Blow Up On TikTok By Following These 4 Rules | Entrepreneur

tiktok is the reigning star and arguably the longest-lived social network.

in 2021, tiktok achieved a record 656 million downloads (leaving the second-ranked platform, instagram, in the dust by 100 million) and remained the only social media app other than facebook to surpass three thousand millions of downloads.

but tiktok’s dominance is more than statistical and makes even bigger waves with regards to sheer influence.

If you noticed that your instagram and facebook feeds recently changed to prioritize video and show you more viral content from outside your network, you can blame tiktok. Although all corners of the social media landscape are affected, meta properties seem particularly affected by the speed with which the tiktok acquisition occurred. instagram specifically.

Content trends have been moving away from the written word for a while now. Five years ago, we had a massive podcast boom, which has since slowed down due to the illusion of market saturation. Now, it’s all about small videos.

related: how brands are capitalizing on tiktok to win new audiences

tiktok and clones like instagram reels are taking off. At the same time, apps like Twitter are relatively stagnant because endlessly scrolling through videos is a more rewarding experience than the same content retweeted multiple times or updates from family and high school acquaintances you never speak to.

tiktok is the best of both worlds when it comes to social media content. it shows effort and creativity but doesn’t require a high level of polish to succeed. the less professional your tiktoks are, the more authentic they seem. That’s why it’s hard for brands, especially long-established ones, to understand tiktok features. Let’s face it: overwork and overthinking are rampant in most creative departments, and while they often produce stellar material, authenticity can be lost.

related: here’s why not being on tiktok is a big mistake

so, let’s brainstorm. The 15-25 year old crowd currently rules tiktok, but if a kid with a camera phone and a dream can do it, his well-equipped marketing team can too. it’s just a matter of understanding the terrain and replicating what works.

the four rules of tiktok success

Rule #1: Don’t advertise

If someone came to your birthday party and started handing out their business cards, you’d be upset, and that’s putting it mildly. tiktok is not the place for billo or influencer ads, with one exception that we will discuss later.

no one is on the platform for ads, and it is simply inappropriate and miscalculated to pump purely promotional content for video channels. embrace the content marketer in you and start thinking about how you can add value to people’s day.

Rule #2: Create ads… but run them as ads.

when I said “don’t make ads”, I meant don’t make ads and upload them to your tiktok account. Like any other platform, tiktok has a business side that will allow brands to run ads. here is where you can run your ad campaign harmlessly. However, I would not suggest just running ads on tiktok and ignoring the content side of the platform; that is the essence of the application and what users come to see.

Rule #3: Not creative? not necessarily a problem.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to hold your employees hostage and force them to dance to the latest hit song to go viral. If you don’t have the creative wherewithal to produce your viable tiktok content, find someone who does. there is no shortage of creators looking to partner with brands.

but let me repeat: creators. not influencers. the difference is that a content creator can give his brand a story and provide some direction (and much-needed humor) towards what’s hot. an influencer can look cute and hold your product in front of the camera. this is great if you are looking for purely promotional content for facebook ads but not what you want on tiktok.

Rule #4: Keep your ears open.

Social listening is an undervalued and even more underused tool. I guess I shouldn’t tell you the secret to my success, but today I’m feeling generous. invest in social listening tools like awario or buzzsumo to make sure you never miss a thing that’s happening online.

tiktok lives on trends, but the unfortunate truth is that these trends have a life cycle of about a week, if you’re lucky. social listening tools are well suited to identify what is bubbling below the surface so that you are ready to capture it once it emerges.

tiktok requires strategy, creativity and time. Major brands have all these resources at their disposal, but they seem a bit useless when you master them for a bulletproof tiktok approach.

If I could sum up my advice in one simple sentence, it would be this: Remember that you are a marketer, the middle ground between a content creator and a marketer. use both parts of that identity to create content that hits the mark.

related: how tiktok can help you boost your career

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