TikTok for business illustration

Mastering TikTok for Business 2024: The Ultimate Guide

Social MediaCategory
21 min read
Dan Hughes

The one constant you can count on with social media is that it’s always changing. Just when you think one platform has managed to monopolize the space, another comes along and the landscape shifts. Right now, TikTok is emerging as one of the most popular and powerful social media platforms on the planet. While young Gen Zers were once the main TikTok marketing demographic, as the popularity of this short-form video sharing platform grows, droves of millennials are also flocking to the platform.

Whatever your niche, if you’re a small business owner looking to expand your audience and drive traffic to your website, investing in TikTok marketing is essential.

To help guide you to social media success, we’ll look at a mix of practical TikTok for small business marketing tips.

But, before we do, let’s consider why TikTok is so important right now.

Why TikTok is essential for modern business strategies

As a video-based social media platform, TikTok encourages a huge amount of engagement, and if you produce the right content, you will connect with even more potential customers.

You’ll also encourage more people to invest in your products or services in the process.

To put the potential of TikTok into perspective, here are some stats and insights to keep in mind:

According to statistics, TikTok had over 171 million users in the MENA region in 2023

Setting up your TikTok business account

Creating a TikTok business account is a strategic move for brands looking to tap into a dynamic and engaged audience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to not only create but also optimize your business profile on TikTok to maximize your reach and impact.

Steps to create and optimize your business profile

Creating and optimizing a TikTok business profile involves a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your brand's visibility and engagement. Here’s how you can set up your profile effectively:

  1. Complete the Setup:
    • Download TikTok: Install the TikTok app from your app store.
    • Sign Up: Create an account using an email, phone number, or existing social media account. If converting from a personal account, switch to a business account via settings.
    • Choose Your Category: Select a business category that aligns with your brand, aiding TikTok in optimizing content and ad delivery.
  2. Optimize Your Profile Elements:
    • Username: Select a username that reflects your brand, easy to remember and search for. Consistency across social platforms enhances recognizability.
    • Profile Photo: Upload a high-quality logo or professional image that represents your brand, ensuring it’s visually appealing and fits well within the small display circle.
    • Bio: Craft a concise, engaging bio with a clear value proposition, using up to 80 characters. Incorporate a call-to-action, directing viewers to your website or a special offer.
  3. Link Integration:
    • Website Link: Include a direct link to your business website or a current campaign to drive traffic directly from your TikTok profile.
    • Contact Information: Make it easy for potential customers to reach you by adding a contact email or phone number.
  4. Content Strategy Foundation:
    • Initial Content Plan: Before starting to post, plan out the types of content that align with your brand goals and audience interests. Consider launching with content that introduces your brand or showcases your products/services in action.
    • Content Calendar: Develop a content calendar that outlines what to post and when. This helps in maintaining a consistent presence on the platform and aligning posts with marketing campaigns or seasonal events.
  5. Engagement Strategy:
    • Interactivity: Plan to regularly engage with your followers through comments, likes, and shares. Interaction not only boosts your content's visibility but also helps in building a loyal community.
    • Hashtags: Utilize relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your posts. Mix popular and niche hashtags to reach broad and specific audiences.

By following these steps, you can create a well-optimized TikTok business profile that not only attracts but also retains the interest of your target audience, setting a solid foundation for your social media marketing efforts on this vibrant platform.

The importance of a business account

First and foremost, to use TikTok for Business you need to set up the right account. If you’ve already got a personal account, you can make the switch to a business account in a few easy steps. Here’s what to do:

  1. Download the TikTok app and open it
  2. Set up a personal account and set your preferences (ignore this step if you already have a personal account)
  3. Tap the profile icon in the bottom right-hand corner, then tap the Menu button in the top right-hand corner (look for three horizontal lines) and make the big switch to a TikTok business account before choosing the categories relevant to your business

Optimize your profile

Once your account is set up, one of the most fundamental parts of using TikTok for Business is optimizing your profile for success.

As the famous Field of Dreams (or Waynes World Two) saying goes: “if you build it, they will come.” To add to that statement—if you build it well, they will flock.

To optimize your TikTok for Business account in a way that will attract and engage the right visitors, there are certain key elements to consider. Let’s take a look at them now.

