Kim Stricker

Feb 6, 2020

8 min read

The Tik Tok Strategy Guide For Marketing

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Is it a meager replacement for Vine, whose disappearance left a hole in our hearts? Is it How did this app suddenly become one of the largest apps in the world, and how can I take advantage of it? How can I leverage it for social media marketing? The explosive growth of Tik Tok has spawned hundreds of questions, but there is only one thing for certain. If you are not optimizing your social media marketing for this next social media giant, you are going to sorely regret it.

TikTok the lip-syncing mobile app is disrupting social media platforms and going viral! And if your leveraging social media for your business just like we do, pay attention. If you don’t know by now TikTok, a Chinese social media app known as Douyin (抖音) allow users to create and share 3–15-second music videos and 3–40-second looped videos has taken the world by a storm with over 1.6 billion downloads worldwide through the App Store and Google and has surpassed social media giant Instagram by 200 million downloads.

Created by BYTEdance originally named “Douyin” loosely translated to “Shaking Sound” was launched in China in September 2016 then rebranded to the west under the name “Tiktok” transcended cultures and borders from east to west going viral first to India then spreading to the west…

As the only app in the “Top 5 Downloaded Apps” section that isn’t owned by Facebook, it’s not surprising that TikTok is seen as both a wonder and a potential threat. But what makes TikTok different from your average social media application that fosters content and personalized profiles, such as Instagram or Pinterest?

Why should companies consider TikTok for social media marketing, and how should companies go about operating their TikTok accounts for the most coverage? While this guide is not a video with the latest memes or dance craze, we intend to cover all these important questions extensively so you have a better grasp of TikTok’s meteoric rise and potential.

An In-Depth Look Into Tiktok For Social Media Marketing Strategies

The 15 to 40-second limit seems to fit well with dwindling attention span social media has adapted us to. Nonetheless, brands, influencers, and artists are all over Tiktok with hashtag challenges, behind the scenes short takes, rants, hilarious clips and some highlighting some downright awesome talent. With over 500 million active monthly users its easy to see why social media agencies are all over the app!

Where else can you accumulate 1200 views within an hour and by the end of the day millions? Well, television and movies are just about where you can find that kind of marketing. Tiktok also offers paid ads as well and as the app becomes more and more popular brands, business even freelancers will be leveraging content because simply it’s fun! As of 2019, Tiktok became the fourth most downloaded non-game app, and quickly rising up to the biggest social media platforms.

Why are social media marketers paying attention and using TikTok in Social Media Campaigns?

Well, Tiktok filled the void of 200 million vine users when they shut down 2016 and the once quirky app grew exponentially proving its popularity and it seems there is no stopping them. With so many users on Tiktok and its steady climb, social media marketers are wondering if and how to leverage such a large audience for social media advertising. While its growth is impressive and audience relatively small in comparison to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest most in the industry are cautious about expending efforts following the fickleness of apps such as Snapchat which has been in decline.

But with so much obsession over TikTok and no end in sight how can you Leverage TikTok for Social Media Marketing? Well, we put together a guide for you on how we see you can leverage and implement TikTok into our social media strategy.

What’s the Difference?

The main difference between TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest is the format of content produced on these platforms-TikTok produces viral videos that feature lip-syncs and challenges, while Instagram users primarily post photos for their profile, and Pinterest allows users to collect pieces of related content and access them in one centralized area. Demographic-wise, TikTok and Instagram attract more from the 18 to 25-year-old crowd whereas Pinterest has a more spread out demographic with at least 30% of its users older than 30-years-old.

On top of this, while every social media app requires aesthetically pleasing visuals to attract an audience, not every application is built the same marketing-wise-Instagram influencers develop content that has a more “in the now feel,” but those on Pinterest who want to build a following need to serve as a reference point for users, cultivating posts with links to helpful resources and strong keywords. In short, between Instagram and Pinterest, the most essential difference in their use is Instagram is more centered on users producing content specific to their profile and building a personal brand for their audience while Pinterest is more akin to building resources that inspire and provide information for users who plan on undertaking future projects and trips.

In comparison to Instagram and Pinterest, TikTok’s main focus is short video clips up to 1-minute long. The application also provides filters and effects so users can also create their videos as well, giving more power to the users to produce their content with built-in features. Commonly explained as a mash-up of Snapchat and the now-defunct Vine, TikTok uses artificial intelligence to identify content users prefer to see as well as content users would rather not view.

