3 tips to help your startup get started on TikTok

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Last week in A Diary of a Junior Marketer, we covered TikTok’s best 3 features - the FYP page, the algorithm and the music and sounds library while also addressing the many opinions revolving around the platform and whether or not it could actually be a useful tool for businesses wanting to grow online communities. 

The verdict? 

TikTok is so unpredictable that it can be anything you want it to be, and every industry thrives on its stage - you just need to figure out how to give yourself the best chance at success. 

If we managed to drag you over to the dark side with last week’s article, here are 3 tips that you can use to get started on TikTok as a startup looking to use the social channel as a way to increase brand awareness! 

Choose a niche! 

In last week’s blog post I briefly touched upon the concept of TikTok having different ‘sides’ known as niches and the growing popularity of a niche like FinanceTok which is content focusing on educating users about personal finances. 

Choosing a niche market is vital to the success of your startup and making sure you’re targeting the right people. Take all of that theory you applied in the early stages of your business’ development and apply it here. 

Creating content that supports a niche on the app is one of the pillars of TikTok success. Being part of a niche and establishing yourself as a key profile within it attracts more followers and engagement. 

If you think your content and your product will have no audience on an app like TikTok, you’re most likely wrong. 

The best thing you can do is dig your heels in and do some good old fashioned research. Actually use the app and see what niches are out there and what you could fit into. It’s also a good way to understand what already exists on the platform and what video styles in your niche are doing well! 

Authenticity always wins

The thing that most brands may find challenging about TikTok is that it’s not a platform that you can approach in the same way one would approach Instagram or Twitter. 

It’s not about sharing the same content to all users or making everything seem perfect and aspirational. 

Another advantage TikTok has over every other platform today is the fact that it embraces and boosts the complete opposite. The content that does well on TikTok is content that isn’t so polished, not as produced and above anything else, feels real. 

TikTok doesn’t want to hear about your success story unless you’re including the parts of your come-up that you’d rather no one else know about. 

They don’t want to hear about the sales target you’ve recently hit unless it’s accompanied by stories of all those times not a single sale was made. 

It’s about the reality of the journey on TikTok and finding a way to tell your business’ story authentically in a way that resonates with your audience. In 60 seconds. 

Definitely not easy, but definitely not impossible!

In my opinion, the key is in finding a way to be vulnerable with your audience. 

It’s about consistency and real engagement

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about TikTok during my time using it, it’s incredibly easy to gain followers once you find a content type that works for you. 

Gaining followers isn’t the hard part, it’s keeping those same followers engaged on every single video after your first viral one that proves to be the ultimate challenge. 

There’s nothing better than the ego boost and dopamine hit your brain gets when you open up the app and your notifications are on fire! 

One minute you’re a humble startup, the next you’re going viral and it seems like the whole world wants a piece of the pie you’re serving. You post another video the next day and suddenly everything goes quiet. The roaring crowd has all left and you’re stuck wondering what changed so quickly. 

You may be tempted to leave the app for a while, take a break to give yourself a pep talk and soothe the ego but this is possibly the worst thing you could do. 

Even in a drought like the one I just described above, another key to unlocking the potential in TikTok is knowing that you need to keep posting consistently! Don’t rely on the number of followers for validation or a sign that you’re doing something right but look to how the engagement is doing. 

Are people commenting and sharing your posts? Are your followers messaging you privately and moving to different platforms to follow you there too? 

That’s the real way to measure success on such a fast-paced app like TikTok. Your power is not in your follower count but it’s in the community you build. 

Using these 3 tips will get you on the road to TikTok stardom in no time - all of us here at Rbbl are rooting for you! 

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