Trends are the currency of the Internet and TikTok is where the hottest trends today are born. If you have heard, seen or laughed at it somewhere on social media, then chances are that it has gone viral on Tiktok.
The answers to your biggest social marketing challenges—growth, new audiences, relevance—may live in the most popular apps with people under the age of 25. With 1 billion active users worldwide and rapidly growing, TikTok holds the key to success for creators and brands alike.
In a culture filled with dance challenges and esoteric comedy, what is the opportunity for your brand on TikTok? How can you find your niche and grow your brand presence with the needle? Here’s what you need to know and six examples of brands that are leading the charge.
why there should be brands on tiktok
According to the 2021 Sprout Social Index, only 34% of brands use TikTok – meaning marketers still aren’t using it like other platforms. Let’s highlight some of the benefits of TikTok that can help you decide if it is the right fit for your brand.
everyone has influence
Don’t let your Gen Z sensibilities get you down – TikTok democratizes content more than any other social platform. People and brands do not need to establish significant followings to arrive on the TikTok For You page (FYP), similar to Instagram’s Explore page. This is a place where everyone has a shot. In fact, one trend on the app is that creators and brands are better off posting first. “Try less,” is the sentiment. And don’t be surprised if you get 400,000 likes for it.
high interest? there’s a community for that
No matter how obscure a subculture may seem, it has a place in the world of TikTok. Popular subcultures like #CleanTok, #TechTok and #WitchTok remain influential. And newly-revived communities like Tumblrcore show up all the time.
Your brand cultural currency is gained by building a genuine relationship with one of these groups. Use it to stay on top of trends. And try to make something of your own.
A soothing kitchen cleanup, courtesy of @joshuela. #lecreuset #lecreusetiktok #cleantok #cleaninghack #kitchenhack #cleaningtips #kitchenhacks #cookingtiktok #foodtok #tiktokcooks #learnsomethingnew #selfcaretips #cleaningtransformation #asmr #kitcheninspiration #kitchendesign #routine #newyear
^ New Home Austin Farwell – Austin Farwell
Take premium French cookware maker Le Creuset. The brand embraces the soothing kitchen cleaning popular on #CleanTok by showcasing the aesthetic appeal of its products, the subculture is famous for while doing all the household chores.
sounds bring people together
The way communities converge is part of TikTok’s ability to spread influence farther and faster than any other social platform. From good dancers and bad dancers to comedians and average people with a good joke, everyone can give the trend their own unique spin. The same songs and jokes bring together everyone from artists and esotericists to doctors and teachers who brush off complex topics.
Every publicly published video becomes a searchable, usable sound. When you cut out a tune or funny sound you like, you can tap Audio and discover an endless scroll of videos with your own take on the sound. By tapping into the universal TikTok sound, your content can spread to all communities.
Word-of-mouth marketing goes a long way on TikTok. When manufacturers share genuine and entertaining product reviews, people pay attention. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has 9.4 billion views (and counting). It should come as no surprise that many of the products that have created buzz on TikTok are out of stock or completely sold out. Nearly 67 percent of TikTok users say that TikTok inspired them to make a purchase, even when they weren’t looking.
You’ll wish you had this earlier. Shop in bio. #projector #tiktokmademebuyit #unboxing #productreview #roomaesthetic #netflix #amazonfinds
Original Sounds – sonne_projectors
The launch of TikTok Shopping in 2021 took community commerce a step further. With TikTok’s ecommerce tools, your brand can turn video and live into buyable, entertaining ads. Consumers now expect social commerce capabilities from TikTok business accounts, and brands that can’t keep up will be left behind.
What great brands are similar on Tiktok
Many marketers are still in the process of understanding how TikTok fits into their social media strategy. But brands that have already solidified their TikTok presence have found ways to break-through on the app. Here are some of the hallmarks of great brands on TikTok.
not the same old song and dance
Great brands set the trend by creating their own audio. Not only does this increase the dominance of his TikTok, but it also helps people remember him. App users report an 8% increase in brand recognition when brands use custom songs and voice-overs.
the characters stole the show
According to our #BrandsGetReal data report, consumers engage with social media content that humanizes brands. Successful brands on TikTok allow their personalities to shine by dusting off their characters and mascots.
These are not characters of the past advertising – they are cultural icons. They are treated like creators, and have their own loyal fans. Take Benny the Bull, the official mascot of the Chicago Bulls. She has over 5.1 million followers, collaborates with celebrities and never misses a dance challenge.
Thank you @Gordon Ramsay for celebrating 5 million followers with me!! Now help me clean it up…
Original soundtrack – Benny the Bull
Some of the best characters are funny, engaging and keep up with the trend – the perfect mix to resonate with the TikTok community. When brands make characters the star of their presence, they see a rapid increase in followers, likes, comments, and shares.
