Learning how to use TikTok for business can level up your marketing strategy. The platform is home to over 1.5 billion users of all ages.

But surprisingly, only 26% of marketers are currently using TikTok. Considering the massive user base and engagement rates the platform offers, there’s a huge opportunity for brands to capitalize on this untapped potential.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use TikTok for business. Follow the steps below to learn how to set up your account, develop a TikTok marketing content strategy, run ads, track performance and more.

Why you should use TikTok for business

Contrary to popular belief, TikTok has a very diverse user base. It’s not just Gen Z making funny dance videos. You also have millennials and older age groups using the platform daily for entertainment, catching up on the latest news or finding new products.

In fact, recent data shows nearly 50% of TikTok users are between 25 and 44 years old. Chances are your target audience sits nicely somewhere within that range.

Additionally, here are some specific benefits of using TikTok for business:

Increase brand awareness

TikTok offers multiple ways to spread the word about your brand. You can work with influencers, run various types of ads and use features like hashtags and branded stickers to put your brand in the spotlight. Also, if you create entertaining and unique content, your videos have a high potential to go viral.

Promote products

The best thing about TikTok marketing is it doesn’t feel like marketing. There are plenty of ways to promote your products without coming across as pushy, such as by partnering with influencers that your audience trusts, creating genuinely helpful and entertaining videos, and more.

Grow your audience

TikTok has millions of users distributed across the globe. It’s one of the best platforms to reach an international audience and grow your customer base. Plus, there’s always the added benefit of reaching exclusive TikTok users who don’t actively use any other social platforms.

Attract new customers

TikTok is all about creating authentic, engaging content that feels human and personal. This helps you build strong relationships with your audience and increases the chances of them converting into customers. Plus, if you hop on the right trend at the right time (or even better, start a trend) you may end up acquiring a lot of new customers.

Now that we’ve covered why you need to take your business on TikTok, let’s look at how you can use the platform to its maximum potential.

11 steps for using TikTok for business

Ready to start using TikTok for business? It’s competitive out there—you need to be smart and do your homework before you start sharing videos. Follow the steps below to start using TikTok for business and boost your chances of succeeding on the platform.

Step 1. Create a TikTok business account

The first step is to decide which type of TikTok account you want to create. You have three options—business, creator and individual. For brands, a TikTok business account is ideal.

A business account gives you access to TikTok’s entire suite of marketing tools, including analytics, ads, commercial audio and other resources. You’re also able to set up a TikTok store and connect to third-party apps like Sprout Social to manage your content.

Here’s how to create a TikTok business account:

  • Download the TikTok app on your phone and create a new account.
  • Open your profile and tap on the hamburger menu in the top right corner.
  • Navigate to Settings and privacy → Manage account.
  • Tap on Switch to Business Account.
  • Choose the category that best describes your business.

Next, optimize your profile so it aligns with your brand identity, pops up in search, and makes your account look professional and legit. Add a high-quality logo as your profile picture, enter your business name and username, and create a short, compelling bio.

Finally, add your URL and social media accounts, such as Instagram and YouTube. Depending on your strategic goals, you could link out to your website’s homepage or pick a specific landing page or blog. Here’s a snapshot of Samsung’s TikTok profile as an example:

Samsung's TikTok account

Step 2. Get verified on TikTok

Getting verified on TikTok adds a blue checkmark next to your account name. This shows TikTok has confirmed your account is authentic and belongs to a notable business.

Canva's TikTok profile with a verified badge

A verified badge helps build trust and credibility with your audience. It also protects you from fake accounts trying to impersonate your brand by marking your profile as the original one.

To get verified, your account needs to meet certain criteria. This includes:

  • Having logged in within the last 6 months
  • Having a complete profile with at least one video
  • Following TikTok’s community guidelines and terms of service
  • Having 2-step verification turned on

You can apply through TikTok’s verification request form by providing proof of identity and popularity, such as a business email and media coverage.

Step 3. Define your goals

What do you want to achieve on TikTok? Maybe it’s increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website or boosting product sales. Whatever it is, having clear and meaningful goals will help guide your content creation and overall TikTok marketing strategy.

Break down your main goal into SMART targets. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, you could set targets like:

  • Gain 10,000 new followers within the next 3 months.
  • Hit 500,000 video views across all TikTok content in the next quarter.
  • Get 75,000 profile views within the next 6 months.

Once you’ve set your social media KPIs, you can create content that aligns with them and track your progress. But before that, there’s one more thing you need to do.

Step 4. Identify your target audience

To succeed on TikTok, you need to create content for the right audience. Think about who your ideal customer is, what they like and how they behave on the platform.

