A PR Professional’s Introductory Guide to TikTok

By Andie Davis

TikTok app

Since its launch, TikTok has taken the social media landscape by storm, reaching over 1 billion users in 2023. Social media platforms like TikTok can be a great way for companies to reach target audiences where they are, especially younger generations.

So, why should brands focus their efforts on TikTok? TikTok has an extremely large global reach, with over 150 countries using the platform. User content is curated, meaning algorithms use content users previously interacted with to determine other content they might like. This offers a great opportunity for your brand to reach niche audiences that interact with content similar to your brand’s focuses.

Here are some ways brands are using the app to reach more audiences:

Influencer partnerships

TikTok can be a great way for B2C brands to find influencers that are already talking about your product(s) or focuses that might be interested in a partnership. One way to find relevant influencers is by searching for hashtags using your brand’s name, products or topics relating to your brand.

Hashtag challenges

Some companies have also found success in creating branded hashtags and encouraging TikTok users to create videos with the hashtag as part of a challenge. Take Pepsi’s #SwagStepChallenge, for example.

Branded lenses

Brands can create 2D and 3D filters for TikTok users to try on and share with their followers, and TikTok will keep the filter on the “Trending” page for ten days. 64% of users have tried facial filters, making it a great way to reach new users in a fun and creative way.

Some key considerations:

Time commitment

Managing a TikTok account sounds easier than it is. You’ll want to make sure someone from your organization or agency has enough bandwidth to not only create and edit the videos but also have the time to manage the account and respond to questions in the comments. Proper social media management requires a well-thought-out strategy and engagement with followers.

Stay on top of trends

TikTok trends come and go quickly, so it’s important to stay on top of what’s “hot” to remain relevant. However, make sure to do your research to ensure the trend you’re jumping on won’t be potentially damaging to your client or brand.

Visual content

Will you have enough visual content to draw in engagement? If your answer is no, this might not be the right platform for your client or brand.

Shortform content

TikTok requires users to create a video in 60 seconds or fewer. Make sure what you are trying to communicate can be accomplished in a short video. Sometimes, shorter is better – you only have a few seconds to capture users’ attention before they decide to scroll. Make each second count!

Video orientation

Gone are the days of landscape video. TikTok is kinder to videos shot in portrait since most users create content with their smartphones. If you can make your content look like you effortlessly shot it on your phone, it will resonate with more viewers.

While TikTok is primarily consumer-oriented, don’t count out using the platform for B2B. As long as your company has an interesting story to tell, you can find success in getting engagement on TikTok. However, if you’re a B2B brand, it is important to be authentic and creative when using this platform – the average corporate communications will not work in this environment! If you’re looking for an example of creativity, The Washington Post is a great example of this, taking to the platform to show the relatable struggles of working from home after the global COVID shelter-in-place order went into effect.

So, can PR professionals use TikTok? Absolutely! Just make sure you’ve done your homework and have a plan in place before jumping on the platform.

Happy TikTok-ing!

Related Articles:

How to use TikTok in your content strategy and prove ROI, PR Daily

Top PR tips for using TikTok, PR Moment

TikTok for Business: How You Can Use This Social Network, Business News Daily

The Best Brands on TikTok Absolutely Killing It (With Examples!), No Good

Photo courtesy of Pixabay