TikTok for Business: How to Get Started with TikTok as a Business

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April 23, 2024

Video marketing has risen to the top of every businesses’ marketing strategy, and marketers have spoken: TikTok may very well be the new ‘it’. 

Having shown great promise (and popularity), it’s no surprise why 33% of video marketers plan to include TikTok in their 2022 marketing strategy—and we’re guessing you’re here for the same reasons.

In this comprehensive Tik Tok for Business Guide, learn step-by-step how to get started with TikTok as a business, and best practices for an effective TikTok marketing strategy.

Step 1: Set up a TikTok business account

To do this, you simply need to set up a personal TikTok account then switch over to a business account; just follow these steps:

  1. Download and open the TikTok app.
  2. Create a new personal account. You can use your email, or log in with your Google, Twitter or Facebook account.
  3. Tap Me in the lower right corner, then tap Edit Profile. Here, you can add a profile picture and bio, plus links to other social accounts.
  4. To switch to a Business Account, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, then Manage Account.
  5. Tap Switch to Pro Account and choose between Business or Creator.
  6. Pick the category that best suits your brand then hit Next.
  7. Add a website and email address to your profile.

Alternatively, you may also sign up on your web browser via the TikTok for business website. 

And you’re done—you have now created a TikTok business account. 

Step 2: Nailing your TikTok strategy

We said it before: there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to social media marketing. That being, it doesn’t matter whether you are a Facebook, YouTube or Instagram ads guru. You have to start TikTok ads with a fresh perspective because it is its own unique thing that needs a tailor-made game plan. 

So how do we start?

Familiarize yourself with TikTok

You can’t build a strategy without knowing the platform inside-out. Take the time to browse through videos on the #For You page: a scrollable feed of content and is the platform’s main content discovery tool

This personalized feed is curated by the platform’s fine-tuned algorithm that gives recommendations based on videos you either liked, shared, or viewed more than once. By default, FYP serves as the app’s home screen and is the first thing you’d see when you open the app.

Know your audience’s purpose

Gone are the days when products were the centerpiece, and consumers were just the passive onlooker; customers have now taken centre stage and have become part of advertising. 

Point is: consider the reason your consumers are coming to the platform and work this into the creative content. 

Is your target audience on TikTok?

tik tok for business demographics chart
Tik Tok for Business report: 50% of users follow TikTok creators after watching TikToks.

According to Statista, as of April 2022, 24% percent that made up TikTok's global audience were women between the ages of 18 and 24 years. This was further corroborated by TikTok claiming that Generation Z leads the pack in terms of the platform’s users.

Evidently, the majority of TikTok’s demographic fall within the young-adult spectrum—however, this popular social media platform is rapidly gaining traction with it's older demographic segments (25-34 year-olds in particular stands out as a fast growing user base as of 2022).

Before you get started with Tik Tok for business, ask yourself, "is my target audience on TikTok?"

How TikTok Algorithm Works

Social media platforms have long since abandoned keeping their algorithms a secret. 

Good news for us marketers, we now have the upper hand in knowing how recommendation systems work to use ranking algorithms to our advantage; and in this context, TikTok’s key ranking algorithm are signaled in several ways: 

User interactions

Similar to Instagram, TikTok algorithms are based on what users on the app like. As for content suggestions on For You Page,  recommendations are based on several factors: 

  • Accounts you followed; 
  • Comments posted by you;
  • Content from creators you have ‘hidden’;
  • Videos you either liked, shared, added to your favorites, marked as ‘Not Interested’, or reported as inappropriate;
  • Videos you watched all the way to the end;
  • Content created by you on your account; and 
  • Interacting with organic content and ads.

Video information

Video information is based on content you look/search for on the Discover tab. This may include captions, sounds, or hashtags. 

Device and account settings

Language preference, country setting, and device type are all factors that TikTok uses to optimise performance—but since these tend to be likely a one-off setting, these preferences have less influence on what you get to see on your #For You page. 

Going Viral on Tiktok as a New User

Is TikTok’s recommendation algorithm affected by your following count or previous highly-successful videos? 

Absolutely not!

This is great news to all new TikTok users (who have not built up a large follower base yet) as this means everyone has a fair shot at going viral

Pretty sleek, if you ask us!

Post your content at the right time

tik tok for business graphic

This is true for all social media platforms—after all, it signals your content’s active engagement to the algorithm. So, timing your content posts can make or break your marketing efforts because the number of likes, shares and follows depends on it. 

