How to use TikTok for business

In 2023 TikTok hit 1.7 billion users.

Let that sink in, 1.7 billion people. Nearly a quarter of the population of the entire world is on TikTok. The app has 150 million active users in the United States and over 23 million here in the UK.

It is growing to be one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.

Almost half of Gen-Z’ers are on TikTok – this is hugely important for reasons we’ll explore later in this article. The cadence with which its users create content is staggering, more than 1 billion TikTok videos are being viewed daily!

TikTok also recently revealed that there are almost 1.5 million UK businesses using the platform to boost their business. With numbers like this, it’s easy to see why TikTok marketing has blossomed in recent times.

So maybe it’s time you got on TikTok?

TikTok users: finding a target audience on TikTok

When you hear the word TikTok influencers, what do you first think of?

Maybe a Kardashian or a similarly universally mega-famous celebrity. Or maybe a teenager, that you’ve never heard of dancing in their bedroom? But what about Laura Pomfret, Holly Holland or David Poku?

TikTok creators Holly and Laura, are a sister duo, TikTokking under the handle of @Financielle. David Poku posts under the title of @PokuBanks. They are part of a growing trend called #FinTok

FinTok, as you might have guessed from the title, of blog post is financial advice on TikTok. You’ll find David trying to break down the risks of unregulated advice or tips to avoid online scams. Holly and Laura might break down financial jargon, or try to answer the question ‘should I rent or should I buy.’

Collectively they have over 350,000 followers. The FinTok hashtag has racked up close to 5 billion views. Every business has a niche and you’ll find that on platforms such as TikTok, if you look closely enough for entertainment content you’re likely to find an audience.

TikTok videos: the king of content!

When it comes to posting videos on TikTok, Sprout Social Media’s 2023 Index report gives great insight into what content works best on the platform.

It’s no surprise that short-form video is top of that list, video is the most active and engaged content format.

So video content should be the primary source of content for your TikTok channel. Specifically short form. As Sprout’s same index also shows short-form videos to be far more engaging than longer forms.

You can also very easily repurpose this content used on TikTok for other platforms, such as Instagram, adding even further value. You can take your marketing strategy a step further with dedicated paid advertising through TikTok ads.

So, video content has to be a major part of your content strategy. But what does that look like in real terms?

Building a content strategy that works for you

If you want to use TikTok for business, the fine details of exactly what you post will be entirely unique to you. This is your channel, your space to tell your story in your brand voice. So experiment with that.

Many of the most successful TikTok users approach the app and the process of TikTok content strategy and creation with a very open mind. Like all marketing strategies, testing and learning is a big part of making the most of TikTok.

In truth, the TikTok algorithm can be fickle at times. One piece of organic content may fall flat one week but you could delete it, repost it weeks later and find that it takes off. Having an open mind, a curiosity to play with trends and themes and the confidence to know that not everything will land is really important for TikTok.

But as a business account, what can you post to increase brand awareness?

Create content that reflects your values

Be authentic. This is particularly important with TikTok for business. The most successful businesses and brands using TikTok are doing so without filters or pretence. It should be an honest portrayal of your corporate values. TikTok users want authenticity, so give it to them.

Share your story

Whether you’re a local butcher, an emerging tech scale-up or a global mega-corporation, everyone has a story to tell. Use the platform to show and tell your story, knowledge and experiences to your TikTok community.

Put the spotlight on your teams

Put your people front and centre.

Give them the latitude to create engaging content on their own terms (obviously with the businesses’ best interests in mind). This kind of user-generated content typically performs very well on TikTok and is a strong method of enhancing and amplifying employer brand.

Educate

Try to teach your target audiences something they don’t know. Our FinTok examples above do an excellent job of breaking down complex subject matter into educational and easily digestible audio clips.

Entertain

Social media platforms are entertainment platforms. The content you put out into the world has to be entertaining. You have less than two seconds to hook in your target audience… so it has to be entertaining above all.

Building a community: engaging with partners and creators

To further grow your presence, creator collaborations could be the next step.

You might not consider TikTok a defecto B2B platform… and you might be right. But, remember that not too long ago, neither was Facebook. Neither was Instagram.

The B2B creator and influencer space on TikTok is still emerging. Forward-thinking businesses can get in on the action early and explore partnerships with emerging creators, influencers, industry experts and thought leaders.

Again, look at the great example of FinTok, with billions of views all relating to financial advice. The odds are, that if you’re a business looking to engage with creators or direct users, there will be a pool of people out there for you.

When you do reach the stage of working with creators and influencers. There is yet more interesting data from Sprout Social, on the engagement rates of smaller creators:

  • 5k-10k followers: 76.23%
  • 10k-50k followers: 37.77%
  • 50k-100k followers: 27.87%
  • 100k-250k followers: 20.43%
  • 250k-1m followers: 16.59%
  • 1m+ followers: 12.69%

As the data shows, smaller-level creators are having much more cut-through with their audiences, when compared with higher-followed accounts.

TikTok and the talent crisis

The battle for young talent is a sector-agnostic challenge. But could TikTok be the answer to many-a-businesses recruitment woes?

In December of 2022, PR Week delved into this concept, with some very interesting anecdotal evidence, to prove that TikTok is already having a major positive impact on recruitment and employer brand.

Battenhall

“It’s been a huge driver of recruitment interest for us,” says Taja Woods, senior account executive at Battenhall. She adds that the agency’s most popular video was directly responsible for more than 50 job applications.

Here Be Dragons

“Every time we post something cool, within the next week our inbox goes mad. That’s normally people looking for their first job or an internship, so it really is Gen Z. These are people looking to enter the workplace for the first time, who’ve identified marketing as a discipline they might want to get involved in, and have looked it up on TikTok, found our channel and gone: ‘That’s a bit of me.’”

Emerge

“We have seen a significant increase in job applicants, new business and awareness as a consequence of our TikTok presence,”

TikTok offers business account users a platform to showcase their values, their culture and their ways of working in new, exciting and engaging content. The largest age demographic on TikTok is the 18-24 category, at 36%.

This younger audience is a key demographic in the talent crisis and we can see from these three examples, that TikTok is already working to attract both potential candidates, new customers and new business.

If it’s working for them, then why can’t it work for you?

Starting your TikTok business account

TikTok is arguably the single most dominant social media platform, really it can no longer be avoided and having it can enhance your digital marketing.

It’s more than just creating videos, when it comes to TikTok for business, it can be used alongside other social media platforms to heighten your online reach, build your brand presence and endear even greater loyalty with your potential customers’ teams and target audiences.

The barrier to entry is also very low. It doesn’t take a huge production, or expensive equipment to create videos on TikTok. All you need is a smartphone and an open mind.

We hope you’ve found this guide on how to use TikTok for business informative and helpful and we hope that it’s inspired you to consider how joining TikTok can benefit your business in many ways.

If you would like to work with us; to explore how TikTok could become part of your marketing and business strategy, help develop and implement content pillars and strategy, establish brand personality or you’d like help create engaging videos and entertaining videos… then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.