For a social media firm, you may argue we had been a bit late to the TikTok recreation. However whereas we solely launched our official TikTok technique in July 2021, we had been lurking on TikTok for years previous to that.
We watched, we adopted, we realized the language, after which we took the plunge into essentially the most thrilling factor to occur to social media because the invention of the selfie. We’re just a few months into our TikTok journey however what an beautiful journey it’s been to this point—and one which’s introduced us all the best way to 11,800 followers lower than a 12 months later.
We’ve laughed, cried, danced, gone viral, flopped spectacularly, and dueled with fellow owl-forward manufacturers (we’re taking a look at you, Duolingo). Above all, we’ve realized a TON of classes that we need to share with you to assist make utilizing TikTok for your small business rather less scary.
Like it or hate it, TikTok is more and more onerous to disregard. With over 2 billion downloads in whole, it’s rising at a fast tempo. It was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads (over 100 million greater than its closest rival, Instagram).
TikTok isn’t going anyplace so we knew we would have liked a presence there. However like most manufacturers, we had been apprehensive in regards to the function TikTok would play in our broader social media technique. We didn’t simply need to leap on the bandwagon for the sake of it, so we did our analysis.
- We checked out what different manufacturers had been doing on TikTok and the way the profitable ones interact with their audiences.
- We browsed the feedback and realized that TikTokers converse a distinct language. Phrases and emojis have different meanings. (e.g., 💀=😂)
- We realized that tendencies come and go at a dizzying pace and if you happen to wait too lengthy to react, you’ll be thought of ‘cheugy’ (that’s TikTok converse for off-trend or dated).
- We realized that TikTok is a singular and terrifying platform. Nevertheless it presents an unbelievable alternative to attempt one thing enjoyable and be genuine.
We created a TikTok account for our model in February 2021, secured our @Hootsuite deal with, and drafted our preliminary technique. We included a content material plan with 5 key pillars aligned to our total advertising goals and agreed to take a test-and-learn strategy.
We launched our technique in July 2021. We went viral; we had been an in a single day success; Owly was topped king and queen of TikTok; the tip.
Simply kidding. It was crickets.
@hootsuite Don’t fear, we’re nonetheless attempting to wrap our heads on this one as nicely 🙃 #socialmedia #instagram #reels ♬ original sound – Hootsuite
One in every of our greatest learnings within the early days was that the content material we had been utilizing on different social media channels had no place on TikTok.
Whereas our aim was to ensure our content material was hyper-focused on social entrepreneurs, we realized that isn’t the one factor individuals need to speak about on TikTok.
We realized that there was a possibility to achieve new audiences, construct extra model love, and humanize our group by bringing our mascot Owly to the forefront. We switched our bio from, “our pleasant social media consultants 👋” to “simply an owl on the TikTok asking the web to like me” to replicate this shift.
We made the basic mistake of making professionally produced video content material for our early TikTok movies. They carried out okay, however it shortly turned clear that type was misplaced on TikTok.
TikTok analysis validated this—65% of TikTok customers agree that professional-looking movies from manufacturers really feel misplaced or odd on TikTok, in response to analysis (Advertising and marketing Science World Neighborhood and Self-expression Examine 2021).
So we threw our technique out the window and began once more.
We shifted away from our unique content material pillars and launched revamped content material pillars that leaned into TikTok tendencies, embracing a extra versatile, short-term technique higher suited to the quick tempo of the platform.
To generate extra genuine content material on a finances, we reached out to some TikTok influencers to create user-generated content material (UGC) to share. The UGC carried out very well and stuffed a niche in our content material, nevertheless, with our feed that includes so many various individuals, we began to lose our model voice a little bit.
That’s once we realized we would have liked our personal in-house TikTok content material creators.
After we first launched our mascot Owly to TikTok, we found they weren’t the one owl on the town.
They had been shortly dubbed the “Walmart model” of language studying app Duolingo’s common owl mascot Duo. We may have taken this to coronary heart and despatched Owly to their nest.
As an alternative, we noticed a possibility to have some enjoyable.
@hootsuite Reply to @duolingo ♬ Monkeyshine-JP – Lt FitzGibbons Men
We instigated a ‘battle of the manufacturers’—a rising pattern on TikTok—and poked a little bit enjoyable at Duolingo’s TikTok video type. Individuals beloved our spicy tone and commenced creating their very own narratives round Owly versus Duolingo—some wished us to combat one another; others wished us to fall in love.
Our ‘battle of the manufacturers’ strategy resulted in a 5,205% enhance in followers. One video even went viral with 647,000 views in a single week!
At the start of 2022, TikTok creators began reporting unbelievable engagement, just by posting text-heavy, seven-second movies that includes trending audio clips to beat the TikTok algorithm.
