TikTok Strategy For Small Business: What To Know To Get Started

Have you considered developing a TikTok strategy for your small business?

If you’re not familiar, TikTok is a rapidly growing, short video platform based on using music and other sound bites to create content.

Like IGTV, it’s a vertical video platform where the content that does best is the content created natively for the platform.

It’s also a platform whose demographic is rapidly expanding to include some of the largest purchasing power in America.

TikTok is a platform that’s filling the void that Vine’s departure left. Click To Tweet

Considering the social network’s potential, it might be time to focus on creating a TikTok strategy for your small business.

Getting involved early in a platform with this level of growth could potentially be the secret to growing your brand on a new level, after all.

The massive exposure it provides may introduce your brand to a large enough new audience that the trajectory of your company could improve dramatically.

Most immediately, you’ll have a chance to get extra creative and have a little more fun creating content for your brand.

Starting your strategy on TikTok isn’t that hard, either.

Because of its unique content delivery algorithm, there’s almost nothing you can create on the platform that won’t get seen.

Here’s what you need to know to get your TikTok strategy started.

TikTok Isn’t Just For Small Businesses Trying To Reach Teens

One of the biggest misconceptions about TikTok right now is that it’s populated by kids and teens.

While that may have been true in the early phases of the network, the platform evolved significantly in 2020.

Once COVID-19 social distancing regulations were implemented, many millennials turned to the platform for a change in entertainment.

It’s actually to a point where the “zoomers” (a new name for Gen Z) have started a social media war with millennials.

But that point aside, the important thing to understand about your TikTok strategy is that there are more than just kids and teens on the platform.

Because TikTok has become a diverse audience that includes the generation with the largest buying power in America.

A fact that makes the platform worth spending time to create content for.

Remember, your impression that there are only kids on TikTok isn’t unique to you.

Other brands – even some of your competitors – are avoiding TikTok because they believe their target market isn’t present on the platform.

That’s an advantage you can use to accelerate your brand.

By ignoring your initial perception of TikTok’s demographics and acting on the fact that you can build reach quickly you can set yourself apart from your competition with ease.

Here’s How To Build Your Small Business’ TikTok Strategy

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve determined that a TikTok strategy is right for your small business.

But because the platform is still new, you may not know what to do on the platform, let alone how to do it for the benefit of your brand.

To make your TikTok strategy effective, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take.

Some of them will be familiar to you, as they’re similar to what you’ve done on other content platforms.

Others will be new and unique to TikTok.

In both situations, you should find relative ease in preparing a TikTok strategy and executing it to success.

TikTok’s newness and the unique way it delivers content allows for massive growth very quickly. Click To Tweet

As I previously mentioned, TikTok allows brands to grow quickly.

That’s amplified by the fact that it’s still a new platform, where allowing pages to grow to large exposure is more beneficial to the platform.

It’s in TikTok’s best interest to help your brand grow in these early phases of the platform.

More page growth encourages more users and more users create more income opportunities for TikTok.

Therefore, the math is solid, the opportunity is huge, and the steps to building a successful TikTok strategy for your small business are straightforward.

Take these steps to create and execute a successful TikTok strategy.

Learn How The Content Is Delivered

Like any content strategy, you need to make sure your TikTok content is seen by the people who need to see it.

Otherwise, what’s the point of making content for the platform in the first place?

TikTok content is delivered differently than any other network.

Most social networks deliver content in a feed of what you’ve followed, prioritizing the content that you engage with most towards the top of your feed.

As you continue further down your feed, you’ll begin to see more accounts and content that you’re less likely to interact with, but it will always come from sources you follow.

Apart from advertisements, this is true every time you open a social network.

To find new content, you usually must go out of your way to a search or suggested content page.

On Instagram, it’s the explore tab; Facebook the search bar; Twitter the trending hashtags.

But on TikTok, there is a focus on suggested content.

When you open the app, you’re taken to the For You Page.

This feed is dedicated to content you haven’t consumed yet that’s related to what you’ve engaged with or followed.

Therefore, your TikTok strategy is made easier by the way the platform does this.

Every piece of content you post has a chance of coming up in someone else’s For You Page.

Those chances are increased if your content is like other content that they’ve shown interest in.

Odds suggest those are people who are more likely to be a part of your target audience.

You know what happens when the right people see you.

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Decide The Tone Of Your Content

The content tone is important when it comes to connecting with your target audience.

They’ve got to feel like you get them and get what their needs are.

The content you produce for your TikTok strategy is no different.

Depending on who your target market is, a level of sarcasm, optimism, seriousness, or other personality element needs to come into play.

It’s a part of how you can fully relate to your audience and get them listening to your content.

One of the most important elements of a content strategy is whether your audience is listening.

When your content goes unseen and, more importantly, is not engaged with, it hasn’t resonated with your audience.

In those circumstances, you’re not making an impression on your target market or helping your brand.

Thusly, you’re only teaching your potential client base to ignore what your brand has to say.

Using a tone that matches the way your audience feels about the subjects you decide to cover with your TikTok content will help them see your brand as something that fits within their lives.

If you can paint that picture for them, you not only help your brand get exposure but you also help move your audience to the next phases of their buying journey.

As they begin to connect with your brand, they begin to see themselves as your clients.

Deciding the right tone helps you move your audience closer to making the purchase.

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Be Sure You’re Always Having Fun

Alongside your choice of tone, you need to consider the primary purpose of TikTok content.

Users flock to TikTok because of it’s less serious personality.

Nearly all the platform’s successful content is rooted in people having fun.

