Recently, TikTok has become much more than a buzzword. It became the most downloaded app in 2021, and its popularity continues to take over the world. Could it replace Facebook and Instagram? We will wait and see.
Even though young adults and teenagers are the primary users of the app, it has become a great place for businesses to share and market their products and services.
In a previous post, we shared our “Beginners guide to Tik Tok”. Here we will give you a glimpse of the future and how TikTok can be an excellent business tool thanks to Darina – our Gen Z insider for TikTok, who wrote this guest post for our blog.
Darina’s TikTok 101
TikTok is a social media platform used for creating, sharing, and finding short videos. Its primary target is people from the younger generations (Gen Z primarily), as a way to express themselves with original short-video content and share with the world by dancing, singing, jokes, lip-syncing and creating trends across the community. Here are its essential features:
- Video Length Options – up to 15s, 60s, or 3m
- Trending 15-30sec Sounds, Filters & Effects, In-App Video Editing
- Additional Features – Q & A, Duet, Stitch
- Copycat Features – “Now” (BeReal Clone), Stories (Snapchat Clone)
- Going Live & Multi-Guest Live – Requires 1k Followers
- Bio – 80 Characters + Connect Instagram and YouTube + Link (for minimum 1k followers or a business account type) + Email (for business accounts)
Personal and Business Accounts on TikTok
TikTok users can create two account types: Personal and Business. Here we will take a look at the pros and cons of both types:
- Monetisation Opportunities such as Creator Fund, Creator Marketplace, Live Gifts, and Tips (Make more sense for Creators rather than Businesses)
- Allows adding a Link in Bio but only after having 1k followers or more
- Access to trending audio sounds
- It’s not possible to have a personal account and run ads.
- you can add a link to your Website in your Bio
- you can add Email to your Bio
- Lead Generation Forms (from your Website or using TikTok Instant Form)
- You can enable and set up Auto Messages
- You can run TikTok Ads (Currently unavailable for Bulgaria)
- You cannot use trending audio sounds due to copyright issues. Once you have a business account, you can only use sounds legalised for commercial use. That takes away the opportunity to participate in most, if not all, of the trends.
Currently, brands are allowed to have creator accounts instead of professional business accounts. With the creator account, they have much more options available for sounds and video creations, even though they cannot run ads. However, with a creator account, companies have more basic statistics options than with a business account.
It is essential to mention that the option for running ads is not available for business accounts in some countries yet. So it is up to your company’s individual needs to choose the best option.
With TikTok, you can reach a local audience effortlessly by default. However, it is much more challenging to reach a global audience. There are technical ways to make it happen:
- Install a VPN + Remove Your SIM card + Change Device Location Settings + Change App Store Location Settings, if possible.
- Burn any clues that might be giving away your location. The best option would be to do it upon installation of the app before you sign up for it. Turn off GPS every time you use it.
- Don’t provide your phone number upon signing up. Use an email address only.
- Go to TikTok settings, navigate to the “Language” settings and choose the desired target language.
In “Your Control” To Strategically Make It Happen Within The App
- Follow creators and brands within the country of choice and engage with their content by liking, commenting, dueting and stitching.
- Make videos in their language, and make sure all your captions and hashtags are in that language
“For You” Content
There are different types of trends. Some are fun dances, and others are interesting points of view. Users add whatever caption they want, following their niche (within the video).
Some trends require you to spend time analyzing them and understand how people apply them to make a point in a fun, easily-digestible, engaging way.
It’s good to jump on the most popular trends. To do that, scroll the “For you page” to find them, or follow the most popular creators that always jump or the most popular trends. Every week you’d need to gather the new trends, analyze them, and try to understand their purpose, humour and main point. After that, you apply them to your niche.
It is best for services, but if you have a product, try to focus on the features of your product and the benefits rather than just the product itself. Always relate the product to the lifestyle needs of your ideal customer.
2. How to talk on TikTok and Talking Over a Trending Sound
There is a special way to talk on TikTok. The content creator needs to talk fast and straight to the point. They would need to present as much information as possible and provide as much value as possible for a minimum of time. To achieve that, the content creator needs to press the pause button regularly and record only when they are 100% sure what their point is and feel confident enough to say it as fast as possible.
Here are some pointers that you can use when creating TikTok content:
USE hooks to grab the attention:
- “You won’t believe this.”
- “X reasons why… .”
- “How I went from X to (result) in (timeframe).”
- “You need to stop.…”
You will find a lot of content from regular content creators or experienced marketers.
“Transitions” add an element of surprise. They keep people excited and interested in the content. They are best used for the fashion and beauty niche, as well as for the travel and tourism industry. They can be applied when showcasing different products. Keep in mind that external Video editing is tricky but possible, and the results could be much better.
4. Aesthetic Mini Vlogs
That’s an excellent option for product businesses within the wellness/beauty niche to showcase their products not in a sales way but more in a way that gives a vibe and feeling of value when incorporating these products into everyday life.
Pick a trending sound, extract it, get it on CapCut, or find it directly on CapCut – the video-editing software owned by TikTok. Have a set of pre-filmed, aesthetically pleasing videos, get them on CapCut, and start editing. The keyword here is synchronization, and you’d need to synchronize the music with the video flow and the effects.
