4 things you need to know to be successful on TikTok

In case you haven’t heard, TikTok short videos are the newest and most effective way (until something else happens) for businesses to showcase their brand and communicate. with consumers, especially those of the Millennial and Gen-Z variety.

Take, for example, Duolingo. The language-learning platform’s account took off in late 2021, when many of its videos – which usually feature the company’s mischievous fuzzy green owl mascot – went viral. Now, 3.5 million TikTok users follow Duolingo’s account. But to emulate that success, you’ll need strategies beyond loud mascots, so we’ve compiled tips from TikTok’s marketing experts to help you have a younger look at your brand.

1. Be authentic

“Throw away your brand book,” advises Evan Horowitz, CEO of Movers+Shakers (#78 on the 2021 Inc. 5000). Marketing firm tells clients like Elf Cosmetics and Neutrogena that what works on Instagram won’t work well on TikTok: “That should seem like a small thing,” Horowitz says, noting that TikTok users prefer low-value videos. production, and anything that looks too infomercial won’t work well. In fact, he adds, TikTok users want to feel like your brand is a person: “We always recommend using the first person singular in captions.”

2. Follow the trends

Jonathan Chanti, director of growth at marketing agency Viral Nation Group, advises jumping on the daily trends featured on TikTok’s “Discover” page. There, you can tune in to the topics, video soundtracks, and editing formats that grab users’ attention. Test what works best for your audience and don’t be afraid to experiment. Tracks that have been featured in videos with 10,000 to 500,000 views have the best chance of propelling your TikToks to viral success, advises JT Barnett, founder and CEO of TikTok marketing agency StrategyX.

3. Communicate

TikTok comments are a great way to see what customers think of your brand. Pinning comments to the top of posts is a great way to feature genuine reviews and questions, Chanti says. And Horowitz advises commenting on trending posts to attract traffic and followers.

4. Move quickly

Small businesses can gain an edge on the platform by posting faster than larger brands that need approval before sharing, notes Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and CEO of Influencer Marketing Factory. And posting three to four times a day at first can help you find your core demographic and gather enough data for analytics tools to be useful, says Brett Mirman, creative director at marketing firm Go Ventures. He adds that you should check your analytics to see what works best, but certain days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays) and times of day (6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET; 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET) are currently optimal for the publication.

Excerpt from the May/June 2022 issue of Inc. Magazine

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