Considering TikTok’s particular features, how does it fit into the realm of social media marketing? While TikTok has a steadily growing base of A-listers since its release in 2016, many do not have the same clout and exposure as more established content creators such as YouTubers given TikTok’s relatively young age.

Does this disqualify TikTok from becoming a potential social media marketing tool? And if companies are interested in investing in the current trends and starting their own TikTok, how should they go about doing this?

How do you promote on TikTok?

At Social Motto, we have a saying “Post With A Purpose”. Before you do anything you want to study the platform, search what related businesses are doing and what type of video content they are creating and what type of hashtag challenges they are doing (I’ll get more into this in a bit). Tiktok is all about fun and creating visually enticing videos so take a look at the trending videos for inspiration get creative and know your audience, just because most users are the ages of 16–24 according to last year’s report from Globalwebindex that is changing rapidly. While you could get wild and wacky it may not be on-brand so highlight what you do best, make it interesting, keep it real and authentic and engage but don’t treat it as a sales pitch there is other social media platforms to use for that such as Linkedin.

TikTok’s Strong Points

Despite its age, TikTok has not only many appealing features that attract a base of content creators but also has many strong points going for them when it comes to social media marketing. We list the top three points that make TikTok the next social media marketing venture to invest in:

How Can Brands Use TikTok?

  • Create A Channel
  • Work With Influencers
  • Advertise on TikTok

*You can do combinations of different methods. By doing so, you’ll be able to know what works best for your brand.

How Do Brands Market Through TikTok?

There are five popular ways on how you could level up your brand’s image:

1)Hashtag Challenge Ads

Hashtag Challenges Ads is a kind of advertising where the user gets to see a banner ad that will take the user to a page with instructions for the challenge. It is usually seen on the discover page of the app. The results of this option can be measured via clicks, views, engagement, and a lot more. It often targets specific consumers.

2) Hashtag Challenges

The hashtag has been synonymous with social media as it has been used by others like Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook. It gathers audiences and helps spread brand messages throughout the app. It is usually non-sponsored but could make brands accessible to its users and consumers with just a simple hashtag. Influencers can also be a big part of how hashtag challenges will work as they have far more audiences, and it can have an extensive reach. With the right challenges and making the hashtag challenges fun and engaging to the viewers, then this marketing strategy will be a success.

4) In-Feed Native Ad

TikTok has In-feed native ads that will help you add website links and order now buttons. It will eventually land on the page directly that tells more about the product that you are marketing. It has skippable ads and multiple options when it comes to designing the ad. It can also be traced through views, engagements, and click-through rates.

5) User Participation

User Participation is the most accessible as well as very engaging when it comes to advertising on TikTok, and you would want this as a marketing strategy. This is when users can promote brand causes, which enable them to post different content themselves. Brands or businesses need to think of a unique way of how they want their subscribers to be engaged that would help them promote their products.

6) Brand TakeOver Ads

A form of advertising in TikTok and is considered as one of the purest forms. It is where images, clips, or videos turn out to be the predecessor of the products that you want to make from its landing page or hashtag challenges. However, only a single brand can be involved per day as it is known to be category exclusives. This kind of strategy is more effective because of its simplicity and known for user-friendly techniques which will help in putting your brand out there.


As the first Chinese social media platform to achieve success overseas, TikTok’s growing fame and popularity spells a new age of content creation on social media. It involves not only giving users the platform but also the interface to cultivate their own personal brand through catchy, addictive videos. While only time will tell how Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, will move forward with the app, like anything that is new and upcoming, the best way to understand TikTok’s intricacies is just to jump in for the ride and give the app a spin.

Author: Social Motto Social Media Management Team

We are a team of digital marketing mavens who live and breathe all things social media. We don’t post part-time. We don’t juggle jobs. This isn’t a passion project to generate a few bucks. And if we’re being honest, we work far harder than we play. For us, social media is life. We see the world through hashtags, filters, and killer content; and we wouldn't have it any other way. As a full-service social media and digital advertising agency, we’ve mastered the intricacies of everything from Facebook to Snapchat and the plethora of social media platforms in between.

Originally published at on February 6, 2020.