We experimented with the seven-second challenge pattern and it labored! We posted our video on February 2, 2022 and it went viral, clocking up 700,000 views.
@hootsuitedo this hack your self 🙌💯♬ original sound – material growl 😘💅
We seen that individuals who had been commenting on our posts fell into two buckets: individuals who knew and beloved Hootsuite and individuals who had completely no thought what Hootsuite was.
To showcase extra content material about what Hootsuite does, we launched product-centric posts, together with a sequence of ‘product hacks’ demonstrating Hootsuite’s most-loved (and sometimes underrated) options and little-known tips.
One submit demonstrating our new planner view within the Hootsuite dashboard used some trending audio and was an enormous success, leading to plenty of constructive sentiment from our followers.
@hootsuitescheduling on social simply bought so much higher 😉♬ original sound – Barstool Sports
Then, in March 2022, we labored with Brian Esperon—the choreographer behind Cardi B’s WAP dance—to create a singular dance problem for Hootsuite as a part of our marketing campaign at SXSW, a serious tech and leisure convention.
Owly and Brian hit the streets of Austin, Texas with their sick strikes and bought tons of various individuals concerned. General the marketing campaign’s movies clocked over 56,000 views on TikTok.
Whereas the dance movies had been a hit, the best way we executed this marketing campaign didn’t align with how individuals eat content material on TikTok. Within the run-up to the occasion, we launched a multi-part teaser video sequence that was created to be consumed consecutively. We realized that self-contained movies work higher on TikTok.
Why? Along with being tremendous fast-paced, TikTok isn’t a very chronological platform, so that you don’t know what is going to land in your viewers’s #fyp and when. Individuals would possibly see movies in your sequence out of order or solely see considered one of them, lacking out on necessary particulars from the opposite entries. Retaining your whole story in a single video provides you the most effective probability of guaranteeing your viewers sees the entire story—particularly if you happen to hold that one video as brief as doable.
@hootsuite 🚨NEW TREND ALERT🚨 get able to shake your tail feathers with these strikes 🤪 dc: @besperon & Owly #WheresOwly ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy
Prior to now, social media managers may sit behind the scenes, writing copy, creating graphics, and crunching numbers. With the arrival of TikTok (and comparable options like Instagram Reels), there’s a possibility for our roles to develop into extra well-rounded as we flex our inventive muscle mass.
Understanding the intricacies of video creation could be daunting at first. Not everyone seems to be comfy recording themselves or being on digicam, however with observe, it will get simpler.
For those who can, rent content material creators or discover individuals in your crew who’re genuinely enthusiastic about TikTok and revel in being in entrance of the digicam.
Our Social Advertising and marketing Coordinator and in-house TikTok aficionada Eileen Kwok is crushing it. Observe us on TikTok to see her strike the right steadiness between capitalizing on TikTok tendencies and offering useful evergreen recommendation and assist to our core viewers of social media managers.
@hootsuitehootsuite all the time saving me time 😍♬ original sound – Hootsuite
When entrepreneurs consider video creation, we usually consider expensive or time-consuming manufacturing that eats up a TON of finances and assets.
TikTok doesn’t want that high-production content material. In truth, genuine, unpolished low-production movies resonate significantly better with TikTok customers.
TikTok has its personal language and elegance. You may present your viewers that you just perceive the platform by studying how finest to speak on it. Watch how different manufacturers do it by studying the feedback sections or learn our TikTok Culture Guide for suggestions.
The remark part of TikTok movies is an thrilling (and surprisingly constructive) place. Many customers truly go on to the feedback earlier than watching the complete video to see what others are saying about it. (The feedback are additionally an important place to discover ways to converse TikTok.)
We began proactively commenting on different manufacturers’ accounts and a few of our feedback acquired hundreds of likes, which introduced tons of visitors to our account.
Leaning into completely different TikTok tendencies is the simplest solution to construct your followers. So if you happen to discover a pattern that fits your model, don’t waste time over-thinking content material manufacturing.
Act quick or the pattern would possibly go you by. (Tip: For those who’re too late for a pattern on TikTok, don’t fear: You would possibly nonetheless be early on Instagram.)
A whole lot of TikTok humor is darkish and NSFW (not protected for work). Watch out which tendencies you hop on (and which songs you select for backing tracks).
Hold your viewers in thoughts always by asking your self if they might relate to or recognize your humor.
TikTok tendencies transfer FAST. Keep up-to-date with our TikTok Traits Publication. Signal as much as get the most recent updates, our suggestions on whether or not your small business ought to hop on them, inspo from manufacturers doing cool issues on TikTok, and scorching suggestions.