Collaborate with Creators
Great brands know that they cannot be successful on TikTok without creators. Whether partnering through the TikTok creator portal or sharing user generated content, contextual creators play a vital role in developing a sensible strategy.
But it’s important to strike a balance between creator-led and brand-let content. Make sure producers interact with your product in a meaningful way in their videos. For example, tutorials, reviews and product explanations improve ad recall by 4% and brand linkage by 10%.
Authenticity is more than a buzz word
What does it mean for a brand to be genuine on TikTok? Unlike other networks, the TikTok community is touted by highly curated content. Instead of manufacturing polished veneers, great brands make lo-fi, scrappy, and authentic materials.
They stay true to their brand values and personality. They are also proud to showcase team members and provide their audience with behind-the-scenes access.
Most importantly, they keep their ears and hearts open for the communities. They listen, learn and don’t adopt trends that are not in line with their brand.
6 examples of brands on TikTok you can learn from
With 3 million followers till date, Duolingo has become a famous TikTok success story. And his official character, Duo the Big Green Owl, is the reigning star of TikTok. Account Duo is dedicated to content that embraces relevant trends—yet never strays from its brand identity.
The social team at Duolingo doesn’t miss a beat—from celebrating the success of Taylor Swift’s latest album release to rocking the parent trap trend.
If only there was a way to learn #Duolingo #DuLippa #Comedy #Trend #DulPeep #ParentTrap
Original Sounds – MD
But the Duo wasn’t always the focus of Duolingo’s TikTok. Firstly, most of his videos were language tutorials. Once he realized that Duo was the X-factor in some of his top positions, he continued to spotlight the mascot in order to optimize his strategy. And the rest is history.
As the Internet’s favorite plant-based chicken nuggets brand, Nuggs brings perishable, culturally relevant ingredients to the fore. Lo-fi videos starring his social media manager make you feel like you’re watching your favorite comedian. And that’s what works.
The success of Nags on TikTok depends on their deep community awareness. The brand knows what their fans are doing—the shows they watch, the trends they love, the embarrassing situations they get into. This awareness helps them to create content that feels relatable and authentic, which increases people’s chances of engaging.
3. Ascend HBR
HBR Ascend shares TikTok videos to help its community cope with work, school and life. In their content, the many people behind the brand get in front of the camera to offer actionable suggestions to inspire their community. Some of his most popular videos include humor and original audio – solidifying his status as trend setters.
Happy Halloween! #horrortok #horror stories #halloween
Original Soundboard – HBR Ascend
HBR Ascend shows that media brands have a place on TikTok as well. In fact, they can be just as flashy and fun as other brands. The most important thing is to stay relevant to the people they want to reach.
4. Old Navy
Old Navy is making a case for a TikTok strategy that relies on producer collaboration. The clothing brand, known for its Fourth of July flag tees, is evolving into an all-inclusive retailer with a top-notch TikTok presence. Old Navy shares videos of creators showcasing their favorite outfits and offering fashion advice. They also feature creator content highlighting family traditions and diverse personal experiences.
The brand took their user-generated content strategy to the next level when they launched their latest ad. The art direction for the ad came entirely from TikTok comments – which are featured in the space of 60-seconds. Happy, upbeat advertising is an example of why it’s important to ask our communities what they want. Not only can it become a viral sensation, but it creates a real connection.
Elf is the leading beauty retailer for custom audio. In 2019, the brand dropped an original hit “Eyes, Lips, Face” in collaboration with the Grammy-award winning songstress.
The team behind Yogini’s TikTok tapped into some influential people and the campaign spread rapidly. New creators used sound to create their content. Today, there are 1.4 million TikTok videos using the song and the video tagged with #eyeslipsface has garnered nearly 9 billion views.
Eyes Lips. Face. (Elf) – Ill Veno and Hola Fesixwun
But Yogini’s affinity for making her own voice didn’t stop there. They continue to share original audio—including manufacturer’s tutorials and product reviews.
It’s only on TikTok that an airline openly redeems itself, its customers, and its competitors – then garners over 200,000 likes. Irish airline Ryanair is best known for their ultra-low cost fares, which they accept and celebrate on TikTok.
Ryanair’s social media team makes the most of bad reviews, turning them into viral videos. They also transform their planes into sassy characters and enlist their flight crews. And it pays off. His quirky videos continue to go viral and he has garnered a loyal community.
Ryanair shows us that TikTok rewards brands that break free from industry norms while staying true to their brand identity and strategy.
how you can increase your tiktok presence
A year ago, it was laughable to pronounce “brand opportunities” and “TikTok” in the same breath.
Today it is the fastest growing, most democratic social platform in the world. It is not just about brand perception. It is in the best interest of your business to grow out of your comfort zone and make your presence felt on the platform.
If you still find yourself wanting more TikTok inspiration, read about our social team’s experience making the leap to TikTok.
6 Brands Posted on Tiktok to Strengthen Your Strategy First appeared on Sprout Social.