A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok

A beginner's guide to TikTok

There is no argument that TikTok is incredibly popular. As of 2021, it was one of the most downloaded social media apps globally! According to Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded non-game app in the world in 2020, with over 1.2 billion downloads. The platform has become a significant player in the social media landscape, and the app’s popularity continues to grow, with a large and highly engaged user base worldwide. It is used by individuals, brands, influencers, and content creators, making it an essential platform for anyone looking to reach a large and diverse online audience!

What is TikTok?

Let’s start with the very basics. TikTok is a social media platform for creating and sharing short-form videos, ranging from genres like dance, comedy, and education, and runtimes of 15 seconds to 3 minutes (three minutes for certain users). TikTok can be a helpful platform for digital media marketing; its user base, particularly the younger demographic, is constantly growing! In addition, the app’s unique features, such as its various creative editing tools, allow users to create engaging and shareable content that can reach a large audience. As a result, many brands have successfully utilized TikTok for their marketing campaigns!

Who Uses TikTok?

So why is TikTok so popular with users, brands, and influencers? Well, the app appeals to a wide range of people:

  • Creators and content producers who use the platform to share their videos and grow their following
  • Brands and businesses that use TikTok for marketing and advertising purposes
  • Musicians and performers use the platform to promote their music and reach a wider audience
  • Average humans use TikTok to share their interests, hobbies, and everyday moments with friends and followers; teens and young adults comprise a large portion of the app’s user base (up to 46%.)

TikTok’s user base is constantly growing and becoming more diverse, with people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests finding value on the platform. This is partly due to TikTok’s unique algorithm, which continues to learn which videos make users stay on the app longer. In addition, the app’s search algorithm prioritizes content based on various factors, such as popularity, user engagement, and relevance to the user’s interests, rather than providing results based solely on keywords.

TikTok’s Unique User Interface

TikTok’s user interface (UI) is designed to be simple and intuitive, focusing on delivering a smooth and seamless browsing experience. The main elements of the UI include:

  • Homepage: The “For You” page displays a curated selection of popular videos based on the user’s interests and activity. These change depending on the content you like and the accounts and hashtags you follow or search for. The “For You” page also allows users to hard hold anywhere on the screen to mark a video as “not interested.”
  • Navigation Bar: A bottom bar with icons for the home page, search, camera, notifications, and profile.
  • Profile: A personal page displaying the user’s uploaded videos, bio, and followers/following count. In addition to posting your original content, you can “repost” content to your profile, and it will show up in your followers’ feeds.
  • Editing Tools: One of the reasons TikTok is so easy to use is its built-in suite of editing tools for creating and enhancing TikTok videos. This suite includes visual filters, effects, music, and text (including automatic captions, which increase your visibility.)

The UI is designed to be colorful, visually appealing, and optimized for easy navigation and discovery, making it accessible and enjoyable for users of all ages and technical skill levels.

Getting Started

Getting started on TikTok is relatively simple. Create a business account and customize your profile. Add a profile picture, bio, and other information to make your profile eye-catching. Establish a unique brand aesthetic that will make your content recognizable and stand out. Let’s cover some of the other must-haves on your profile:

  • Pick the Right Profile Picture: This one is easy; Use a profile picture that is easily recognizable and consistent with the brand’s overall visual identity. Again, logos are a fail-safe profile.
  • Let People Know Who You Are: A brief, engaging, and informative bio that introduces your brand, highlights its mission and showcases its products or services.
  • Website Or Landing Page Link: A clickable link to the brand’s website or a landing page where users can learn more about the brand and take actions such as scheduling a model home tour or reading your blog. Smart.bio links are a great way to link off to blogs and other content, as TikTok doesn’t allow links in a post caption.
  • Branded Hashtags: Brands can use hashtags to promote their content and encourage user engagement.

By including these elements, a brand can establish a strong presence on TikTok and effectively engage with its target audience on the platform.