Username

To know how to use TikTok to promote your business effectively, choosing the right username is important. Okay, it’s not the most important aspect of earning masses of TikTok for Business success—but it certainly counts.

When choosing a username for you TikTok account, you should:

  • Pick a username that is short and punchy (two three syllables is usually the sweet spot)
  • Go with words or phrases that represent your brand and what it does
  • Use terms or imagery that is relevant to your niche or industry
  • Add special characters or numbers sparingly to avoid confusion

Tip: When deciding on your user name or writing any copy for your TikTok for Business profile, ensure you know your character limits. The limit for usernames is 24 characters and the limit for bios is 80 characters.

Your profile image is your chance to catch peoples’ eye when popping up in a relevant search—so make sure it’s slick, clear, and represents your brand.

Using a headshot is a good idea if you have a personal brand and you’re looking to connect with your audience on a personal level. For the best results, make sure your image background is clear and de-cluttered to ensure your face bounces off the screen.

If you want to boost brand awareness, adding a logo to your profile picture will prove effective and will increase your chances of engaging the right people at the right time. In both cases, your imagery should be high-resolution and cropped to fit perfectly.

Try our easy-to-use logo maker to create the perfect branding for your TikTok business profile.

Related: The ultimate guide to social media image sizes

TikTok for business bio

Your TikTok bio is the perfect opportunity to give users a quick introduction to your brand and what you do that’s different. As you only have 80 characters to shine your business in its best light, treating it as an impactful tagline is the way to go.

Certain key ingredients will make your TikTik profile bio stand out—let’s take a quick look:

  • Tell potential followers what you do and why they should follow you
  • Add a relevant emoji or two to your bio. For example, if you’re a sustainable clothing brand, you might throw a green leaf or tree emoji into the mix
  • Put a ‘link in bio’ to direct your audience towards a webpage, landing page or channel that showcases your services or products
  • Add a call-to-action to your bio to tell people how to interact with you or what action to take next

Related: What is copywriting and how can you become a copywriter?

Understanding TikTok's unique environment

First of all, getting to grips with TikTok’s algorithm will give you the insight you need to craft the right content at the right time and earn the best possible return on investment (ROI) for your efforts.

The latest TikTok algorithm has certain signals and content ranking factors that if leveraged the right way, will boost the reach of your posts in a big way. Here’s a video guide that serves up a few useful content-boosting tips based on user engagement, location, audio trends, and video subject matter:

How TikTok works for brands

TikTok operates as a dynamic platform where brands can launch creative video ads that resonate with a vast audience. Using TikTok's Ads Manager, companies can initiate ad campaigns tailored to diverse target audiences, leveraging tools like branded hashtag challenges and stickers to boost engagement. This approach not only amplifies brand visibility but also enhances conversions by directly linking videos to your e-commerce store or website. The key is a content strategy that aligns with the TikTok community's preferences, ensuring your messages captivate and convert.

Related: The complete video marketing guide with how-to steps

Understanding TikTok’s user demographics is crucial for tailoring your social media marketing strategy. The platform's active users predominantly include Gen Z and younger millennials, who prefer authentic and engaging content. To effectively reach and engage your target audience, recognize the cultural nuances that resonate within the TikTok community. This involves participating in trends, using TikTok-specific lingo, and aligning your content with the values and aesthetics appreciated by TikTok creators and influencers. Successfully navigating this landscape means your brand can more effectively connect with users and drive sales.

Developing your TikTok marketing strategy

The next phase of the TikTok for Business operation is building a solid marketing strategy. Armed with the right strategic foundations, you will increase your chances of growing your audience and boosting brand awareness effectively. Let’s explore:

Establishing clear business goals on TikTok

When venturing into TikTok for business, defining clear, actionable goals is essential. Start by determining what success looks like—whether it’s driving sales, enhancing brand awareness, or increasing engagement with your TikTok Shop. Utilize the business center to track metrics that matter most, such as video views, engagement rates, and conversions. This step-by-step approach ensures that every content piece and ad campaign is aligned with your overarching business objectives, making it easier to measure ROI and adjust strategies as needed.

