TikTok presents enormous opportunities for retailers. Like Pinterest but unlike Instagram, you don’t need a massive following on the platform to reach potential customers. Like Facebook, TikTok supports links in captions, so you can link directly to your website or product pages when you post a video. These are just two of the reasons TikTok is an exciting place to market your business, according to Lightspeed.
Originally known as Musical.ly in the United States, ByteDance, a Chinese-based tech company, purchased the Musical.ly app and folded it under their existing app, TikTok, in 2018. The app is free to use and download. However, like most social media platforms, you can also create paid advertisements on TikTok in addition to organic content.
While TikTok originally became popular with younger users, other demographics have flocked to the app. The split is now almost even between U.S.-based users who are 20-29 years old (22.4 percent), 30-39 years old (21.7 percent), and 40-49 years old. (20.3 percent).
Female-identifying people making up 61 percent of the app’s U.S.-based monthly average users. Male-identifying people account for 39 percent of monthly users. For home furnishings and lighting retailers, you can reach multiple generations and the person most often buying for the home.
TikTok is huge — and growing. As of 2023, 3 billion people have downloaded TikTok globally and the platform has 1 billion active users monthly. As one of the world’s fastest-growing apps, it’s projected to grow its U.S. user base at a whopping 22 percent YoY until at least 2024.
These tips can help you optimize TikTok:
1. Take Advantage of Trending Sounds, Meme Formats and Challenges
TikTok is a trend-heavy platform. Let trends serve as inspiration for which content to create or which media to add. The easiest way to look for trends is to visit the Discover tab. There, you’ll see all of the trending hashtags and topics, and explore videos that other users have created about them. If you see a topic or tag that interests you, click on the videos below it to watch examples of what people have already made. See how people are interpreting and interacting with that type of content, so that you can get a stronger idea of what to create for your business page.
If you prefer to do your own thing, our biggest and best tip is: use a trending sound. It’s super tempting to choose a song you know or really like as background music, but one of the best strategies for boosting
your videos is to use sounds that are currently viral, even if your video does not speak to a viral topic.
If you have sound on your video already (like a voiceover), click to add a sound when you upload it to TikTok’s in-app editor. You’ll be able to see and listen to the top trending sounds. Find one that best suits your video (try to pick a top 10 sound if possible), and select it. You can also adjust the volume of whatever sound you add.
2. Create TikTok-Specific Content
Unlike YouTube, TikTok is a vertical video platform. Videos are meant to be filmed straight from your smartphone by design. You don’t need external cameras or equipment to start creating content with the right dimensions. Content you’ve created for other platforms might not perform the same way on TikTok. For the best chances at success, try to create videos with TikTok specifically in mind.
3. Research Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are not a new concept, and on TikTok they are important. If your video is relevant to trending hashtags, add them to the caption of your video. Add as many relevant hashtags as you can. While you’re adding them into your caption, TikTok will tell you how many other videos use the same hashtag, ex. 50K, 100K, 1M, etc. Try to use hashtags that are more popular, i.e. have higher numbers, to increase your chances of reaching more users.
4. Post Consistently
Even though you don’t need a big following to get your content viewed, consistency is key for growing your audience. You don’t need to post every day, either. Stick to a regular cadence, such as one to three times per week, to keep your community engaged with your content.
5. Engage with your audience
Social media is always a two-way street. It’s extra important to engage with your audience whenever they leave comments on your posts. Answering questions in a timely manner will not only boost your video’s engagement, it will show that you’re responsive and eager to assist.
6. Add those links!
TikTok lets you add a link to your website on your profile page once you’ve gained 1,000 followers. You can also include one link in the caption of each video you upload. TikTok also lets you connect your Instagram account to your profile to help you build up your audience on both platforms.
7. Track Results
Under “settings and privacy,” you can explore your account’s analytics from the past seven days, 28 days, 60 days or a custom amount of time. See which of your videos are getting the most traction, how many followers you’re gaining and the gender ratio of your followers. Use these insights to shape the content you create going forward.