Move over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! There’s a new platform in town, and its outpacing competitors at an unprecedented rate. It's called TikTok, and if you haven't already heard of it, where have you been?
While you might think of TikTok as an entertainment app and time-waster, it's become a catalyst in the world of marketing. The smallest piece of content on TikTok could end up going viral. One plumbing company went viral when they posted a video of their plumbers using tool and pipes to create music!
While going viral can bring a lot of attention to your company quickly, we have to be honest: that’s a pretty rare and unpredictable thing. Like other social media, a consistent posting schedule, unique content, and a winning strategy is the key to success. And, you never know what can happen.
Our goal is that by the time you're finished reading this blog, you'll feel confident about starting your own TikTok marketing strategy, and if TikTok's just not for you, learn something new.
TikTok is a social network that’s all about video. It first came to fame with Gen Z users for lip-sync videos, dances, and challenges. It’s also one of the most popular app downloads for the past two years with 46 million installs in the US and 800 million active users worldwide.
Compared to other social media, engagement numbers are off the charts. The average TikTok user spends nearly 500 minutes per month on the app with a 51.2% engagement rate.
TikTok is often referred to as an entertainment app for young people. While a quarter of US users are age 18-24, half are over age 34. That’s right in the sweet spot for first-time homeowners and consumers that need field-service companies, but haven’t built a relationship with anyone yet.
One of the best parts about TikTok is that there’s no expectation of slick, highly-polished, professional content. Part of the appeal is the rawness and authenticity of what’s posted on TikTok. This means you don’t have to spend a fortune to create videos!
Thinking TikTok might make sense for you? Let's get started.
The first thing you should do is claim your spot and create your channel. This becomes the home base for anything you post about your business – similar to other social media apps.
Encourage users to share their own videos around themes relevant to your business. An electrician might encourage people to share what they did last time the power went out. A painting company might solicit videos of the ugliest bedroom and offer a one-room makeover to the winner. A pool service company might show the best belly flops!
Like other social media, hashtags make it easy for users to find similar content. Until you’ve established a following, you won’t get much traction on unique hashtags but you can look for what’s trending and tag it to get noticed. For example, one of the most popular hashtags is #howto. Think of the products and services you provide and how you might create a simple video explaining how to use them or solve problems.
For example, plumbing videos showing how to unclog sinks and fix toilets have amassed more than 341 million views. #electrician has 630 million views for things like the caulking/silicone trick and strangest place you’ve found an outlet.
Always include the top trending hashtags in your video. It doesn't matter if they're relevant or not and it increases your chances at exposure. You can search for trending hashtags here.
Hashtag challenges are a big deal on TikTok. It’s where people challenge others to do something. You can create your own or join others, such as the #OwnTheCurve from Kaiser Permanente which has more than 8.2 billion views where people (and businesses) show how they’re fighting the pandemic.
Try to use trending sounds as well, which increases your chance of exposure. TikTok challenges are often music-based.
Influencer and micro-influencers work on TikTok the same way they do on YouTube and other social channels. There are also advertising opportunities on the platform, such as brand takeovers, in-feed native video, promoted hashtag challenges, and custom lens filters similar to Snapchat for photos.
Now that we've given you the how-to, it's important to mention what won’t work on TikTok: boring content or traditional advertising, marketing tactics, or long-form videos. TikTok users want quick videos – the average length is 15 seconds – and they’re looking to be entertained. You will need to think a little differently. On TikTok, humor and creativity play a big role, and being irreverent is encouraged! While you may need to experiment to see what works, that’s OK, too.
Start with these five strategies and get a feel for how TikTok works best for your field service company.
Even if you decide not to move forward with TikTok, it’s worth checking out the app. It can help you keep an eye on what your competition might be doing and give you some inspiration for ideas to use on your current platforms.