That being said, we learned that the best time (in PST) to post on TikTok for maximum engagement are:

  • Tuesday: 7 AM
  • Thursday: 10 AM
  • Friday: 5 AM

Bear in mind that these timings are just suggestions to start with; but once you have enough data, we recommend getting on analytics so you know exactly how your audience behaves. You may do so by checking your Business or Creator account analytics by doing the following:

  • From your profile page, tap the three dots icon at the top right of the screen.
  • Tap the Business Suite button, then Analytics.

You may also choose to automate sending these out on your feed by using TikTok’s Later feature once you have established the best times to post your content.

Step 3: Make sure your profile is on point

Your TikTok profile is your virtual storefront so make sure you make an impact in the best way possible. Bear in mind you only have a few lines so make that count!

Here are some tips to optimize your profile:

Represent your brand through your profile photo

A logo is memorable and makes a strong impression. Not only does it separate you from your competitors but also helps foster loyalty. 

In other words, it is the foundation of your brand’s identity so make sure your profile photo looks stellar.

Your bio should be concise but impactful

You only have 80 characters to tell the world who you are so cut to the chase, and make sure to add a CTA. And if you want a bit of personality, you can even add an emoji to save on the character count. 

Make. It. Work.

Include a URL

Whether it leads to a landing page, another social media page, or a website, make sure it aligns with your strategy as a whole.

Step 4: Creating your first content on TikTok 

The quality of your content is one of the many factors that determine the growth and success of your brand; it carries a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across the board. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a secret recipe one may systematically follow to guarantee a successful TikTok video—however, there are several things you would want to follow (as a rule of thumb) to up your chances of success:

Be. More. You

‘Real people, real videos’. This is literally what TikTok’s slogan reads.

Unlike Instagram where aesthetics and spotless first impressions take precedence, TikTok users beg for ‘authenticity’—and by that, we simply mean: playing a more ‘human’ role…you know, like being silly, dancing with your two (left) feet kinda stuff.

On this platform, it allows brands to appear unpolished and still look cool so you can be more relatable, leaving your audience feeling more connected. 

Remember: the TikTok community appreciates those who show up as they are!

Create high-quality and entertaining videos

This may sound like a no-brainer but producing a high-resolution and entertaining video should be one of your top priorities when posting content on TikTok because it will decide whether your video gets views or none at all. 

The platform also offers a plethora of music and effects which you can add to your videos so wear your creative and playful hat on!

Now if that concerns you because your brand isn’t there to entertain, you may take an ‘edutainment’ approach where you tell your informative story in an entertaining way. 

TikTok Account Example: Tanya Zakowich

Take Tanya Zakowich’s account, for example. 

She is a Mechanical Engineer and Content Creator who struggled with maths at 13 which resulted with her repeating a year. 

Understanding the struggles most students face in the subject, she now helps students by posting TikTok videos that provide tips, shortcuts on mathematical equations, and brain teasers—amassing her a staggering 1.2 million followers on TikTok. 

Don’t skimp on the caption!

Consider this: imagine the ‘right’ viewer watching your video with the sound off. What story can you tell? 

‘Nuff’ said!

Ever heard of Trend-jacking?

Yes. It’s a thing. 

Trendjacking is when brands interject themselves on either a trending topic, hashtag, or a post—and if you want to be seen  as relevant on social media, this may be the quickest way to do so. 

Now, this strategy isn’t necessarily specific to TikTok. Heck, it can work just about on any social media channel. But the beauty with TikTok is that it has cultivated a platform made for raw, unfiltered content that can be created with very little time and effort.

Give any of the following a go to boost your content:

Trending sounds and videos

TikTokers have spoken: two-thirds of its users prefer watching videos that feature a trending song; and just so you know, sounds and/or music are a ranking signal in TikTok algorithm. 

To find out what song or music is on trend, simply browse through the Discovery tab located at the bottom of the screen. Using the search bar, you can start searching for specific contents or explore trending topics (sound, video, etc.). Alternatively, you can just tap the + at the bottom of your home screen, then tap Sounds on the Record Video page to see the top trending sounds.

Tip: you can use the Follower tab in TikTok Analytics to check which sounds are trending with your particular audience. 

Learn more about this topic straight from TikTok here.

Trending hashtags

Hashtags allow you to tap into existing communities or subcultures of TikTokers who support independent brands and businesses. Some hashtags to try are: #business #smallbusiness #businesscheck #supportme #businessowner #entrepreneur #hustlecheck #businesschallenge #tiktokmademebuyit

tiktok hashtags examples

Similar to trending sounds and videos, you can find trending hashtags on the Discover tab. You may also look up trending hashtags by region in TikTok Creative Centre

Tip: make sure to watch out for hashtags related to challenges. These are a great way to explore new content ideas. 

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