Who knew that making generations dance over a song was this easy as TikTok did over a few years? One minute you are grooving, and the other minute you are going viral with a trending song – like Stay by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber.
With a number of social media management tools in the market, getting started with TikTok isn’t a task. It is simply a game of following some TikTok best practices to get a good following on the platform, and you are a celebrity in no time.
But do you know that there is a separate Chinese version of this China-originated video platform?
The China-specific short-form video app was Douyin, released in 2016. TikTok, the international version of Douyin, was released a year later in 2017. And this app took the entire social media market by storm.
Currently, TikTok is the most downloaded social media app for short-form videos, with more than 1 billion daily active users by the end of 2021. Being a hub and a go-to application for millennials and Gen Z, let’s see how you can make the most of this platform following some well-crafted TikTok best practices.
But first, let’s address the elephant in the room, why TikTok?
Why Is TikTok Leading the Market?
Initially, it was thought that TikTok was just for teenagers or kids. This app’s main goal was to focus on dancing to some trending music, dropping those sunglasses on the beat, and creating short videos. But TikTok eventually evolved to be bigger and better than that.
TikTok did everything other apps were already doing, but it also did what many apps weren’t in a shorter period. Videos were doing great on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, while short-lived videos on Stories or Snaps did well on Snapchat and Instagram. This was when TikTok came up with a shorter format along with trending music, filters, transitions, and lots of glamors.
Businesses and brands eventually jumped on the bandwagon as the majority of social media users were now consuming more content from TikTok than any other app.
TikTok provides the freedom to build a creative playground for businesses of all sizes continuously. Brands now can entertain and breakthrough to millions of potential future customers by aligning themselves with TikTok best practices.
For leveraging and marketing businesses even better, TikTok for business was created and launched in June 2020, which was revolutionary.
With an increasing daily number of downloads for being creative, entertaining, and reflecting key social media trends among youngsters, TikTok setting benchmarks. Not everyone can make a place here, but following some marketing tactics can make anyone stand out and go trending.
TikTok Best Practices – What and How?
What does ‘Best Practices’ mean?
TikTok best practices are a set of activities that can make you and your videos stand out. Get noticed among millions of users and eventually bring credibility to your account – personal or professional.
Sounds charming, but how to get hold of the best practices and marketing hacks?
TikTok supports all kinds and sizes of businesses, including creating ecommerce campaigns! Getting the TikTok algorithm right is the first step, and the rest is sorted.
I bring you the most-effective TikTok best practices and tips defined into different categories for you to determine which ones are the right for you!
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TikTok Best Practices for Marketers
Real Interactions for The Win
Nobody knew Khaby Lame before mid-year 2020, did you?
But now, we all know him not just by his iconic hand gesture but also as the ‘most-followed account on TikTok’ in 2022.
@khaby.lame Yes literary Genius my friend 🤲🏿🤦🏿♂️ #learnfromkhaby #learnwithtiktok @tiktok ♬ suono originale – Khabane lame
As a marketer on social media, first and foremost, you need to get creative and interactive with your content. You should intend to create content that keeps you authentic and original to connect with your potential audience.
Real interactions never fail and pay off as one of the top TikTok best practices for marketers. TikTok focuses on storytelling, detailed videos with transitions, and music to keep you hooked. Make sure that your brand presence speaks for itself most innovatively. Like Khaby, who said nothing in his reaction videos, yet all his gestures made us all comment below. People engage in various ways like commenting or reacting to your videos, sharing them ahead, or simply downloading them from the platform.
Make sure to post videos with consistency to attract better engagement. A number of free social media schedulers can do the task of maintaining your TikTok presence without spending a penny. You have the equal opportunity to leave your mark further by joining conversations and starting new ones.
This practice of real interactions not only aligns you with the algorithm but gives you more chances to get your content viral.
More Discoverability Through Hashtag Challenges
TikTok is quick in changing trends and getting started with new ones. With exciting new tools for marketers to attract new audiences, TikTok came up with Hashtag Challenges.
As a marketer, TikTok hashtags have the potential to bring discoverability to your account through new audiences, better engagement, and chances for the account to go viral. Hashtag challenges like the famous #bananadrop challenge had everyone flexing their sunglasses on the beat drop, gathering a total of 1.5 Billion views for the Banana Drop trend.
@bera_nanuka Our version of this trend 😎 #bananadrop #bananadropchallenge #transitions #transformation #fashion ♬ Banana (feat. Shaggy) [DJ FLe – Minisiren Remix] – Conkarah
Or how can we forget the hashtag challenge #tellmewithouttellingme, which has taken over TikTok recently without telling a thing? The crux of this trend is that you rather show something without saying it in words.
@reesewitherspoon Elle Woods forever! 💕 #tellmewithouttellingme #tellme #foryou #legallyblonde #ellewoods ♬ original sound – Reese Witherspoon
Among the other TikTok best practices, the trending hashtags have the full potential to bring your brand or your work as a marketer to reach the masses. An organic way to go viral is to jump on the bandwagon of an in-trend hashtag challenge with quality content, and you’ll see your brand account growing.
