Can you use TikTok for business? You bet! The app, which is fast on its way to becoming the number one platform for social media marketing (sorry, Instagram), represents a huge opportunity for brands that are ready to log on and start posting. And if you haven’t explored the many benefits of TikTok for business yet, now is the time to get acclimated and ensure you don’t fall behind.

For brands on TikTok, the platform offers a novel way to create strong connections with a highly engaged audience—and it does so with an authenticity that’s hard to come by on other apps. Big brands, small brands, and individual creators have seen massive success as a result of a smart TikTok marketing strategy, but there’s plenty of room left at the top for those who are just getting started.

Of course, just like with any app, TikTok social media marketing isn’t the right choice for every business. It’s also a bit more work than composing a Facebook post or sending out a tweet. But if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right, which is why we’ve put together this guide to TikTok for business, including tons of tips for designing a stellar TikTok strategy.

From how to get verified on TikTok to using the TikTok algorithm to your advantage, here’s what to know about helping your business succeed on the app. 

TikTok Marketing: Is Your Audience on the App?

Source: TikTokHow does a business grow its brand on TikTok? It starts with connecting with the right audience.  

Before you dive headfirst into TikTok social media marketing, you need to know if it’s going to be worth it.

Effective marketing is all about connecting with the right people in the right ways at the right time. Whether or not a TikTok marketing strategy can accomplish that for you depends on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to—and more specifically, whether those factors align with TikTok demographics and user preferences.

TikTok has more than one billion active users, but that number doesn’t necessarily include your target audience. It’s essential that you understand who’s on the app and what they’re engaging with so you can determine if your time, budget, and creative resources are well-suited to the endeavor.  

A Quick Look at TikTok Demographics

It’s not enough to know that there’s a billion people on TikTok. You need to know if those people are your people, especially if you’re a small business working with a limited marketing budget.

So, who’s on TikTok? Let’s take a look.

  • The app is most popular with Gen Z and young Millennials. In 2021, 48% of Americans aged 18-29 were on TikTok, including 55% of all 18-24-year-olds.
  • Older age groups are on the app, but not in huge numbers. Among those aged 30-49, just 20% are TikTok users. This number drops to 14% for the 50-64 range.
  • Gender is pretty evenly split. 51% of TikTok’s users identify as male and 49% identify as female.

Spend enough time on the app and you’ll see that even younger audiences are happy to engage with brands whose products skew toward an older demographic (take a stroll over to carpet cleaning TikTok if you don’t believe us). However, that doesn’t always equate to sales, so make sure to consider whether TikTok is a productive pursuit for your team.

TikTok Monthly Active User Data

As mentioned, there are one billion active TikTok users every month. Of those, 73.7 million are in the U.S., with a projection to reach 88.7 million by 2024.

To put that into context, nearly 21% of the entire world’s internet users and about 22% of the world’s active social media users are on TikTok. Not too bad for an app that’s only been around since 2016.

Setting Up a TikTok Business Account

Alright, you’ve seen the demographic data, and you’ve decided to join other brands on TikTok. Next up is creating a TikTok business account. 

Download the app to create an account, then follow these steps to designate it as a business profile:

  1. Go to your profile page and click the three bars in the top right corner.
  2. Select Manage Account and then Switch to Business Account.
  3. Choose the category that matches your business.
  4. Optimize your business profile, adding in a bio, website and social media links, and contact information.

That’s it! You’ll automatically have access to a range of creator tools and other features that will help you with your strategy—including the TikTok analytics dashboard.

Creator Account vs. Business Account: TikTok Differences You Need to Know

Setting up a business account is necessary for your brand, and not just because it helps keep it separate from any personal use you might make of the app.

When you set up a business account, TikTok provides you with features for reaching customers and building a brand image. A basic creator account, on the other hand, won’t have such robust features. You can still use it for promotional purposes, but why miss out on the assets a TikTok business account can provide you with?

Designing a TikTok Strategy for Your Business

Capture:TikTokA good strategy can take your small business to new heights—and to the doors of that much sought-after blue checkmark club.

Time to talk about the most important part of all: your TikTok social media marketing strategy.

There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for killing it on TikTok. Instead, marketing success on TikTok requires some app-specific know-how and a heavy dose of creativity… with some posting and engagement consistency thrown in there for good measure.

A lot of TikTok’s best practices for business are similar to the best practices of other social networks—i.e., establish a brand presence, maintain a clear voice, engage with your audience, and put out great content. There are some things that are unique to the app, though, and you’ll want to be well-versed on them as you find your footing.  

How the TikTok Algorithm Works

The TikTok algorithm works at a rapid-fire pace to deduce users’ interests and funnel content they’ll like. This is great for brands, since it increases the chances that the people your content ends up in front of are the people who are most likely to appreciate it.

As for the specific mechanics of the algorithm, it uses various metrics of interactions—views, likes, shares, comments—combined with user preferences and account settings (think location and language) to customize a user’s For You Page, or FYP. This mechanism keeps users hooked, and it also serves businesses by helping make sure a user who’s interested in your content continues to see it—even if they don’t give you a follow.

Shooting Videos for Your TikTok Marketing Campaign

Source: TikTokBrands like Nike shoot general interest videos that reel in viewers to build brand buzz and awareness, such as this how-to video with cyclist Julius Barnes. 

TikTok is all videos all the time. With no other options for content, you’ll need to quickly figure out how to script, shoot, and upload videos, as well as how to edit TikTok videos for time and effectiveness (videos can be either 15 seconds, 60 seconds, or three minutes long).

You’ll largely have to rely on your creativity here, but there are also TikTok techniques like voiceovers and trend-spotting that can provide shortcuts to content creation. And speaking of shortcuts, you can use TikTok’s API to customize and automate videos, even without a ton of coding background.  

