6 Steps to Get Started with TikTok for Your Business

Photo Source: Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

TikTok, the short-video platform, has broken the internet and become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of our time. With over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, business owners are now starting to recognize this platform’s potential and consider it an essential and vital marketing tool to reach their target audience. Here are six steps to get started with TikTok for your business.

1. Optimize your profile

When signing up, choose the Business account option. While a basic TikTok account will suffice for many, a Business account allows owners access to advanced features and the ability to analyze the analytics. Once you have signed up for a TikTok Business account, the next step is to choose a business industry and input your business name. This selection determines which users will see your videos, ads, and posts. 

One major benefit of having a TikTok Business account is the ability to become verified, which adds an extra layer of legitimacy and visibility to your brand. In addition, with a Business account, you can access Promote features that can help reach a larger audience and promote your products and services more effectively. The Promote feature is only available on videos with original audio, not on copyrighted sounds, which serves as a great incentive to create and use your own content. Another advantage is access to the TikTok Shop feature, which allows you to sell products directly on the platform. Finally, you can add a link in your bio, making it easy for followers to visit your website or shop.

Optimizing your TikTok Profile is an important step in establishing a successful presence on the platform. The first step, and one of the more authoritative aspects of your profile, is your profile photo. This image serves as your account’s defining feature and first impression. It’s important to choose an image visually related to your other social media platform (the optimal size for a TikTok profile photo is 200×200 pixels).

Next, you should focus on building your bio. This section is fixed at 80 characters, so it’s important to be concise and choose words relevant to your target audience. Use this space to describe your business. A good example of a simple but effective bio is Linkedin’s bio, “Let’s Tok about your career.” This section is also a great place to promote upcoming campaigns and keep your bio up-to-date and relevant to your content. Add a relevant and appropriate URL, with an eCommerce site being the best option. Finally, linking your other social media accounts, such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, can help you build a cohesive brand presence across multiple platforms. By optimizing your profile, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a strong and effective TikTok presence.

Photo Source: LinkedIn’s TikTok

2. Creating an effective marketing strategy and selecting your target audience

When developing a TikTok marketing strategy, it’s important to approach the platform with a unique style that avoids conventional advertising. The younger audience on TikTok is often more cynical and perceptive to upselling and advertisements that seem too good to be true, so it’s important to create TikTok ads and videos that are centered around less commercialized marketing campaigns; this can help you better connect with your target audience by showing a true-to-life reflection of your brand. A great way to do this is by showing behind-the-scenes content of your business, creating an authentic tone.

To ensure your marketing strategy is successful, it’s essential to ensure it aligns with your business goals, whether to increase brand awareness, build engaged communities, sell products and services, receive audience feedback, or provide customer service. By approaching TikTok marketing with a creative and authentic technique, you can effectively reach and engage with your target audience on the platform. 

To maximize the impact of your TikTok content, it’s important to devise a posting strategy that considers the platform’s best practices and your target audience preferences. TikTok recommends posting content 1-4 times daily, allowing you to find the type of content that works best for your niche and engage with your audience consistently. 

  • Regarding timing, it’s important to post according to your viewer’s time zone, with early mornings and late evenings being popular during the weekdays and more afternoons on weekends. 
  • Keep your content short and sweet, as TikTok is all about concise, fun videos and to the point (data analysts have found the average consumer attention span has decreased to 8 seconds, meaning now, more than ever, it is important to keep your content short).

TikTok has a large and diverse user base, with over a billion monthly active users worldwide. Understanding the demographics of TikTok users can be key when selecting your target audience. Most TikTok users are young, with 80% of users between 16 and 34. The platform is also well-balanced in gender, with 60% of the users being female and 40% male.

Photo source: ExplodingTopics

When it comes to selecting your target audience on TikTok, considering these demographics is significant to tailoring your content and messaging to your target audience’s specific interests and preferences. TikTok’s algorithm curates content based on each user’s interests, so understanding what your target audience is interested in can help you reach them with relevant and engaging content. By carefully selecting your target audience and creating content that resonates with them, you can ensure your TikTok marketing efforts are as effective as possible.

3. Utilize hashtags effectively   

Hashtags on TikTok serve as a means to connecting users with similar interests by personalizing their feed and allowing them to follow a network of niche content, such as shared interests, experiences, tips, and advice from entrepreneurs, owners, and marketing professionals, using hashtags such as #BusinessTok #BrandTok #SmallBizTok #SkinTok. 

Using hashtags effectively on TikTok makes your content visible to your target audience. It’s recommended to use a combination of top-searched and niche hashtags relevant to your content and audience.

Use the TikTok search feature to see how many views a hashtag has received. Use a mix of higher-viewed and a few trending hashtags, but be careful not to overuse unnecessary or irrelevant hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to increase organic growth and reach more followers.

TikTok assigns weight to three categories when determining each aspect’s relevance to user interests:

  1. Account Settings: profile data like language preferences and location
  2. Content Engagement: interactions between user content with likes and comments
  3. Video Information: the substance of your content, like captions, keywords, and hashtags

4. Engage with your audience

Engagement is key to building a successful TikTok presence for your brand. Engaging with your audience can create a community of followers invested in your content and brand. Responding to comments and engaging with your followers is a great way to build relationships and increase engagement with your TikTok content.

Another way to increase engagement on TikTok is through user-generated content. Encourage your followers to create and share their own content related to your brand. This increases engagement and provides valuable, authentic content for your audience. Contests and giveaways are another fun way to build a loyal following and drive sales on TikTok.

