Why you need to be using TikTok to level up your following

TikTok is the new app giant in the world of social media. It’s taken over pop culture and ventured into mainstream media and culture. You’ve probably heard of it in passing or conversation. Maybe you’ve heard songs from years ago back on the radio after a trend on TikTok made the song popular again (looking at you Black Eyed Peas and “Where is the Love?”).

The idea is simple; a video-making platform on which you can record content, add music, and amass a following. Other users can like and comment, and “duet” your video with theirs side by side, or “stitch” a video where your video will play first and they will stitch their video onto the end of it.

With the app’s rising popularity, brands are using the opportunity to collaborate with influencers. Charli D’Amelio (a TikTok influencer with 116 million followers) and Dunkin’ Brands are among one of the most well known brand campaigns to emerge from the app and into mainstream culture. Popular brands such as Coach, NFL, and Fenty are utilizing the platform to build followings and create community.

In order to continue growing a business and brand, it’s important to seek new ideas and outlets to help promote and elevate your product, whether it be a service, goods, or yourself. According to influencermarketing.com, TikTok has been installed 2.6 billion times. In comparison, the population of the United States is 331 million, according to PBS. The app may seem daunting to those unfamiliar with the platform, which is why it’s important to take the time to try it out.

Why TikTok?
Brands are joining TikTok simply for the sheer number of users on the app. While it is geared toward a younger audience, every age group can be seen; politicians, millennials, gen z, even baby boomers. TikTok allows for a deeper story to be told with video, compared to a photo on Instagram or a status update on Facebook. Brands are using storytelling via video to help capture an audience. With video, the options for editing and creativity are endless. Companies on the platform can show their employees to humanize a brand, post a “how-to” for a product launch, or hop on the latest trend.

Best Practices
Before your next video goes viral, it’s important to keep a few tips and tricks in mind when utilizing the platform.

Be authentic
It’s important for your brand to be itself and authentic on the app. Many TikTok users find the app more authentic than Instagram, where pictures can be highly edited and photoshopped. Viral videos often aren’t professionally edited and users can relate to everyday tips and tricks, vlogging, and videos from an everyday space.

Use trends to your advantage
Trends help videos go viral. There can be trending sounds or hashtags that can be added to videos to help boost your content in the algorithm. The best hack for a business is to find an audio that is just starting to trend. This will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and boost views. An easy way to see what is trending is by clicking the Discover tab on the app. Here you can find trending hashtags and topics.

Create original content
Following trends can be a great way to have your company stay relevant and up to date, but only using trends for videos can seem inauthentic and repetitive. Companies should create original content to help promote the brand. According to Later.com, start by posting 3-5 times a week to stay on followers’ feeds. Once you find your businesses niche people with the same interest will follow.

Keep it short and sweet
TikTok videos usually stay between 15-60 seconds. The algorithm seeks to prioritize shorter videos to go viral, so it’s important to make your message clear and concise. The new three minute feature can be used, but make sure that you have enough meaningful content to fill the space. It’s important to keep in mind that according to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span is eight seconds.

Engage, engage, engage
The algorithm favors videos that have more comments, hashtags, and interaction. This means it’s important to respond to comments and post comments under your own video to help with views. Engagement is also important to help build your following. Responding to comments on your video helps users feel more connected and more likely to follow. This includes commenting on other viral videos that are appropriate for your brand to be watching. This increases the likelihood that a user will click on your profile.

Know your limits
It’s important to understand where your knowledge falls flat on a subject. Companies that use outdated memes and references on social media seem “behind” on trends and lose their audience in the message. The same applies to TikTok; don’t jump on a trend if you don’t understand the trend. This could cause harm to the company if something comes across as hurtful or insensitive. Know your limits and research, it’s always better to take the extra minute to look up a topic instead of posting without thinking.


If you’re interested in more information on influencer marketing specifically, check out our recent article on brand best practices in influencer marketing.


Katelyn Norwood is a member of the Quotable Magazine Editorial Team. Between writing and talking about the latest political issue, she can be found with her plants.

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