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How to use TikTok

In this article we are going to explore TikTok, a video-sharing social media platform, and how you can use it to grow your brand and customer base.
man photographing a night scene

In this article we are going to explore TikTok, a video-sharing social media platform, and how you can leverage it to grow your brand and customer base.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. It has more than 1 billion users, and more than 1 million videos are being viewed daily. Its main characteristic is the highly playful environment and encouraging the creation of entertaining short videos that grab people’s attention.


First, you need to consider your main user base and how they use TikTok. If your target audience is on the younger side, then chances are that most of them will be on TikTok. This is because roughly 43% of TikTok’s global audience is between 18 and 24 years old and 32% of TikTok users are aged between 25 and 34. But even though TikTok appeals to younger generations, it seems to also retain its users as they age.

Top tips

Here are some tips you can follow to grow your chances of creating successful TikTok campaigns:

  • Keep your content authentic and realistic. The focus of this platform is creative and spontaneous entertainment, so make sure to have fun instead of pushing an agenda. Make your content look raw and authentic and shoot it on a phone. Make sure it doesn’t seem too scripted!
  • Post regularly. If you want to keep users engaged, posting at least once a day should do the trick. This may seem like a lot of hard work but remember – TikTok videos do not need to be overly organised, edited or scripted! Utilise the app’s built-in filters, effects, soundbites, and editing tools to create and share engaging content.
  • Make use of trending hashtags and join popular memes. If you find a tag that aligns with your brand, go for it! You can even create your own hashtag challenge, which may help you start a cultural trend or a meme, increasing the visibility of your brand.
  • Have a strong video opening. Most users swipe away from videos in less than 3 seconds when on mobile phones, so it’s important to grab their attention from the start! Begin your videos with a trending song, interesting movement, or vibrant colours.
  • Collaborate with influencers. TikTok has created a $1 billon Creator Fund to nurture influencers. This fund requires creators to have up to 100,000 video views over a month to be eligible and its aim is to encourage talented creators to make a living through brand partnerships, sponsorship and representation deals. They understand brands can approach and collaborate on campaigns which use these influencers’ skills and knowledge. TikTok also has its own Creator Marketplace designed to link up brands and creators. The tool identifies the engagement reach, views, and demographics of influencers for brands to choose the right partner for their campaigns.
  • Consider creating dancing videos or challenges. The second most viewed content on TikTok in 2020 was dance. Get involved with the latest TikTok dances or create one of your own.

Collaborate with others. One feature of TikTok is Duets, which allows you to create a video alongside another creator’s video. As a brand, you can give your followers the opportunity to create duets with you, or you can collaborate with other brands that have a similar target audience.


Besides video content creation, you can also leverage the advertising capabilities that TikTok has. These are the five main types of ads on TikTok:

  • In-feed ads – these are your video ads that pop up in users’ feeds when they scroll in between videos.
  • Brand takeover ads – these are image or GIF ads that appear when users open the app and take over the full screen for a few seconds.
  • TopView ads – these are similar to brand takeover ads, but they appear at the top of the feed when the users first open the app.
  • Branded hashtags – this is where the video includes a branded hashtag that users can click to generate their own content.
  • Branded effects ads – this allows brands to create their own custom filter for TikTokers to engage with their brand by using the filter for a limited number of days.

It’s important to remember that unlike social media platforms such as Instagram or YouTube, TikTok accounts with zero followers can get millions of views on a new video thanks to the viral nature of the algorithm. If the content appeals to the right audience, the engagement will follow! Make sure that your content has the right hashtags and captions, which ensures it will be recommended to users that have similar interests.

Can you think of any interesting brand campaigns and hashtag challenges that became popular? If not, have a search and pick your favourite one, and tell us why. A few to search for would be: Ryanair, Gymshark, Duolingo and Chipotle.

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Digital Skills: Social Media

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