Audience analysis and engagement techniques

To effectively engage with the TikTok community, thorough audience analysis is vital. Start by identifying the core characteristics of your target audience, including age, interests, and behaviors. Use TikTok’s creative tools to craft content that speaks directly to these users. Engage actively by responding to comments, participating in challenges, and using TikTok influencers to extend your reach. Analyzing engagement patterns and user feedback through TikTok’s analytics will help refine your approach, ensuring that your content resonates well and fosters genuine connections.

Content planning and calendar management

Strategic content planning and calendar management are key to maintaining a consistent presence on TikTok. Develop a content calendar that schedules posts during peak activity times to maximize visibility. Incorporate a mix of video ads, tutorials, and user-generated content to keep your feed fresh and engaging. Planning ahead with TikTok’s scheduling tools allows you to align your content releases with marketing milestones and trending topics, ensuring your brand remains relevant and top of mind among TikTok users.

Crafting engaging content for TikTok

Speaking of original content, creating your own funny, inspirational or compelling TikTok videos is the best way to stand out on this platform.

When it comes to creating original TikTok for Business content, you can be as creative as you wish as long as your video is three minutes or less.

Related: 13 ways to level up your visual content with GoDaddy Studio

Types of content that thrive on TikTok

On TikTok, content that masterfully combines entertainment with authenticity usually garners the most engagement. Here’s a list of content types that can help your brand connect effectively with its audience:

  1. Quick How-To Videos: Provide fast and informative tutorials that solve common problems or teach something new.
  2. Behind-the-Scenes Looks: Offer a glimpse into the everyday operations or special events of your brand to build trust and transparency.
  3. Humorous Skits: Use humor to convey your brand’s personality and make your content memorable and sharable.
  4. Detailed Tutorials and Step-by-Step Guides: Help your audience learn a process in detail, which adds significant value to their experience.
  5. Creative Use of TikTok Features: Enhance your videos with TikTok’s native filters and effects to make them more visually engaging and fun.
  6. Light and Enjoyable Content: Keep your videos upbeat and easy to consume to encourage likes, shares, and comments.
@godaddy Imposter syndrome be gone! 🦶🏽 Straight back to the land of make-believe where YOU came from. Read more on how to kick doubt to the curb and cultivate a winning entrepreneurial mindset on our blog 👉🏽 Link in Bio! #Entrepreneur #ImposterSyndrome #Business #Mindset #ConfidenceBuilding #SelfAcceptance ♬ original sound - godaddy

Incorporating these types of content can significantly increase your visibility and engagement on TikTok. Remember to consistently use TikTok’s unique features to keep your content fresh and appealing.

Leveraging TikTok’s trending sounds, challenges, and hashtags is a powerful way to increase your brand’s visibility. Participate in or initiate branded hashtag challenges that invite the community to create content around your brand, enhancing user engagement and reach. Monitor the discover page to stay updated with current trends and adapt them to fit your brand identity and marketing goals. Engaging with trends not only boosts visibility but also demonstrates your brand's relevance to the TikTok community, fostering greater connection and engagement.

Related: What is user generated content and can it help your business?

Collaborations and influencer partnerships

Collaborating with TikTok influencers can amplify your brand’s message and reach a wider audience. Choose influencers whose style and audience align with your brand values and target demographic. Effective partnerships allow you to tap into the influencer’s credibility and influence, driving brand trust and conversions. Plan collaborative content that feels organic and authentic, such as co-created videos or features in each other’s posts. These collaborations, combined with shared expertise and resources, can significantly enhance content engagement and visibility on the platform.

Leveraging TikTok's advertising solutions

TikTok's advertising solutions offer powerful tools to drive sales and build brand awareness. With a range of ad formats tailored to different business needs and goals, TikTok helps brands reach their target audience in a dynamic and interactive environment. By utilizing TikTok Ads Manager, businesses can create, manage, and optimize their ad campaigns effectively, ensuring that they reach the right people at the right time.

Overview of TikTok Ad formats

TikTok provides several ad formats, each designed to capture the attention of users and encourage engagement. These formats include:

  • TopView Ads
  • In-Feed Ads
  • Brand Takeover Ads
  • Branded Effects and Hashtag Challenges

Each type offers unique benefits and can be used strategically to achieve different marketing objectives.

