If you’re not on TikTok as a brand, you’re missing out. It’s a harsh statement, we know, but it’s also really true. This is one of the fastest growing social media apps of the moment, with some of the highest engagement rates on the internet. Which means it’s a total goldmine for opportunities to attract new audiences—whether you put a ton of spend behind your TikToks or try to make it totally organically.
Before we get into the winning influencer marketing strategies for TikTok engagement, you should take some time to get familiar with the app. Not only will it help you understand the technical terms in the list below, but it’ll also help you learn more about what goes viral on the clock app (and if you’re already on TikTok, you’ll get that reference). The thing is, in order to succeed you need to both set trends and follow trends on this app. Sounds contradictory, but it works. And now, onto the marketing strategies.
1. Just follow the trends
We know, it feels counterintuitive to simply follow the crowd. But TikTok is an app known for viral trends that can (*usually*) be interpreted a million different ways. And one of those ways will probably be in-line with your brand’s product, value prop or POV. Mixing these viral trends with original content will help you create a diverse feed but it’ll also help you get on the right side of the TikTok algorithm and communicate to your followers that your brand actually knows what’s going on in this fast moving social media space.
2. Partner with the right influencers
This advice applies on most apps, but when we say you should partner with the right influencers, we mean content creators who have recently gone viral and whose following includes your target audience. That winning combination will not only help you get in front of the right eyes—but a lot of them.
3. Commit to consistent posts
Consistency is really key when it comes to excelling on this app, especially if success to you looks like a large and engaged audience. Users have found that the TikTok algorithm benefits them best (and puts them on the For You Page the most) when they post frequently. But what exactly does that mean? For brands, that’s between 1 to 4 times per day, as suggested by the app itself.
And in terms of when to post, you’ll find the most engagement if your TikToks go live when users are swiping. That’s usually early in the morning or in the early evening (i.e. before work and after work), though you can use your analytics to figure out the very best time and day to post…but more on that below.
4. Use those SEO skills
If you already have an SEO strategy in place for your brand’s website, this tip will be simple to nail. SEO on TikTok simply refers to using relevant hashtags so your content becomes easier to discover and more likely to be engaged with. The best way to find the right hashtags is to use the app’s search function. Simply type in a broad, generic hashtag and see which similar phrases pop up as you type it in. Use all of those suggested phrases, and then repeat that tactic with a few other phrases or keywords. You’ll be able to track how many users found your content via hashtags in those analytics as well, so you could test out a few different strategies—i.e. going super broad with the phrases or sticking to very specific words that relate to your brand—and take it from there.
5. Make Q&As and Livestreams a regular habit
Go ahead and use those built in TikTok features. The Q&A feature encourages your followers to engage by asking questions in the comments that you can easily respond to with another comment or by creating a video. The Q&A comments in any video are clearly labeled, so anyone scrolling through can read them—and they’ll also live in a dedicated section on your profile, so anyone can fire off a Q or read through your A’s with ease. Another internal tool to use? Livestreams, because every time you hit that “LIVE” button, your followers will get a notification from you. It’s also just a really unfiltered, genuine way to connect with your audience, learn from them and give them a forum to let them ask you even more questions.
6. Encourage stitches
This is a tip that might make your legal team nervous. But trust us, you should encourage your audience to stitch your videos. Stitching is simply when a user adds their own content to the end of your video (which they can cut to be as short as they’d like), but it only works if you use it on videos that are 60 seconds or less—and if you make sure the option to Stitch is toggled on before you post. Stitching simply increases your opportunity to create a viral series or to be part of a video that goes viral. And even if you don’t hit that million likes mark, you’ll still see engagement increase from the new audience your content is now reaching.
7. Research your niche
In order to understand what’s going on at this very moment on TikTok, you’ve got to do your research. Get back into that search bar and start typing, looking into your area, your niche or your specialty to familiarize yourself with the current trends, what’s going viral and what you could be doing better. In fact, while you’re at it, use some of the hashtags you learned how to create in tip #4 to check out the competition.
8. Cross promote your TikToks
There’s an ongoing joke that Reels are TikToks…just three weeks after they originally went viral. But here’s the thing: The TikTok to Reels pipeline is very real and the content does translate really well on that medium (as well as on IG Stories). You may want to save your original videos without the watermark, which do via dedicated apps or screen recording while watching a preview), to create the cleanest and most shareable content that can work on other platforms. But beyond promoting individual videos, you should also promote your handle wherever you can. On Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, you name it. Drawing more attention to your TikTok means (you guessed it) more engagement.
9. Invest in TikTok Ads
There are a ton of ways to get even more eyes on your brand and you should leverage them based on your campaign objective. Like In-Feed Native Ads, which will appear on users For You Page and can be formatted with a CTA that can drive traffic wherever you like. This one would be great if you want users to buy a product. There are also Hashtag Challenge ads, which play into the UGC feature of the app and encourages users to create content with your chosen hashtag, by displaying it in-feed, on the discover page or on the Hashtag Challenge page itself. You could also book a Brand Takeover Ad, which will be the very first thing users see when they open the app, for 100% SOV.
10. Closely track your performance
We’ve already highlighted a few ways that you can use your analytics to fine tune your strategy, but it really is a great resource to keep tabs on your audience, see what’s working vs. what’s flopping and learn how to maximize your TikTok skills.
Not only will you be able to see basics like video views, likes, comments and profile views, you can also see week over week changes on all of those stats, plus details including total and average play time, which percentage of your audience watched until the end and where they discovered the video. There’s also info to find on your audience, including your growth rate, your weekly new followers, gender breakdown and geos. Basically, this tool is invaluable and will help you target your key audience, while producing the content they actually want to watch from start to finish—and then share with all of their friends.