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Consumers Are Turning to TikTok: How To Make the Most of the Platform

 

In today’s digital-first era, it can be hard to capture the attention of potential consumers, especially on social media. When it comes to social platforms, TikTok has emerged as a vibrant platform where users — particularly Gen Z and millennials — search for information, recommendations, and local businesses.

 

As a brand, a presence on TikTok is a great way to engage with younger audiences. If you’re worried about TikTok’s potential future, we anticipate that the platform will be around in some form for the foreseeable future. Our Local Memo blog series will keep you updated on any potential changes. 

 

Within this blog, we’ll unravel the significance of TikTok for brand visibility, share practical strategies for leveraging it, and explain how SOCi can guide you through this journey.

 

TikTok – An Increasingly Important Search Platform

 

You may be asking yourself why my brand needs to be on TikTok. Simply put, it’s where consumers are.

 

Data from our 2024 Consumer Behavior Index (CBI) found that 62% of those 18-24 said they use TikTok to find local businesses. Additionally, in July 2022, Google revealed from internal data that nearly 40% of young people go to TikTok or Instagram instead of Google Maps or Search when looking for places to eat lunch.

 

 

Green and black call to action promoting SOCi's 2024 Consumer Behavior Index

 

 

TikTok’s popularity amplifies its importance as a consumer search platform, especially among younger demographics. While it isn’t replacing traditional search platforms, it has become a go-to place for consumers to find information and recommendations about local businesses.

 

4 Ways Brands Can Leverage TikTok Today 

 

Now that you understand the importance of TikTok as a marketing tool, let’s get into how your brand can leverage it well. 

 

1. Create a TikTok Account for Your Brand

 

If your brand doesn’t already have a TikTok account, the first step is to create one! TikTok offers Business Accounts, which differ slightly from personal accounts. 

 

With a TikTok business account, your brand gets access to: 

 

  • TikTok’s Web Business Suite, which includes analytics and a workspace 
  • An email address on your TikTok profile 
  • Exclusive access to pre-cleared signs through the Commercial Music Library 
  • The in-app Business Creative Hub 

 

You can learn more about all of the features here

 

You can sign up for a TikTok account by going to the platform’s website and clicking “Sign Up.” Once you have an account, you can switch it to a business account through the settings and privacy navigation on your profile. 

 

An image of the sign-up page of TikTok

 

2. Consider Your Target Audience 

 

Once you set up your TikTok account, it’s time to start developing content and build your following. Before you develop content for TikTok, it’s essential to consider your brand’s target audience. As mentioned, TikTok is primarily popular among Gen Z and millennials, so you’ll want to speak to that audience.

 

Think about why these younger audiences would like your product or service. What are the benefits they’ll get from purchasing from your brand? How will your brand’s tone of voice differ when speaking to them? 

 

Remember, TikTok itself is a social media platform where users will scroll past your content if they don’t find it engaging. What will make your brand stand out? 

 

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin creating the content. 

 

 

3. Create Relevant and Timely Content 

 

After defining your target audience, your brand can begin creating content. On TikTok, it’s imperative to develop relevant and timely content. TikTok is known for its trends, some of which are timely and others evergreen. 

 

For instance, day-in-the-life (DITL) content has been popular on TikTok over the past few years. Developing content around what a typical day looks like at one of your business locations is a great way to explore TikTok trends. How-to and behind the scenes videos are also quite popular, as seen in the example below. 

 

An example of a TikTok showing the behind the scenes of an interview

 

TikTok’s algorithm values content that resonates with its audience, so be sure to offer value in the form of entertainment, education, or inspiration. Regarding video lengths, TikTok allows videos from 15 seconds to three minutes. Test different video lengths and see what works best among your audience. Also, research what competitors in your space are doing on TikTok. What kind of content are they creating? Which videos get the most engagement?

 

Your brand may have an in-house social media team member at the corporate level or across business locations. If not, it’s crucial to delegate someone as the TikTok expert. This person will stay on top of TikTok trends and can manage video content development. 

 

4. Leverage Influencer Marketing 

 

Another great way to increase visibility on TikTok is through influencer marketing. 

 

If you’re unfamiliar with influencer marketing, it’s when businesses collaborate with individuals with a following to increase brand exposure and promote their products or services.

 

 

For instance, if you’re a restaurant brand, you could collaborate with a TikTok influencer known for their “What I Eat in a Day” TikToks and have them create a video dining at your restaurant. 

 

An image showing the results for "What I eat in a day" on TikTok

 

 

While influencer marketing is a great tool, it is important to find authentic partnerships that make sense for your brand. Consumers can pick up on inauthentic and forced influencer marketing tactics, which could negatively impact your brand reputation

 

5. Adopt a Multi-Platform Strategy  

 

Next, adopt a multi-platform strategy. TikTok content doesn’t need to stay confined within the platform. Repurpose your popular TikTok content across other platforms like Instagram and YouTube, cross-pollinating and increasing your brand’s reach.

 

For instance, your brand can post TikTok videos on Instagram as Reels or on YouTube as YouTube Shorts. Depending on the type of content, you can also share some of the videos on LinkedIn or Facebook, particularly if you’re trying to reach older audiences. 

 

As a marketer, you’re likely looking for ways to work smarter, not harder, and adopting a multi-platform strategy can help you achieve this. 

 

6. Assess Performance and Make Optimizations 

 

Lastly, a social media strategy wouldn’t be complete without tracking its performance and measuring its success. If your brand is just starting with TikTok, set a few key performance indicators (KPIs) and begin measuring them monthly. 

 

For instance, the KPIs you can track include: 

  • Follower count 
  • Engagement rate 
  • Post reach 
  • Comments per post 
  • Cost per result 

 

After defining your KPIs and tracking them monthly, you need to set aside time quarterly or bi-annually to understand which metrics you hit and where you’re still lacking. 

 

Your brand can then assess which posts are working and which aren’t and optimize accordingly. 

 

Getting Started with TikTok

 

Understanding the nuances of this constantly evolving platform can be complicated, but working with a partner like SOCi can simplify the process. Not only can SOCi help your brand navigate the latest with TikTok, but we can also help your brand create and execute engaging content that strikes a chord with your target audience.

 

For instance, SOCi’s Genius Social can transform your brand’s social strategy through innovative AI. Through Genius Social, brands can develop hyper-local monthly content calendars and on-brand engagement replies — all automatically crafted by AI. It also provides adaptive content that dynamically updates with trends and local audience preferences.

 

Genius Social Preview

 

Bursting with growth and opportunities, TikTok is an important platform for brands to begin leveraging. Your brand can ride the TikTok wave to greater visibility and success with the right strategy, creative content, and tech-savvy partners like SOCi. 

 

To learn more about how SOCi can help, request a personalized demo today! 

 

 

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Darcy Bickham

As SOCi’s Content Marketing Manager, Darcy Bickham specializes in creating the strategy and developing the content around both localized and digital marketing trends for the SOCi brand. Through her content writing, Darcy has helped to position SOCi as the marketing platform for multi-location brands.

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