TopView Ads

TopView Ads are the first thing users see when they open TikTok, offering maximum visibility. These ads can last up to 60 seconds, providing a full-screen, sound-on experience that captivates viewers right from the start. Ideal for creating memorable impressions, TopView Ads are effective for driving brand awareness and promoting new products.

In-Feed Ads

In-Feed Ads appear naturally as users scroll through their "For You" page. These ads can be up to 60 seconds long and allow users to like, comment, share, and interact with them just like regular posts. This format is perfect for brands looking to integrate seamlessly into the user experience and encourage direct engagement.

Brand Takeover Ads

Brand Takeover Ads appear when a user first opens TikTok, taking over the screen for a few seconds before turning into an In-Feed video ad. These high-impact ads are excellent for immediate attention and are limited to one advertiser per day, per category, ensuring exclusivity and high visibility.

Branded effects and Hashtag challenges

Branded Effects allow brands to create custom filters, stickers, and special effects that users can apply in their own videos. Hashtag Challenges, on the other hand, invite users to create content around a branded hashtag, enhancing engagement and community involvement. Both formats are highly interactive and can virally spread brand awareness.

Best practices for TikTok advertising

To maximize the effectiveness of TikTok advertising, consider the following best practices:

  • Target Precisely: Utilize TikTok’s sophisticated targeting options to reach your ideal audience based on demographics, interests, and behavior.
  • Be Authentic: Create ads that resonate with the TikTok community by maintaining authenticity and aligning with the platform's creative and informal nature.
  • Focus on Visuals: Since TikTok is a highly visual platform, ensure your ads are visually appealing and grab attention within the first few seconds.
  • Use Clear Call-to-Actions: Encourage users to take specific actions, such as visiting a website or joining a challenge, by including clear and compelling CTAs.
  • Test and Optimize: Continuously test different ad formats and content strategies to see what works best with your audience, and use TikTok’s analytics tools to track performance and optimize your campaigns.

By understanding and leveraging these advertising solutions and best practices, brands can effectively use TikTok to achieve significant marketing success.

Advanced tactics for TikTok growth

To sustain and accelerate growth on TikTok, brands must adopt advanced strategies that go beyond basic content creation and engagement. These strategies involve deep analysis and optimization of content performance, savvy use of search engine optimization (SEO) tailored to TikTok’s unique platform, and sophisticated use of TikTok's own analytical tools to refine and direct marketing efforts. Employing these tactics will help brands stand out in a competitive market and maintain relevance within the ever-evolving TikTok community.

SEO Strategies for TikTok

Optimizing your TikTok presence involves SEO tactics specifically adapted for the platform's algorithm and user behaviors. Key strategies include:

  • Keyword Optimization: Incorporate relevant keywords in your video captions, descriptions, and hashtags. Focus on terms that your target audience is searching for, including trending topics and related terms that enhance discoverability.
  • Engaging Thumbnails: Use compelling thumbnails with clear visuals and text overlays that include keywords. Thumbnails play a crucial role in attracting users’ attention as they scroll through their feeds.
  • Profile Optimization: Ensure your TikTok profile is fully optimized with relevant keywords in your bio, which can help your page show up in search results both on and off the platform.
  • Consistent Posting: Regular posting helps maintain visibility and relevance. Use keywords consistently across posts to build a strong thematic connection and improve your chances of appearing in search results.
  • Hashtag Strategy: Utilize a mix of broad and niche hashtags. Broad hashtags increase your visibility, while niche hashtags connect you with specific segments of the TikTok community interested in particular topics.

Analyzing and leveraging TikTok analytics

Understanding and using TikTok Analytics is crucial for refining your strategy and achieving sustained growth. Key aspects to focus on include:

  • Engagement Metrics: Track likes, comments, shares, and views to understand what content resonates with your audience. High engagement rates often indicate content that aligns well with your followers' preferences.
  • Follower Insights: Analyze demographic data about your followers to tailor your content to their interests and behaviors. Knowing the age, location, and activity times of your followers can help you optimize posting schedules and content styles.
  • Video Performance: Monitor how long people watch your videos and at what point they drop off. This data can help you adjust the length and structure of your content to keep viewers engaged longer.
  • Traffic Sources: Identify where your video views are coming from—whether through profile visits, followers' feeds, or the Discover page. This information can help you understand how users find your content and where to focus your optimization efforts.
  • Trend Analysis: Stay updated with the Performance trends tab in TikTok Analytics. It helps in recognizing patterns or spikes in engagement that correlate with specific content types or external events.