Lastly, product demos and tutorials are another great way to educate your audience on the value of your products and services or to showcase their features. This helps to build trust with your brand. These strategies will help you create a strong and engaged community on TikTok.

TikTok offers a huge creative opportunity. The beauty of the app is entertainment. What works for one brand may not work for all. Post multiple times daily with varying video “formats” (day in the life, product review, DIY, cooking videos, etc.). Find out what videos stick with your audience and keep a content posting schedule. It is important to remember the constantly-changing nature of TikTok and remember this when planning your content. TikTok trends rapidly change, and staying on top of these latest fads will be the key to your success on TikTok.  

In this video, TikTok business @fdmarketco gives a tutorial on using solid dish soap. @fdmarket engages its audience by displaying a product many people have questions about, drawing them in. They additionally offer important information about the product during the video, a clever marketing strategy. 

TikTok is a valuable marketing tool for businesses looking to reach their target audience and build a strong brand identity. By using the platform creatively and effectively, businesses can engage with their audience, increase brand exposure, and drive sales.   

5. Partner with TikTok influencers

Creating a network of related interests on TikTok, or a niche, is a great way to connect with users and increase your visibility on the platform. To build your network, consider creating posts that engage with users and connect with their interests, such as duets (a video tool that allows for one user to create videos in response to other TikTok users’ content, commonly seen as two videos on a split screen) shared music samples, similar prompts, or content styles. 

Another effective strategy to increase your reach on TikTok is through influencer marketing. Partnering with influencers can give your brand a significant boost, as they have the ability to reach a large audience through their following and increase brand awareness overnight. 

In this video, Kamik, a Canadian brand dedicated to sustainable manufacturing, partners with influencer @chelsychristina. Chelsy is an influencer who places emphasis on sustainable clothing and brands. She uses her platform and established video “format” to promote the Kamik hiking boots. 

To maximize the benefits of working with influencers on TikTok, consider featuring your product or brand in their videos, participating in duets, using relevant hashtags, and participating in challenges. These strategies can help increase the visibility of your product or serve and connect you with a wider audience on the platform. Remember, it’s important to choose the right influencer who aligns with your brand and target audience, to ensure that your influencer marketing efforts are successful.

6. Investing in TikTok Ads

Investing in TikTok Ads is essential for businesses looking to boost their brand awareness, visibility, or sales in the digital space. Utilizing TikTok’s ad options can be a cost-effective and efficient way to promote a brand and reach new customers. TikTok offers five ways to advertise on the platform:    

  1. TopView Ads: are placed at the top of user feeds when the app is first opened, with a duration of up to 60 seconds and an ideal length of 15 seconds. 
  2. Brand Takeover Ads: allow one brand to take over the app for a date, with a duration of 3-5 seconds and appear at the top of the app like TopView Ads, but they are not skippable. You can embed links to internal and external landing pages and measure success by looking at impressions and CTR
  3. In-Feed Ads: appear in the user’s ForYou feed and can track clicks, impressions, CTR, views, and engagement
  4. Brand Hashtag Challenges: create hashtag challenges with an end goal or prize for participants. Invite users to create and post videos using your hashtags to gain awareness about your brand or specific product. Hashtag challenges have the potential to bring discoverability to your account through new audiences. Additionally, Brand Hashtag Challenges have a median engagement rate of 17.5% and can increase brand awareness 4.5 times over standard mobile ads
    1. Hashtag challenges like the famous #DoTheScottsSlide, invited creators to recreate a dance outside on their lawns and enter into a sweepstakes contest. This challenge resulted in 2 billion views and 1.3 million user videos created in only two days
  5. Branded Effects: include games, stickers, filters, special effects, or augmented reality that promote your brand and gain traction with the audience. Easy way to promote a brand with minimal effort. Interactive experiences like these, are a great way to gain traction and even go viral
Photo Source: TikTok Business

Extra Tips!

When it comes to making your videos think simple and authentic, not scripted and commercialized. Show your office pet, duet a follower, and share behind-the-scenes information. Being authentic and transparent can humanize your brand and develop a whole new audience that respects the quality of your business and the people who work with you.  

Don’t focus too much on video quality; social media platforms (especially TikTok) are for laid-back people looking for entertainment. 

Things to remember: 

  • Know your target audience & what they want to see
  • Keep videos short, to the point, and catchy 
  • TikTok is an entertainment site first 
  • Follow trends, challenges, and fads 
  • The TikTok Creative Center is a great tool to utilize if you don’t know where to start. They posts list of trending and relevant hashtags, as well as topics for content creators 
  • Video captions have a 500-word character limit 
  • Mix popular hashtags with less trafficked ones
  • Popular video “formats” include how-to/tutorial videos, DIYs, day in the life, travel, makeup, like hacks 
  • Maintain a balance to diversify your feed and appeal to different types of people within your target audience 








About The Author 

Aiden Stone | astone@sandiego.edu | www.linkedin.com/in/aiden-stone 

I am currently a senior at the University of San Diego, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. Originally from the East Coast, I bring a unique perspective to my work drawing from a range of experiences and influences.

I am deeply passionate about social media, digital trends, and content consumption. I have dedicated myself to exploring the latest developments in these fields through my academic and personal pursuits as well as my professional experiences. Currently, I work as an intern at Nadi Marketing, where I have been able to apply my knowledge and skills to real world situations, helping eco-conscious businesses create impactful content strategies and partnerships. 

In addition to my internship, I have also obtained certifications in digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), demonstrating my commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies. I am excited to continue learning, growing, and innovating in the field of marketing, and I look forward to making a positive impact on the world through my work.   

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