Kim Stricker

Feb 6, 2020

5 min read

The TikTok Comprehensive Guide For Social Media Marketing

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Is it a meager replacement for Vine, whose disappearance left a hole in our hearts? Is it basically 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.

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 own 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 own videos as well, giving more power to the users to produce their own 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.

1)Hashtag Challenge Ads 2) Hashtag Challenges 4) In-Feed Native Ad 5) User Participation 6) Brand TakeOver Ads

Originally published at on February 6, 2020.

I'm a social media marketing story, manager, and founder of Social Motto Social Media Marketing Agency in Detroit.

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