Now maybe you are thinking about how to have an extraordinary boost in TikTok engagement with hashtags.
Organic reach was great until TikTok came up with their innovative Branded Hashtag Challenges! Since TikTok started its support for ads on the platform, among the many ad options is an opportunity for brands to leverage hashtag challenges.
So, what is Branded Hashtag Challenge?
When a brand invests money or sponsors a hashtag to market its product online, it is called a Branded Hashtag Challenge. Among TikTok best practices, this one as a challenge help users find videos of their interest, join conversations, and create communities about things they love. #ChipotleLidFlip Challenge was one of the first branded hashtag challenges where popular creators participated as well as raised the followers for the official Chipotle account.
Influencer Marketing With TikTok
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” – Seth Godin.
We cannot be too salesy on TikTok, which is major because of the platform’s youthful demographics – it gets difficult for businesses and brands to find and capture the Gen Z audience. Instagram found a solution to this issue way before TikTok, and that was with influencer marketing.
TikTok, like other social media platforms, has its own set of influencers and micro-influencers who ranges from beginners to top of order ones. You can find influencers with a few thousand followers to a million crazy fans.
Influencer marketing is one of the highly recommended TikTok best practices. People on a particular platform may not find a business organically, or if found, they might not trust the services offered. But if it is used, promoted, or vouched by their followed influencer, then your sales may boom overnight! Influencers know their way around Gen Z within their particular niches; thus, brands now prefer collaborating with them to reach the masses.
Let’s take Calvin Klein as an example here. Calvin Klein is an American fashion house famous for perfumes, clothing, leather, accessories, watches, and ready-to-wear. CK joined TikTok back in 2019 and opted for a traditional route just like most of the big brands as they first created a professional account and then started posting promotional videos. #MyCalvins was the brand hashtag they initially used with all their posted videos, but they realized something was still missing.
Calvin Klein then partnered with some famous names, including Kendall Jenner, a renowned model and a TikTok influencer with 3.8 Million followers. In the 12 seconds video, she can be seen talking about her statement hair while wearing a CK t-shirt which currently holds almost 4K likes.
@calvinklein #statements on hair, via #kendalljenner. our now. #mycalvins #calvinklein ♬ original sound – Calvin Klein
Influencer marketing is yet new for TikTok, but now, with TikTok for Business and paid collaborations, businesses along with influencers are actually able to benefit from it.
Stay Close to the Basics
You are following all the TikTok best practices, but if you miss out on the basics, you may not reach anywhere. Every platform has its own specific preferences, which can make or break your content reach. TikTok analytics is the best place to know what’s working for your account and what is not.
As a marketer, staying close to the platform basics is the best way to make it big. Here are the 4 must-follow basic practices to remember as ABC:
Revolution Is to Go High Resolution
Stay legit, stay you, and revolutionize your videos by recording them in high resolution. In general, clearer and more close to reality videos attract more audience than grainy frames in times when smartphones have set the bar too high.
According to TikTok statistics, 83.2% top-performing TikToks have 720px or more lifting 5.4% impressions on average.
Full-Screen Does The Magic
Marketers are experimenting with various different techniques and transitions, but if you miss going full screen, then your efforts might go in vain with no gain.
TikTok, unlike many social media apps, directly gives you a full-screen experience of its videos. Following TikTok best practices, use the full 9:16 aspect ratio to avoid empty spaces at the sides or black corners. Along with the screen space, the magic is keeping the videos a certain length, between 21 and 34 seconds.
Make an Impactful Start
The fate of your videos is decided by a single swipe.
You have a second or two to capture your viewer’s attention, and if that’s missed, then they are happy to scroll to the next video. So, how to make users stay and watch your video?
Make an impactful start! It is important and highly recommended to grab that first few seconds of your audience, and they’ll stay there for a full watch.
As per TikTok, videos see a 40% increase in impressions which are shot vertically compared to the horizontal aspect ratio. TikTok supports vertical videos, and a majority shoots them this way, so a user doesn’t expect to rotate their phones to watch horizontal content.
TikTok Best Practices for Creators
Find A Niche
There is a lot happening on TikTok every minute, and we can never make the most of it all!
This is why just like every other social media platform, TikTok has its own defined niches to make it convenient for anyone to find the content of their interests.
There is a niche for everyone. The question is, What is a TikTok Niche?
Niche is a more focused and defined section of a larger market. TikTok niche is like creating an account and narrowing it down to a particular sub-market. For example, if you want to attract foodies and people who love food-centric videos, then ‘Food’ can be your chosen niche. By narrowing down your target market, your competition to rise high decreases and becomes more achievable.
Let’s look at the famous content creator Burak Ozdemir – he is a Turkish chef and a restaurant owner who is currently the 8th most followed TikTok star in 2022. He is a content creator targeting a specific niche making the most of TikTok best practices. He leads his niche in food-related content, food recipes, and innovative cooking videos. Burak’s interactive style with a constant smile on his face has made him the top food influencer not only in Turkey but globally.
