If you follow some popular marketing experts, you may have heard some of them say that you HAVE to get on TikTok as it grows. I’ve heard other marketers, tell people it’s a waste of their time.

Here’s the problem: how do you know when to hop on a new social networking app? And how do you know it will last?

Well, the honest truth is that there’s no good way of knowing. Plenty of other apps have come and gone. But TikTok might be different…

In an era of marketing where video content gets the most engagement, TikTok is a platform where people can create videos with user-friendly effects and share them with the world. Then they can spend time (hours really) getting sucked into the platform to watch entertaining and trending video content. 

Here are some of my thoughts on the DOs and DON’Ts of putting your business or brand on the new platform:

DOs

  • Be generous with your likes and comments.
  • Create videos of yourself or your team doing trending dances or skits
  • Show behind the scenes and let your guard down
  • Use TikTok to make videos you can use on other platforms

DONTs 

  • Don’t sell or talk about your product. TikTok users are there to be engaged
  • Don’t give a monologue.
  • Don’t make it long or boring. Keep it short and sweet

Overall, TikTok users are looking to be entertained. If you can provide entertaining content, you should be on TikTok. It’s a space to be funny and create connections. These non-salesy interactions help build your brand. TV personalities and actors have jumped onto TikTok, embraces the trending videos and are connecting with these audiences. (When you join TikTok look up Howie Mandel and Reese Witherspoon as good examples.)

At this point, TikTok should not replace your work on other social platforms, but you could use it in addition to other marketing avenues. TikTok users are generally younger than Instagram’s or Facebook’s right now. Over time that might change, but in the meantime, big television networks like ESPN are posting meaningful and entertaining videos on TikTok to engage this younger audience.

I wanted to close with another example of a business I found on TikTok who I think so doing an amazing job: a luxury dress brand. They have their models perform all the trending dances in the gowns. While they’re not overtly selling their dresses, they’re using the power of social networking to create more brand exposure. They aren’t coming into the platform trying to do it their own way; they’re abiding by the TikTok culture. TikTok gives us a way to think outside of the box when it comes to using social media for marketing and branding. 

Time is a limited resource when it comes to running a small to medium-size business. Don’t take on TikTok as a business unless you have the bandwidth for it. But if you do join it personally, prepare to laugh out loud and get sucked into the TikTok time warp! 

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