5. Skits / Character Conversations
Skits are a great way to show expertise in an engaging way, pretending you educate someone uneducated on a specific topic. Of course, people like to make funny skits too. But the best way for businesses is to give value by offering educational ones. All you need to do is make a scenario, split yourself into two personalities and… Action.
Keep your video short and sweet, and fun. Use TikTok slang. Use keywords and copy underneath the video.
- Don’t use #FYP or #Viral.
- Use 3-6 hashtags, whatever fits.
- Use larger and smaller (amount of views)
- Smaller – under 500K | Bigger – above 500K
- Make them specific to your content.
TikTok and SEO
For generation Z, TikTok is now our search engine because we don’t use google anymore. We “Just TikTok it.” The app pulls data from 3 different areas:
- Text within the videos
- The caption underneath (keywords + hashtags)
- What you say within the video, using keywords, because TikTok records everything that you say, which turns it into automated captions
To like something, you need to press the heart. When you comment, it’s best to keep it short and straight to the point. That is how Gen Z likes it. The most important thing to interact with the application is to learn TikTok slang, humour and how to use emojis. There isn’t a shortcut or a way around it. Nobody can teach you because it changes with the new trends. You’d need to be in the TikTok flow.
- “He/she understood the assignment”
- “Go little rockstar”
- “CEO of…”
- “Main character energy”
- “I like it, Picasso”
- “Emotional damage”
*You can also google GenZ Slang or Vocabulary/Words and use them.
8. Adding to Favourite
Not only can users favour videos, but they can also favour sounds, effects, comments, questions, hashtags, and products. To favour a sound, press on the sound page and select “Add to Favorites”. Press and long hold on the screen until a pop-up appears for every other type of content. The button looks like a bookmark and is right below the comment button.
“Duets” are great for real-time reactions and collaborations. You have different layout options, but the two ideas will be playing at the same time. You can “duet” your video to showcase a before and after for your business. If someone has a great video with valuable information or a tip within your niche, you can hop on a duet and listen, react or show agreement and support.
“Stitches” allow you to incorporate up to 5sec of someone else’s videos into your video. People use it to make fun of others, prove them wrong, or express opinions. That is good for elaborating on a topic, continuing a discussion, or testing a theory/tip.
With stitches, you can:
- provide more information
- continue a conversation
- correct a mistake
11. Video Answers To Comments
On the comments left under your video, you can press the reply option. Once you do that, you can either give a written reply or make your response more engaging by pressing the video recording button on the left.
Right under the Bio, click on it, and you will see many random questions. If you see one that relates to the content you want to share with your target audience, go ahead and film a video answer to that question. If the question is within your scope of business, it would be a great opportunity to show expertise.
There are two ways to post a Story: Either from the main home menu + or on your profile picture. You can either post a video or a photo. These stories end up on the “FYP” and have the same engagement opportunities, just like the regular TikToks.
That is the best way to use and post videos that you wouldn’t regularly post. It could be content outside your regular niche and what you typically post. That way, your audience can get to know you better without distrusting the niche you created for your account. It is something that you want up and running on your profile only for 24h.
It’s suitable for “Story Time.” You can tell a whole story that you want to share. You can also put up daily updates, talk to your audience, and get to know them.
Like in the original app, you will get a random notification from TikTok that it’s time to post a “Now”. You can post only once a day and the format of the content, just like in the original app, is a picture that captures both – yourself with the front camera and your surroundings with the back one. The difference is that BeReal only allows photos, and TikTok allows both short videos and photos.
Just like on BeReal, to see what other people have posted, you need to post as well. Otherwise, their content is hidden. You can only share “Now” with your friends or everyone.
It’s good if a business has promo codes or any up-to-date promo/discounts to post there now or even on BeReal for the public audience.
Keep The Videos Short And Sweet (15-30sec, 60s maximum). Although TikTok allows us to upload 3-minute-long videos, its users don’t like it. Their attention span is so short that if you can’t make your point in 15-30sec, they will lose interest.
UGC – User-Generated Content
UGC is a great way to advertise your products and services on TikTok. In this case, a content creator would create authentic videos about using your product or service. It is a powerful digital recommendation, only this time, you have a short trendy video of a customer/client using and sharing your products and services with the world. And the best part is that it doesn’t feel like an ad or sales.
As Instagram decided to turn from a photo-sharing application into a short-video content platform, TikTok decided to make photos cool again. Now, users can switch to “photo mode,” which allows them to upload photos like a carousel and put music sounds over them. It’s not a video slideshow, and it contains static images.
So when people said: “We want photos back,” TikTok listened. Did you hear that, Mosseri?
As Gen Z rely primarily on short video content for information and entertainment, we welcome the challenges and the future changes that applications like TikTok bring and make the best of it. If you want to stay on top of the trends and monetize in the future, don’t hesitate to contact us and discuss ways we can TikTok your business.
About Darina: GenZ social media junkie with an obsession over TikTok and Short-Form Vertical Videos.