@cznburak %100 DİET❤️🙈👩🍳 #cznburak #tiktok ♬ Hands Up – alper eğri
When you choose a niche, the audience gets smaller and easier to target. If you use the proper discovery techniques, your target audience will eventually find you and start engaging with your content. Niche-centric audiences work the best for creators and marketers to get the proper TikTok engagement.
As of July 2020, there is a list of most popular content categories, among which the Entertainment niche is the most highly viewed category, with 535 billion hashtag views globally. The second most viewed content niche was Dance, with a total of 181 billion hashtag views.
Once you connect with your audience, this is the start for you to building a strong community that extends beyond TikTok.
Create Unique Content With Trending Audio
Sell your personality, talent, and skill-set instead of just your service or a product. As a creator associated with a business or brand, it is important to remember that not everyone is ready to make a purchase immediately. People are not on TikTok to fall in your marketing funnel. Instead, they are there to be entertained – so entertain first!
TikTok best practices do not support a video that looks more like an advertisement because users will skip over it. Finding the right balance between entertainment and advertising is essential.
Think out of the box, and create unique and innovative content. You want people to stop, watch and remember you so they can come back to find you.
TikTok is the right platform to provide you the stage for maximum innovation where using trending music or audio snippets can give you the needed exposure.
“TikTok is the home for music trends that permeate the industry, charts, and culture. From emerging artists to small business owners, the research from MRC Data reinforces that by associating with the right music or sound on TikTok, creators, artists, and businesses alike can see a major impact.” – Ole Obermann, Global Head of Music, TikTok.
According to TikTok’s research data, most viewers discover new music on TikTok but also hear songs they may not hear anywhere else.
We all know CKay’s ‘Love Nwantiti’, right? The sleeper hit, released in 2019 by the artist, became a global hit 2 years after with #LoveNwantitiChallenge, thanks to TikTok! It became the most Shazamed song and eventually the most viewed YouTube video in October 2021.
@ninojulia Just had to hit this dance again with Julia 😊 DC: @Tracy Joseph #dance #couple #lovenwantiti ♬ Love Nwantiti(Dance Ver) – FYP🖤🇲🇺
Following TikTok best practices can be helpful in achieving your goals. As per TikTok’s newsroom, when brands feature rending sounds or songs in their videos:
68% of viewers remember the brand better
58% feel a stronger bond with the brand
58% of viewers are more likely to talk or share the ads
62% feel more curious to learn about the brand
TikTok Best Practices for Ads
TikTok ads can be of three basic types, and before we dive into best practices, it is good to know where you should be placing your ads. Ads can be:
In-feed Ad – You can create these ads yourself from the TikTok ad manager as Images ads, Video ads, and Spark ads.
Pangle Ads – These are created through TikTok Audience Network
Carousel Ads – These run only at TikTok News Feed apps with a maximum of 10 images per ad.
Get to the Point
Authenticity is everything at TikTok. Make your ads reflect you or your brand in the brightest possible light to shine.
TikTok best practices support ads for achieving an excellent reach. As a business, you may have a wide range of audiences, and it is safe to test small TikTok campaigns to know your niche.
With an ad, get to the point but don’t be too direct! Confused, right?
For TikTok, it is said that your first 3 to 5 seconds need to be eye-catching. Start your videos with uncanny visuals and ensure that the viewer stops by your ad. Next, highlight your key message in the next 5 seconds. The rest of your video can be a quick story to leave a lasting impact!
RedBull, with 6.7 Million followers on TikTok, is one of the pioneer viral content creators. They are among the highest branded accounts as the videos with the #givesyouwings hashtag have been viewed over 1 billion times. RedBull is not famous for creating fancy TikTok videos but for their hooking and thumb-stopping content. The brand videos always start with an extreme stunt to stop you at the moment.
@redbull not even we were expecting that result @kyrapoh 🤸♀️ #redbull #givesyouwiiings #skydiving ♬ original sound – Kira Kosarin
Product placement is also very important on TikTok. Different angles and an attractive placement can be an ideal start for your ad.
A Compelling Call-to-Action
TikTok ads can cost you a lot. You surely do want to invest your money, right? If so, then do it by adding Call-To-Action to your ads.
If you want your ads to work and make you reach your goals:
- Add a strong CTA in the form of a visible button.
- Make sure that the ad button is attractive enough to prompt your viewers to click and perform an action.
- Keep your ad copies to the point. Create an impactful start with your CTA button precisely for an action that you want your users to perform. For example; learn more, buy, start now,
The text of your video is of great importance for TikTok best practices. Text can be used smartly to highlight your call to action. As per TikTok, video CTAs in a text format have shown an astounding 152% lift in conversions compared to videos with weak to no clear directions.
Now that you know some highly effective TikTok best practices, it is time to bring them into play. Immerse yourself into the TikTok culture and get going with the trends. Apply any of the best practices above or a combination of them, whichever benefits your ultimate marketing strategy – and don’t forget me once you become a TikTok star 😀