Did you know that more than 50% of people engage with a brand after watching a video on social media? If you know anything about conversion rates, you will understand those numbers are significant and could do great things for your bottom line. 

If your goal is to connect with the younger generations through social media marketing, then TikTok is a rising star in the social media world. It’s available in 154 countries, and in 2018 was the most downloaded non-game app from the Apple store globally. Eighty percent of TikTok downloads come from Google Play, and TikTok says they have a daily active user base of just over 28%. As of 2020, TikTok has an estimated monthly active user (MAU) base of 800 million users, and most of those are teenagers. Forty-nine percent of teenagers in the US have said they use or have used TikTok. In the UK alone, TikTok receives approximately 2 billion views per day.

Brand Building Options on TikTok

TikTok as a marketing tool is more straightforward than other social media marketing solutions because you are confined to three marketing options for promoting your e-commerce brand:

  • Create a channel for your brand to publish your videos. 
  • Use TikTok’s new paid advertising feature, TikTok For Business, to create campaigns around video ads, hashtag challenges, or branded augmented reality (AR).
  • Use influencers to reach a broader but highly targeted audience.

Successful Strategies for Brand Building on TikTok

Despite the limited options, TikTok has enormous potential for increasing your e-commerce brand’s reach. Here are three of the most effective ways to go about brand building on TikTok. 

Be a Content Creator

Photo shot by weedezign, 123RF.

Your primary audience on TikTok are millennials, a generation that has developed an immunity to advertisements due to overexposure. TikTok users are there to see the content creators. Branded content is on the decline, and social media marketing efforts are moving away from the inauthentic #hashtag influencer movement. 

Millennials tend to engage with content that aligns with their interests, with sports and music always able to attract some of the largest audiences. Societal issues like mental health and climate change receive high levels of engagement from millennials. The #ForYou page, which is sponsored by the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development and features the #DanceForChange hashtag, has collected more than 105 million views to date.

Mental health issues are just as active on TikTok. The #introducingMe page, which appears to be sponsored by TikTok, has gathered an incredible 341.2 million views. It’s fantastic to see a social media platform being used for developing awareness about such great causes, but it also paves the way for brands to make themselves more appealing should they be vocal on TikTok about these issues as well. 

Be an Entertainer

Image by Alexey Malkin, 123RF.

As we stated above, millennials are blind to salesy advertisements, so if you want to ensure your brand building on TikTok is effective, you must be subtle, and you have to be entertaining. Chipotle has collected a very respectable following on TikTok by developing a campaign that plays to its strengths. Their page, which starts with an amusing wordplay, “Less Tok, More Guac,” has received more than 12.2M likes and currently has 869.9K followers.

During Halloween, their #Boorito hashtag promotion went viral. Costumed TikTok users were able to purchase a $4.00 entree after 3 PM. A companion contest encouraged TikTok participants to share their before and after Halloween photos for a shot at free burritos for a year. 

Niche Down

Photo by lightfieldstudios, 123RF.

TikTok members form small social groups where they engage over a common interest, which means you need to focus on a niche you can tie into your overarching strategy. With TikTok’s massive user base, even the tightest niches can have incredible success, especially when comparing other platforms like Facebook. Incidentally, Facebook has more or less copied TikTok’s niche strategy with their Facebook Groups feature that brings people of a common interest together.  

TikTok provides a platform that enables brands to engage with the younger generations. Remember, Generation Z will make up 40% of the market in 2020. They have a diverse range of interests, are the most multicultural generation so far, and are acutely aware of societal issues. They are also prone to shifts in consumer habits as they are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in trends, products, and apps. TikTok is the younger generation’s platform of choice, so learning how to use it effectively in your social media marketing campaigns will help you connect and engage with this rapidly growing market.