The Best Time to Post on TikTok

You’ll need to get your timing right if you want to get the most engagement.

After analyzing the results of more than 100,000 videos, Influencer Marketing Hub ranked  these times as the best for engagement (all in EST):

Monday: 6 AM, 10 AM, 10 PM

Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, *9 AM

Wednesday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 11 PM

Thursday: 9 AM, *12 AM, 7 PM

Friday: *5 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM

Saturday: 11 AM, 7 PM, 8 PM

Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, 4 PM

*Times with extra-high engagement.

Use these times as a jumping-off point, but keep in mind that your own best times will likely vary based on when your target audience is most active. After running with a TikTok marketing campaign for a while, check your Analytics page to see when your posts are getting the most traction. Then use this info to figure out when you should be posting, as well as when you should be going live.

martha stewart tiktok
Source: TikTokIt’s no surprise that lifestyle guru Martha Stewart wouldn’t pass on a trending hashtag like #HolidayCountdown to get her Christmas cookie crafting video in front of a huge audience. 

Finding the best hashtags for TikTok—and using them to guide your campaigns—will make your life a whole lot easier.

TikTok hashtags help segment your content and get you more views. And in addition to boosting discoverability, you can use trending hashtags on TikTok to connect with a larger community.

Head to the Discover tab to see which hashtags are trending. Jump on trends that align with your brand, and use more general hashtags to categorize your videos and get them in front of new eyes.

Investing in TikTok Sponsored Ads

Sponsored ads on TikTok aren’t cheap. Nor are they even necessary in most cases, since the opportunity for organic growth is so high.

How much do TikTok sponsored ads cost? A standard in-feed ad runs about $10 per impression with a $6,000 upfront fee. You could also pay $60,000 for a “brand takeover” with a guaranteed minimum five million views, or $150,000 per week for your very own hashtag challenge. The more popular the app gets, the higher these prices are going, and some ads are now costing brands as much as $2 million per day.

Explore sponsored ads if it’s in the budget, but don’t feel like you have to pay an arm and a leg to get in front of your audience. Creative, high-quality content could be enough, and it will cost you a lot less.  

TikTok Influencer Marketing

Source:TikTokBeauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira promotes a skincare set from Sephora and Dermalogica to her nine million TikTok followers.  

User-generated content has massive pull on the app, making TikTok influencer marketing a more affordable approach to paid growth.

Knowing your audience is key for choosing the right influencers. Also key is fully understanding an influencer’s content and point of view before pairing with them. You can find influencers yourself by scrolling through your FYP or the Discover tab, or you can hire an agency to facilitate influencer collaborations and handle the paperwork for you.  

Tracking Your TikTok Analytics

Head to your Account Settings page to access your analytics, where you’ll find tons of useful data that can help you improve outcomes on the app. This includes information about your videos and your followers, plus a general overview of your week-to-week performance.

As with any type of marketing, staying in touch with your analytics is critical to optimizing your campaigns. You don’t want to fly blind, so check in regularly to gather essential insights and take actionable steps based on what you learn.

How to Limit Comments on TikTok

You may choose to limit who can comment on your videos. This is a handy tool in the event you’re getting negative engagement and can also be used strategically if there are some videos you don’t want comments on at all.

To do it, go to your Account Settings and then Privacy. Scroll down to the Safety section and click on Comments. You can choose to enable comments from everyone, from friends, or from no one. You can also filter comments by keywords or choose to review all comments so only those you approve show up on your videos.

Tips for Getting More TikTok Followers

More followers is always a good thing. To get them, you’ll want to follow all of the strategy advice above, particularly advice around trending hashtags and influencer marketing. These extra tips can also help if your growth is lagging.

  • Use a TikTok follower tracker. Download a TikTok follower tracker app to gain a better understanding of who your followers are and what appeals to them. It will help you create better content in the present and appeal to more of your target audience moving forward.
  • Interact with your audience. Respond to comments, stitch and duet videos, and engage with user-generated content about your brand. These interactions lead to more views—and build stronger relationships with those who already follow you.
  • Post often. Don’t slack off when it comes to posting. Stay consistent, posting lots of content at the best times for your audience.

TikTok Ideas for Small Businesses

Source:TikTokThis packaging video from small business Brownie God garnered 1.1 million views and more than 155,000 likes.

Is TikTok good for small businesses? It depends on your business. If your core demographic is on the app and you’ve got the drive to create engaging content, then it can absolutely be worthwhile. Your exact strategy is up to you, but consider trying out some of these TikTok ideas for small businesses if you’re not sure how to get the ball rolling.

Try Out Different Kinds of Content

Mix up your content so you’re not just posting the same stuff all the time. This includes creating content that isn’t just about promoting your product or service, since showing your personality is just as important.

Take Viewers Behind the Scenes

Even things that might not seem so interesting at first glance—such as organizing your inventory or packing up orders—could be just the thing to gain more interest in what you’re doing.

Show Your Product Getting Made

Give viewers a peek at how your product gets made. Even better if you include a voiceover talking about what inspired its creation.

Share General Business Advice

Create a video or series of videos sharing things you’ve learned running a small business. This is a more general spin on what you do that can help get people invested in your business and its success.

How to Get Verified on TikTok

Achieving verification on TikTok can do wonders for your brand’s visibility and legitimacy on the app. We’ve written a whole article about it, including the sorts of criteria that TikTok looks at when deciding whether to verify your account.

There’s no way to make a request for getting verified on TikTok. Instead, you’ll need to create an account that the app’s moderators deem worthy of that coveted blue checkmark. Be authentic, post frequently, and focus on high-quality content above all else. Verification may just follow.

Written By

Laura Mueller

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