Due to the unique way TikTok’s algorithm works, it’s important to curate your own For You page. Explore popular videos and discover similar brands, creators, and influencers by searching different relevant hashtags and accounts! TikTok is known for having very specific communities for every interest imaginable. For homebuilders, these niche hashtags include #interiordesign, #dreamhome, and #realestate. Liking, commenting, sharing other users’ videos, and responding to comments on your own videos will help you start building a following within the community! By curating your “For You” page to show other homebuilding and real estate content, you will see what is and isn’t working for your competition.

Creating Content

The most crucial part of using TikTok for marketing? Creating regular, high-quality content that’s consistent with the brand’s mission and appeals to its target audience. Understanding your target audience’s age group and interests is vital in determining the content that will perform well on the platform.

Use the app’s editing tools to create and post your own videos; try to be creative and have fun with it! For example, look at what sounds are trending or for hashtag challenges to inspire your own short-form video content. Luckily, TikTok has let us know what their algorithm is more likely to promote. The app looks for eye-catching visual content (meaning you should really play around with all the built-in features. There are plenty of popular filters, text, and more!). When brainstorming content, consider the following:

  • Be Authentic And Creative: TikTok users are drawn to authentic and unique content, so be creative and try to stand out from the competition.
  • Leverage Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with TikTok influencers can help a brand reach a new, engaged audience and add credibility to its content. TikTok’s strategy to keep users on the app has led to a boom of micro- and nano-influencers due to specific communities like #booktok or #interiordesigntiktok. Tapping into these smaller creators can extend your budget and reach.
  • Consider Live Streaming Content: Recent studies have shown 80% of consumers say they’d rather watch a live video than read a company’s blog. By live streaming, you can interact with a larger audience immediately instead of conversations in the comment section on static posts. Plus, consumers have reported feeling more connected to brands that live stream, and that connection is going to be what keeps them coming back to you!
  • Track TikTok Trends: Stay up-to-date with the platform’s trends and challenges. TikTok is constantly evolving, so brands must stay informed and adjust their strategy accordingly. Participating in popular TikTok trends and challenges can help a brand reach a wider audience and increase engagement, so be sure to explore how you can adapt trends to showcase your homes.
  • Have Fun With It: Experimentation is key to finding success on TikTok. Look at what performs well for you and your competitors, but also consider what content is just good fun!

Need more ideas for short-form video content? We wrote a whole blog about short form video!

Engaging With Your Audience

Social media engagement is a major player in any marketing strategy. It’s what drives the algorithms and, by extension, who sees your content. User engagement and conversations between users and brands are some of the major draws of TikTok. The first tip for easy engagement is using a call-to-action or CTA. A clear and compelling CTA encourages users to engage with the brand, follow the profile, visit the website, or purchase. CTAs are easy to integrate into content and consistently are the biggest drivers of engagement. When you end your posts with an engaging question or ask your audience to comment, they are more likely to get inspired and actually comment, which means more eyes on your AH-MAZING content!

TikTok is also unique in engagement opportunities on content for one specific reason: Duets and Stitches. TikTok Duets allow users to create split-screen videos with another user’s original video. This allows for various creative and collaborative content to be created, such as singing or dancing along with other users or adding a commentary to a popular video. Duets can help brands increase their visibility on the platform because your content will be exposed to a whole new audience!

Stitches are very similar to Duets; the key difference is it allows users to combine multiple separate TikTok videos into one! Stitches can be used to create storytelling videos or any other type of content that involves multiple actors or perspectives. This versatile feature provides even more opportunities for creative and engaging content on the platform! Both Duets and Stitches are a great way for brands to collaborate with other users and influencers (or accounts for different regions you build in.)

What does this mean for you and your brand? Simply put: Get a TikTok account because the app is here to stay! TikTok has established itself as a major player in the social media landscape and has shown no signs of slowing down. The platform’s popularity has only continued to grow, and it has rolled out several updates and new features to improve the user experience and stay ahead of the competition. We hope this guide helps get you started and be sure to keep an eye out for more updates on the best marketing strategies for TikTok from Get Community throughout the rest of the year!

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