A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok & How to Use It for Your Business

The idea of having to navigate a new social media app can be daunting—especially when it comes to TikTok—as a business’ success relies heavily on knowing how to use trending sounds and concepts. Like other social media networks, TikTok has evolved into a useful marketing tool for businesses, but it’s only beneficial if you have a good understanding of how it works and how to use it. To help businesses be successful in their TikTok marketing efforts, we’ve created a beginner’s guide to using the app:

Filling out Your Bio

After creating an account, you’ll need to add a bio. TikTok only allows 80 characters for your bio, so make it count! Describe your business in a few words—your tagline could be a good option as long as it’s not too long. You should also include the city you’re located in and some emojis for visual appeal. Again, keep this section short and sweet and only provide information that’s necessary for users to understand who you are and what you do. For your profile picture, use a clear image of your logo. If you have an Instagram and/or YouTube, you should also connect them through the bio section.

Who to Follow

TikTok can also be a great networking tool—now that so many businesses have joined the app, it’s pretty easy to find companies in your field. In addition, it’s a good idea to follow businesses in your area to show support and to gain your own following. We also suggest following companies that do well on TikTok so you can understand how they have mastered the app. Currently, the Duolingo account is one of the most popular business accounts with 3 million followers and garnering millions of views on their videos over the past year.

Understanding the TikTok Algorithm

The videos on your For You Page, known as the FYP, may seem to come up at random, but we all know that algorithms aren’t that simple—TikTok certainly isn’t an exception. To get the most out of your videos, you need to have a basic understanding of the app’s unique algorithm.

  • Hashtags: Using popular hashtags is certainly one way to make your videos land on a user’s FYP, but it isn’t a guarantee. Some accounts use trending hashtags to get more visibility, but just using random hashtags that don’t relate to your video can actually backfire. Users searching through those hashtags will quickly swipe up on irrelevant videos that don’t have anything to do with the topic, and that can signal your video isn’t interesting. Instead, use popular hashtags that relate to your video’s content.
  • Trending sounds/songs: This is a huge factor in getting users to see your content, and it shows that you’re keeping up with trends. By using a popular sound, your video will then be added to the search results when someone searches that sound. TikTok also favors accounts who use trending sounds since they’re popular for a reason: people like them! TikTok is truly about entertainment, and making a creative video with a trending sound is one of the keys to keeping viewers engaged. To find trending sounds, go to the Discover tab and scroll through the list of trending topics, or even type “trending sounds” into the search bar. A list of these sounds will come up, and you can click “see more” to find a longer list of what people are currently using.
  • Encourage users to watch the video in its entirety. When people watch your video in full, the algorithm marks it as a good, interesting video, and will recommend it to users on their FYP. One way to do this is to keep videos short, around 15 seconds, or to set up the video in a way that makes viewers want to see how it ends.

Keeping up with Trends

One thing we know for sure about TikTok trends: they don’t last long. Even the most popular sounds at a given moment are only relevant for a few weeks (or even days!) before a new sound takes over. When using a popular sound, the key is to rely on the actual trend that’s connected with that sound.

If you arrive too late to a trend, your video isn’t going to do as well as it could if it was made when that trend was at its peak. It also gives users the impression that you’re out of date and aren’t paying attention to what’s popular at the moment, thus making it harder to relate to your content.

Boosting Your Videos

Just like the other major social media platforms, you can boost your TikTok content. This is a great way to increase your following, but make sure you pick videos that are likely to do well if they show up on a user’s FYP. You can also boost a video if it’s doing well organically and you’d like it to go a bit further. After the promotion ends, you can see the insights from its campaign, which lets you know how your video performed—this also shows what you could do differently in the next campaign, whether that’s changing the goal or the desired audience.

Knowing what types of videos do well on TikTok is a major key to your business’ success on the app. TikTok is certainly one of the more “casual” apps where you can show the behind-the-scenes of your business and let your personality shine. If you’re looking for someone to take the reins on your social media marketing, contact That’s My Idea Marketing.