Start by looking at your current customers and identify common traits like age, gender, location and interests. Then, check out your competitors and see who they’re targeting on TikTok.

Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, dive into the platform and see what content they engage with, what hashtags they use, and which creators or brands they follow.

Use this info to create personas that represent your ideal TikTok followers. This will make it easier to craft your content strategy around what they like to boost engagement and grow your following (more on this in the next section.)

Step 5. Develop a TikTok content strategy

Now on to the meaty part—creating engaging content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. But that can’t happen without a proper roadmap in place. In other words, you need a TikTok content strategy.

Here are a few things to consider when crafting a TikTok content strategy for your brand:

  • Learn from the crowd: Before you start pushing out content, familiarize yourself with the platform. Get comfortable with all the features and buttons, check out popular creators in your niche, study your competitors and understand the language your audience is speaking on the platform (e.g. humor or use of emojis.)
  • Hop on trends and challenges: TikTok trends are always changing. Brands crushing it on the platform know exactly when to jump on the bandwagon. Look up trending hashtags, music, challenges and content formats, and put your own creative twist on them. Crocs does this well:
An example of Crocs creating trending TikTok content
  • Keep it authentic: Avoid creating overly formal or scripted videos. Adapt to TikTok’s raw, playful and entertaining vibe by showing the human side of your business. Take your audience behind the scenes or feature your employees and office pets. You don’t need fancy equipment to create engaging TikToks either—just good ideas and lighting.
  • Leverage TikTok’s video editing tools: Don’t just post plain videos—take advantage of TikTok’s creative editing tools to make your content pop. Play around with eye-catching transitions, effects and filters to give your videos that extra oomph. Use trending music to make your content more engaging and subtitles for added accessibility.
  • Decide when and how often to post: Monitor your audience’s behavior to determine the best times and days to post for maximum engagement. What times are they online? Which days of the week do they use TikTok the most? Use this data to create a content calendar and schedule posts for when they have the biggest initial impact.

Step 6. Learn the TikTok algorithm

Mastering TikTok requires a deep understanding of how the algorithm works. This will help you create content that ranks higher in user feeds as well as on the Explore and For You pages.

First, know that TikTok’s algorithm recommends content tailored to each user’s interest. But you’re competing with millions of videos and there’s only space for a handful of them on the For You page. So, how does TikTok decide which videos get more exposure?

Here are the factors the platform’s algorithm considers when ranking content:

  • Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, completion rate and favorited videos—all of this helps TikTok understand what kind of content your audience likes to engage with.
  • User interactions: TikTok considers the accounts each user follows and the content they create to understand their unique preferences.
  • Video information: The captions, hashtags and sounds on your videos help TikTok categorize your content and determine when to show it and to whom.
  • Device and account settings: Language preferences, device type and country settings also play a role in which users see your videos on their For You pages.

Knowing these factors can help you create content that’s more likely to rank in front of the right people. Also, TikTok’s algorithm does not recommend the following types of content:

  • Duplicate and spam content
  • Content users have already seen
  • Potentially offensive or dangerous content
  • Videos that have just been uploaded or are under review

TikTok’s algorithm does not consider factors like follower count or previous high-performing videos when recommending content. This means even if your business is new on the platform, your videos are just as likely to rank as those posted by popular accounts.

Step 7. Master TikTok SEO

Want to make your videos easier to find? Optimize various aspects of your content so it ranks higher for relevant search queries. Here are some tips to nail TikTok SEO:

  • Find and use the right keywords: Research relevant and popular keywords in your niche to find what your audience is searching for. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your video titles, descriptions and captions. This helps TikTok understand what your content is about and show it to users searching for those specific topics.
  • Hop on trends, challenges and hashtags: Creating content around current trends and challenges can boost your visibility on TikTok, especially when a trend is new and there are fewer videos to compete with. Also, use relevant and keyword-rich TikTok hashtags so your content is easily categorized and searchable.
  • Create high-quality content: Videos that are engaging, informative and entertaining automatically get more engagement. This shows TikTok your content deserves more exposure and boosts your overall visibility and ranking on the platform. Along with providing value, grab attention in the first few seconds with captions, hooks, high-res visuals, good lighting, clear audio, and creative editing and transitions.
  • Engage with your audience: Staying active on the platform can increase your search rankings, visibility and brand awareness. Regularly engage with the TikTok community by liking and commenting on posts, hosting live sessions, responding to comments and DMs, asking questions and starting conversations.

Step 8. Leverage TikTok ads effectively

Businesses can run different types of TikTok ads that blend in seamlessly with the rest of the content on the platform. Ads can boost your marketing strategy on the platform by widening your reach and driving more targeted traffic to your website.