By employing these advanced tactics and continually refining your approach based on analytics, you can enhance your TikTok strategy, leading to greater growth and a stronger presence on the platform.

Case studies and success stories

Exploring real-world examples of successful TikTok campaigns provides invaluable insights and inspiration for brands looking to make a significant impact on the platform. These case studies highlight the innovative strategies and creative executions that have allowed brands to connect deeply with audiences, drive engagement, and achieve remarkable results.

Gymshark’s 66 Days: Change Your Life Challenge:

  • The Challenge: The Gymshark 66 Challenge is based on the idea that it takes 66 days to form a habit or make a positive change in your life1. Participants commit to a specific goal or habit and track their progress over 66 days.
  • TikTok Participation: TikTok users join the challenge by setting personal fitness goals and uploading them on January 1st. They then document their journey over the next 66 days, sharing their progress, achievements, and challenges using the hashtag #gymshark662.
  • Content Creation: Participants tag the brand, Gymshark, and use the branded hashtag in their videos. The challenge encourages consistency and accountability, as users share their fitness routines, healthy meals, and other positive changes they’re making in their lives.
  • Influencer Marketing: Gymshark collaborated with fitness and lifestyle influencers to expand its reach on TikTok. The campaign aimed to inspire users to develop healthy habits and achieve their fitness goals within the 66-day timeframe3.
  • Results: The challenge has gained significant traction, with millions of views on TikTok videos related to #Gymshark66. Users showcase their workouts, transformations, and dedication to positive change while wearing Gymshark workout outfits.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions:

How can TikTok be used for business?

TikTok can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to enhance their digital presence and connect with a younger audience. Businesses can use TikTok to:

  • Showcase Products: Create engaging and creative videos to showcase products or services in action.
  • Brand Storytelling: Use the platform's unique video format to tell compelling stories about your brand, its mission, and its values.
  • Engage with Users: Participate in challenges, use trending hashtags, and engage with other users to build a community around your brand.
  • Drive Traffic: Include calls-to-action in videos, directing viewers to your website or e-commerce store, thus driving sales and conversions.

Is TikTok any good for business?

Absolutely. TikTok offers businesses a vast platform to reach a large and engaged audience, particularly among Gen Z and younger millennials. With its high engagement rates and innovative content formats, TikTok is ideal for businesses aiming to:

  • Increase Visibility: With millions of active users, TikTok helps increase brand visibility and recognition.
  • Boost Engagement: The platform's format encourages high levels of user interaction through likes, comments, shares, and views.
  • Enhance Creativity: TikTok's creative tools allow businesses to experiment with fun and innovative marketing campaigns that can go viral.

Is TikTok for business free?

Yes, creating a TikTok business account is free. However, if businesses choose to engage in advertising, like using promoted posts or running ad campaigns through TikTok Ads Manager, there will be costs involved. These advertising options offer additional features and analytics tools to target your audience more effectively and drive your marketing goals.

What is the difference between TikTok and TikTok for business?

  • General TikTok Accounts are typically for personal use, where individuals share content for entertainment and social interaction without any commercial intent.
  • TikTok for Business Accounts offer additional features geared towards brands and marketers. These include access to TikTok Ads Manager, richer analytics, and promotional tools designed to enhance marketing efforts and measure performance more effectively. Business accounts are tailored to support marketing strategies and provide insights that help businesses optimize their presence on the platform.

By understanding these fundamentals, businesses can better leverage TikTok to engage with audiences, promote their products, and achieve significant growth in the digital landscape.

Conclusion: TikTok for business guide.

In today's digital landscape, TikTok has emerged as a key platform for businesses looking to engage a dynamic audience and expand their reach. This guide outlined essential strategies for leveraging TikTok effectively, from setting up a business account to utilizing advanced advertising solutions. By understanding TikTok’s unique user demographics, creating engaging content, and harnessing the platform's robust analytics, businesses can foster meaningful connections and drive significant growth. Embrace these strategies, stay attuned to trends, and maintain your brand's authenticity to maximize your impact on this vibrant platform and see your business flourish.