform where it pays to be trendy. Learn more about what your target audience is into, the things they like, and what they’re engaging with.

For example, if your target audience is reacting to memes or content about a popular TV show, you can create your own videos on the same topic and join the conversation.

Tip: Monitoring trends using TikTok monitoring tools can help you to create more authentic content that truly connects with your target audience.

Trade business-speak for laid-back content

The TikTok community isn’t the place for corporate jargon and formal tones. (Save those for LinkedIn). Instead, young TikTokers are all about fun, humor, surprise, and wow-worthy content.

They come here to find inspiration and discover new products. They want to engage with brands in an informal, spontaneous way.

Business owners can still maintain their brand image while keeping things chill and laid-back. It’s a great way to break down your corporate walls and show a more human side of your small business.

Participate in a TikTok hashtag challenge

Like Instagram, TikTok uses hashtags to connect relevant content and increase your exposure. One crowning feature of the platform is its hashtag challenges (HTCs).

These social media challenges are videos that share a hashtag and require TikTokers to upload their own video of them performing the challenge.

#Guacdance hashtag.

Cue Chipotle’s guac dance branded hashtag challenge. Racking up more than 1.1 billion views, the #GuacDanceChallenge encouraged users to create their own dance to receive free guacamole for National Avocado Day.

Examples of How Businesses Are Using TikTok

Chipotle is a forerunner among brands using TikTok, and there are plenty more where they came from. Here are a few brands that are getting it right. (You might even say they’re TikTok influencers for business!).

Tip: Check out the top TikTok influencers in the Philippines.

Duolingo

Foreign language-learning platform Duolingo brings its owl mascot to life in its TikTok videos. The brand blends humor with pop culture in its video content, using everything from OnlyFans to Taylor Swift to make a statement.

Big green owl costume.

The big green owl costume helps the brand’s videos stand out. It’s an excellent way to spread brand awareness without a sales push.

Vessi

One of TikTok’s early adopters, the footwear brand Vessi, takes full advantage of TikTok influencers to grow its brand awareness. The brand puts its products to ultimate tests in its videos to support its waterproof claims.

A TikTok case study noted that the brand’s marketing strategy with influencers resulted in 2X higher ROAS, 38% lower cost per click, and 59% lower cost per purchase.

Gymshark

Gymshark TikTok videos.

British athletic clothing brand Gymshark features a diverse range of individuals and influencers in their TikTok videos, all focused on gym life and fitness.

With more than 3.4 million subscribers and 44 billion views on TikTok, they have a massive number of eyes on them every day. This pushes them to create some of the funniest, most honest, and most inspiring content in their category.

Much of their follower growth is a direct result of using influencers to gain more exposure without the larger budgets of well-known brands like Nike and Adidas.

How To Measure the Success of Your TikTok Campaign

Ready to build your TikTok business strategy? Meltwater is here to help you shine.

Our social and media intelligence platform empowers your small business with trends, insights, and consumer data. Create content that resonates, discover trends as they’re happening, and join conversations authentically. Then, track your progress to see how others are talking about your brand, both on TikTok and other platforms.

Get a demo to learn more!

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