The Ultimate TikTok Guide for Business: Everything You Need to Know to Use TikTok Like Gen Z

title with tik tok logo

The Ultimate TikTok Guide for Business: Everything You Need to Know to Use TikTok Like Gen Z

For being the youngest generation, Gen Z can be intimidating – even millennials are starting to feel old (though some of us prefer to be called the Oregon Trail Generation) – and what is more representative of Gen Z than TikTok? TikTok can be a baffling space for anyone beyond the teenage years, but the mystery can be – and has been – lifted. Allow us to be your guide through the wilds of this digital space and learn to tame the beast to bring in more revenue.   (Truth be told, Tiktok has many generations of users to capitalize on – but we millennials have been savagely picked on by the media, so we have to give these youngins’ some 💩.)   Anyway, here’s your TikTok tour:  

Why You Absolutely, Positively, 100 % Need to Be on TikTok

  There’s already a lot of people on TikTok….like, a lot: 689 million people use TikTok globally every month – 100 million of these viewers are in the US.   Here are some other interesting facts that ought to motivate you to start using TikTok for your business advertising campaigns:  
  • Nearly 40 % of US internet users will be using TikTok by 2024 (imagine what this number can grow to when Elon Musk’s Starlink starts beaming the internet directly to households everywhere).
  • 69 % of US teens use TikTok, while 29 % say it’s their absolute fave platform. (This is an opportunity to capture the loyalty of emerging generations).

Here are 6 Ways Your Business Can Leverage TikTok to Generate Revenue

  1. Hashtag Challenges
  Homespun hashtags combined with a fun challenge are a great way to dominate a space on TikTok.  It’s a unique way to captivate your target audience, who then copy and share your hashtag and help your brand go viral. Using hashtag challenges allows you to raise brand awareness, highlight your product or service, and engage a specific demographic.   There are several elements you want to include in every hashtag challenge post to optimize your reach:  
  • A simple, memorable, meme-worthy hashtag that’s easy to spell (and therefore easy to find)
  • Your brand name in the hashtag itself
  • Your product or service (duh)
  • Catchy, on-trend music to capitalize on pre-existing trends
  • Interesting and engaging visual effects
  • The option to buy your products or services using Hashtag Challenge Plus
  • An element of fun (you want participation to be enjoyable)
  1. Influencer Marketing
  Influencers, even micro-influencers, come with a natural fellowship with their audience. You can leverage their charisma and existing fan base to convert their followers into your customers. Essentially, they’re acting as a spokesperson for your brand that can engage their audience in fun and exciting ways.   Collaborating with influencers allows you to engage a mass audience that would otherwise have taken a while to build on your own.  It also allows you to target the people you want and gain status from influencers’ promotion of your products and services.   Here are the key ingredients for a successful influencer collab:    
  • Pick the right influencer. Don’t just reach out to any influencer because they have a massive following. The key is quality over quantitative rubbish.
  • Facilitate authenticity by allowing influencers to guide the creative. Influencers have a special connection with their audience and an intuition about what they like. Leverage this by not getting in the way.
  • Have influencers use hashtags that tie into a larger campaign or are easily identifiable with your brand.
  1. Tutorials
  Tutorials are a great way to engage with your target audience. Tutorials help you to highlight your products and services as well as their benefits.  They also inspire loyalty by giving people useful info and can be used by influencers to spread your message.   Most TikTok tutorials seem to be focused on makeup and fashion; however, there’s plenty of room to experiment. For example, if you sell cookware, make some quick cooking tutorials; sell interior or exterior paint? Make home transformation videos; Run a landscaping business? Nothing is more satisfying than showing how to achieve curb appeal with some before and afters.   TikTok allows you to make videos up to three minutes long, giving you more leeway to get creative and impress with videos jam-packed with useful information. The possibilities are endless.  
  1. User-Generated Content
  TikTok is interactive. People want to not only be engaged, but they also want to showcase their talent and express their opinions – they want to be heard. Encouraging users to generate content is free promotion.   Asking your audience to promote your brand by allowing them to express themselves has many benefits, including greater audience engagement, market research via discovery of how your customers are really using your product and services, and, did we mention, FREE PROMOTION.   Converse is a great example of how to spread brand awareness through user-generated content. They created the hashtag #ConverseAllStar and asked their customers to show them how they customize their kicks.   User-generated content is also a great way to promote your brand image through your values. This can greatly humanize you in the eyes of your audience. For example, Calvin Klein promoted their hashtag #PROUDINMYCALVINS and asked their LGBTQ customers to give advice to their younger selves.  
  1. Giveaways
  If you’re a small business (or any business really) that’s new to the platform, giveaways are the perfect way to garner attention and incentivize participation. Giveaways allow you to get more interactions, grow your audience quickly, and possibly go viral.   Here’s what you need to include in your giveaways for greater success:  
  • A worthy prize. Make sure your prize is something your audience will flip over
  • An easy-to-understand concept that can be explained in a single sentence
  • Legal small print
  • An engaging landing page
  • Emojis to break up the text and make the instructions more interesting to read
  1. Live Streams
  Your audience craves authenticity, and live streams are the perfect way to give them a behind-the-scenes look in real-time that makes you relatable – and more trustworthy.   Live streams allow you to engage with your audience live, get more creative with longer than usual videos, and create behind-the-scenes content that humanizes your brand.   If you own a bicycle, for example, why not take your audience along on an off-road bike trail or show them alternate, bicycle-safe routes around your city? Maybe give them a glimpse into the life of a successful CEO by showing off your morning routine. You could even allow your employees to “take over” for the day and show your audience an even more relatable point of view.  