A TikTok video ad by Sephora

For example, you can promote organic posts using Spark ads or partner with creators to produce sponsored influencer content. Or, tap into more traditional ad formats like in-feed, carousel, TopView and brand takeover ads.

Step 9. Collaborate with TikTok influencers

TikTok is a haven for brands looking into influencer marketing. There are countless influencers of all levels on the platform—from mega influencers with millions of followers to nano influencers with a few thousand fans.

For instance, nutrition brand Tropeaka partners with lifestyle influencers like Sopha Dopha (@sophadopha) who help create video content for the brand. Here’s an example:

An example of influencer marketing on TikTok by Tropeaka and Sopha Dopha

Working with influencers can help you attract new audiences and build a credible brand image by reaching out through someone they trust. Below are some tips for maximizing your TikTok influencer marketing campaigns:

  • Find the right influencers to work with: Look for influencers that align with your brand voice. Also, consider whether to pursue large influencers or smaller ones. Larger influencers offer more reach but are expensive. Smaller influencers are more affordable, and while they offer less reach, they often have a loyal, highly engaged following. Depending on your goals, the influencers you engage may differ, which brings us to the next point.
  • Have clear goals in mind: Partnering with influencers without clear objectives can be a waste of resources for both parties. You need to know exactly what you hope to achieve out of this collaboration and communicate it to the influencer so they know what to do. Is it brand awareness? Is it an increase in followers or a certain number of sales?
  • Don’t be too controlling: Once you’ve communicated the end goal to the influencer, don’t try to take over every aspect of the campaign. Outline points you want them to cover but let them have their creative freedom and do things “their way.” Not only will this improve your relationship with the influencer, it will also make your brand look more credible and authentic.
  • Measure and analyze results: Track the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns both during and after the execution phase. Know whether your outlined goals and objectives have been met, or whether you need to pivot in any way.

If done right, influencer collaborations on TikTok can be highly rewarding for your brand. Use an influencer marketing tool to choose the right partners and work closely with them during the planning and strategizing to see impactful results.

Don’t forget—they are experts at what they do, and might be able to bring a lot of great ideas or valid concerns to the table that you’d have otherwise missed.

Step 10. Learn and grow from your TikTok analytics

TikTok analytics refers to all the data on your profile, content and audience that helps you track the performance of your videos, learn about your followers and make strategic decisions.

TikTok can be very competitive, but a data-driven approach can help your business stand out and drive targeted results on the platform. Here are some key metrics to look out for:

  • Video views, play time and completion rates
  • Traffic sources (e.g., For You page, hashtags, sounds)
  • Likes, comments, shares and profile visits
  • Follower growth and peak activity times
  • Audience demographics like age, gender and location
  • Song uses, link clicks and video downloads

Compare the performance of different video types, formats, lengths and distribution tactics to identify what resonates best with your target audience. Look for patterns and trends in your data to guide your content creation and posting schedule.

Tools like Sprout Social can help you dive deeper into your TikTok analytics. Along with tracking your own performance, you can view competitor reports to compare metrics, set realistic goals and improve your TikTok strategy.

Sprout - TikTok profiles report

Step 11. Use a TikTok tool to boost your efficiency

Using TikTok tools can help your business create and manage scalable video campaigns, track mountains of data and essentially do more in less time.

There are tons of TikTok tools out there for editing videos, scheduling posts, tracking performance, running ads and engaging with your audience. Luckily, Sprout Social’s all-in-one social media management platform lets you do all of that in one place.

The Sprout Social calendar's monthly view where you can easily schedule and see posts across all of your platforms

Here are some of Sprout’s top features for TikTok marketers:

  • Smart Inbox: Capture and organize incoming messages across multiple platforms to always stay updated and respond to followers quickly.
  • Premium analytics: Measure the performance of your content, track website traffic and follower growth, and analyze detailed audience demographics and behavior.
  • Competitor reports: Compare metrics with those of your competitors to see how you stack up and set goals for future performance.
  • Post scheduling: Set up a content calendar and access tagging, captioning and other features to schedule and publish posts on TikTok and other platforms.
  • Optimal send times: Sprout analyzes your TikTok account to determine the best time to post for peak engagement and interaction.

Reach new audiences and grow your business with TikTok

TikTok is one of the fastest growing platforms of our time. If you’re still not using it for your business, you’re missing out on tons of potential brand awareness, revenue and engagement. Follow the steps in this article to get started on TikTok on the right foot.

Amplify your TikTok marketing strategy with the right tool. Sprout Social’s powerful social media management platform can help you engage with your audience, schedule posts and analyze performance all in one place—and not just on TikTok. Start a free 30-day trial now and take Sprout for a test drive.

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