Therefore, as you develop your TikTok strategy, you need to consider the ways your brand can have fun while still promoting itself.

Think about some of the fun and entertaining ways you can show off who your brand is or what products you offer.

Perhaps you sell a physical product that can be used to do absurd things or has a genuinely interesting process during its assembly.

Maybe your team is quirky and likes to break out into sporadic games of frisbee golf in the hallways.

Whatever you choose to add to your content will have far more success, after all, if it’s fun to participate in and enjoyable to watch.

Audiences aren’t on TikTok for the same boring, serious, or artistic content they visit other networks for.

They’re there to laugh, have fun, and maybe enjoy a few challenges (which we’ll talk about in a minute).

If your TikTok strategy doesn’t have a little fun built-in, you’re going to have trouble attracting an audience that will benefit you long term.

Similarly, it’s unlikely they’ll even stay long term.

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Don’t Be Afraid Of Music And Effects

TikTok, which began life as Music.ly in the United States, has music heavily ingrained into its DNA.

Since its inception, TikTok users have been producing content that focuses on performance to the music that’s accessible on the platform.

From choreographed dances to lip-syncing to funny acts interpreting the song’s lyrics, music has always been huge within TikTok’s content.

Effects have had a critical place as well, allowing users to amplify the humor, educate better, and exaggerate situations out of sarcasm.

And you can use the two combined to illustrate a point as effectively as a meme.

Include both in your TikTok strategy.

Music makes a great communication tool, and the right effects can help draw attention to your video.

Combined they can help amplify your message.

Try to make sense of when to use music and which effects are helpful.

Not every post needs a song or effect to work.

Sometimes just the subject of the video is more than enough to catch attention, so never overdo the use of songs and effects.

Be sure to mix the ways you use TikTok’s assets as a part of your strategy as well.

Doing the same thing over and over can get boring and repetitive to your audience.

But a strong mix of content types keeps things fresh and your audience entertained.

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Your TikTok Strategy Should Be Telling Great Short Stories

Short video formats have been bastions of creative influence for a long time.

Vine, the previous frontrunner in the short video space, used to be home to many successful storytellers who managed to use the 6-second video length to create something unique and relatable.

The stories they were able to tell captured a lot of attention.

But when the platform shuttered, it left behind a void that people couldn’t fill.

Although other platforms exist that allow video content, none quite fit in the opening.

Then TikTok came along.

Suddenly, short video, now up to 15 seconds, found a home again, and those short-form storytellers found their stride.

Unsurprisingly it’s those who can tell the best stories in that short span who have the most success.

As you develop your TikTok strategy, start thinking of how to tell your brand’s stories in a 15-second window.

Yes, the ability to create 60-second videos is available, but the most-watched videos fit within the 15-second timeframe.

Telling your brand’s story in the short format forces creativity beneficially.

Learning how to include only what you need to get the point across can make your message much clearer, allowing your audience to connect to it better.

This leads to a more engaged audience as a result.

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Participate In And Create Challenges

TikTok is famous for its hashtag challenges.

From the #fliptheswitchchallenge to the #savagechallenge, fun ways to create content and participate in the viral nature of social media pop up all the time.

Including these challenges within your TikTok strategy makes a lot of sense.

Does that mean you need to jump on every challenge bandwagon as the come up?

No.

However, you need to pay attention to them as frequently as possible and determine which ones you can fit within the brand messages you want to send.

In some cases, you can adapt your products or services to spoof these challenges, and create instant pop culture credibility.

Other challenges might be suitable opportunities to involve your team and help show off your company culture.

Either way, whenever a hashtag challenge makes sense you ought to find a way to incorporate it in your content.

By keeping your TikTok strategy open to this silliness you earn a great opportunity to relate better to your audience and get your content to spread even further than usual.

You also get to build a reputation for the humanity behind your brand by helping your audience see the people involved in making it work and lowering the corporate curtain that many brands keep up.

There’s nothing on TikTok like a hashtag challenge to show the human side of your brand.

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Focus On The Videos

Most social networks accept video content to their platforms, and it does well on many.

However, videos on those networks typically need a little bit of context and often a few hashtags to assure your target audience sees them.

On TikTok, video is the only option.

And, if you haven’t yet noticed, the captions to go with each video are barely visible.

Many users don’t even know the captions are there when watching a video.

With that in mind, your TikTok strategy needs to focus on the part of the content that’s most important: the video itself.

TikTok does a decent job of relating accounts and content to each other using their 7-day learning period.

In your TikTok account’s first 7 days, the platform throws random content at you to find out what interests you.

Their AI platform uses the data it gains, which is the only data it has on you outside of your profile information, to determine what should show up on your For You Page.

Subsequently, this has led to an algorithm where hashtags and captions don’t impact the spread of your content much.

Yes, people find your content when they click on a hashtag you use.

But those hashtags don’t determine who TikTok suggests your content to.

Knowing that, write short captions and add only a few hashtags to your TikTok videos.

Therefore, your TikTok strategy needs to be based on spending time making videos that your audience wants to watch.

There’s no need to weigh yourself down with hashtag decisions.

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Build A TikTok Strategy To Grow

TikTok is an amazing place to help your small business grow its exposure at an exponential rate.

Compared to other platforms, your brand has unmatched visibility and massive content exposure.

Developing a complete TikTok strategy that allows you to freely make the content your audience wants to see can help your brand in ways no other platform has.

It’s time to take TikTok seriously and put it to work for your brand.

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TikTok Strategy For Small Business: What To Know To Get Started

by Michael McNew Read in 10 min