Paid Promotion: How to Set Up and Use TikTok Ads

  Just like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, TikTok allows you to set up paid advertising campaigns. Here’s the step-by-step process to set up and start using TikTok Ads:   Step 1: Create a TikToks Ad account by signing up using your email or phone number. Make sure you use your company’s legal name to pass the account review.   Step 2: Set up your account. Click Dashboard  Account Info  Business Info and fill out your website, industry, address, and verification.   Step 3: Select your payment method. Although auto pay is available in some markets, you’ll most likely have to add a balance to your account.   Step 4: Create an ad campaign. Click Campaign  Create  Ad Objective. You can choose from awareness, consideration, or conversion.   Step 5: Set a campaign name and budget. There’s a minimum $50 budget, but no maximum. Your budget options will include no limit, daily budget, or lifetime budget. No limit allows for unrestricted ad delivery at the campaign level, daily for steady reach over a set period of time, and lifetime for an extended reach asap.   Step 6: Choose your ad placements option. Your options will include automatic placement, which means ads are optimized across all placements under TikTok Ads Manager, or select placement, which allows you to manually select where ads will appear. We suggest automatic placement for better results with international audiences.   Step 7:  Fill in the Ad Details Section. Leave no details behind. Be sure to fill out all sections, including promotion type (main objective), profile image (aspect ratio of 1:1, no more than 50KB), ad tags (used to match ads with the right audience), display name, category (best describe promotion type), and whether you want to allow for user comment. We also recommend using the Automated Creative Optimization in the Creative Type section, which delivers only high-performing auto-generated combos of images, videos, and ad text.   Step 8:  Select your target audience. You can include and exclude based on demographics, such as age, gender, interests, device, and location.   Step 9: Set a budget and schedule. Your options will include a daily or lifetime budget. You will also be able to set a beginning and end date for your campaign.   Step 10: Manage Bidding and optimization. Choose your goal: conversions, clicks, or impressions. The goal will determine the bid.   Step 11: Create your ad. You can upload videos or images. Pick the desired cover photo, specify a name and ad text, and add a call-to-action from TikTok’s selection.   Step 12: Preview your creative. Do not hit that SUBMIT button before you’ve had the chance to review. You want to know what your audience is going to see, don’t you? Also, add your third-party tracking links so you can actually learn from your ad data to improve future campaigns.   Whew….do you need to catch your breath? This whole setup process is pretty straightforward, but it’s definitely time-consuming.  

9 Ingredients for Tasty TikTok Campaigns

  As a bonus, here are some things to keep in mind as you craft your TikTok campaigns:  
  1. Above all else, be authentic. A great ad is one that doesn’t feature your products or services at all. Humanize yourself by leading with your values.
  2. Keep your ear to the ground to leverage trends.
  3. Use targeted hashtags. You can use the search function to find popular hashtags your audience is looking for.
  4. Be responsive. Interact with your audience, reply to comments, and reuse comments in your own content.
  5. Use trending songs in your video. Stay on top of trending music by looking on the “For You” page on TikTok or
  6. Add TikTok effects to your videos that make your content pop and encourage interaction.
  7. Build Community by Leveraging Assets. What do customers love about your brand? Use these strengths to tell stories and garner shares.
  8. Promote duets. TikTok’s duet feature encourages users to generate fresh content while simultaneously sharing your original post for a wider reach.
  9. Partner with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers can help you leverage niche markets. To find micro-influencers that would make a great fit for your brand, simply search #ad+[keyword]

Maybe Hire an Expert?

  #whyisitspicy? Do you want to create a TikTok campaign that’s on fire? Our social media marketing experts can help you! Social Spice Media has a passionate team that delivers digital marketing solutions designed to boost sales and make a lasting impact. Contact us! We stay on top of trends so we can craft social media campaigns that convert.