Nowadays, TikTok marketing (and social media marketing in general) have become essential for the success of most businesses. With 4.4 billion people using social media, not utilizing social media marketing and TikTok for business means you won’t be reaching a huge portion of your potential customers.
But simply being on social media isn’t enough in itself — having an TikTok account doesn’t instantly bring you success. To really harness the power of social media, you need to ensure that you’re using it well.
Here, we’re going to cover 5 mistakes that can sink your TikTok efforts faster than you can say #TikTok.
Keep reading for a solid idea of what you should, and perhaps more importantly, shouldn’t be doing on TikTok.
Mistake #1: Not Partnering With TikTok Influencers
Influencer marketing is a strategy that started on Instagram but has made its way onto other platforms as well, especially TikTok.
In short, influencer marketing is when a brand reaches out to someone with a large social media following and asks them to post about its product. Not only will the brand extend its reach to the influencer’s followers, but the audience will also more likely view it akin to a recommendation from a friend.
TikTok influencers are popular largely because people form what feels like a personal connection with them. So, when an influencer recommends a product, their followers are more likely to take the suggestion to heart and act on it than they would be if they simply saw a paid ad.
Plus, influencers are already social media experts, so you can be sure that they know from experience how to make a post a hit.
Influencer marketing is by far one of the most powerful ways to use TikTok for business. If you’re not already making use of it, you should be.
For many, the biggest barrier to getting involved with influencer marketing is simply finding the right influencer, connecting with them, and coming up with the funds for a sponsored post. It’s a common misconception that it’s impossible to connect with TikTok influencers, or that it will cost a ton of money.
Successfully using influencer marketing doesn’t necessarily mean reaching out to people with huge accounts. In fact, micro-influencers (influencers with smaller followings) can be even more effective and much more approachable and affordable.
To find influencers to partner with, you can use tools like Influence Grid, which suggest influencers based on your niche and other criteria.
Mistake #2: Coming Across As Too Professional
Many business owners think that since they’re a professional, they need to ensure that all their communications are as dry and business-like as a terms and conditions agreement.
The reality, however, is that coming across overly professional can actually hurt your marketing efforts by making you appear unapproachable, unrelatable, and, quite frankly, boring.
TikTok is a social network. It’s designed to be a place where people can connect with each other. For your marketing efforts to succeed, you need to be approachable enough that people actually engage with your posts by commenting on and liking them.
Engagement is one of the factors that TikTok’s algorithm takes into account when deciding what content to display, so if your content doesn’t make people want to engage with you, your reach is going to suffer in a big way.
On an even more basic level, people on TikTok want to see who you and your business really are. They want to see a behind-the-scenes look at your brand’s personality, values, and how things work at your business.
So, drop the professionalism and let your hair down a little. Acting like a big fancy business person isn’t going to win you any followers, so it’s best to open up a bit before you turn off any potential customers. Silliness and emojis are your friends.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Trends
On social media, trends are kind of like waves. If you spot a good one, you should get your surfboard ready and ride the wave.
This is especially true when using TikTok for business, because trends are the easiest way to go viral on social media. When a hashtag challenge is trending, it’s easy to make a post using that hashtag and reach the millions of people that are likely searching for or following that hashtag right now.
But trends aren’t just limited to hashtags. There are also duet trends, in which you would react and respond to the same TikTok, and sound trends, in which you would use a popular song as your background music.
However, just because you’re following a trend doesn’t mean you can’t be unique. The key is to show off your brand’s unique personality within the constraints of the trend. So, don’t be afraid to get out there, have fun, and experiment a bit with your content. Doing something different and creative is the best way to get noticed within a trend.
Here’s an example of a song that was trending this year (“Say So” by Doja Cat):
And here’s an example of the #Blindinglightschallenge:
Mistake #4: Posting Offensive Content
This one should really go without saying, but everyone can always use a little reminder now and then. To put this simply: don’t post content that’s blatantly offensive. That means steer clear of any racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory content.
The tough part of this, however, is realizing when content could be offensive even when it’s not immediately obvious. TikTok is very quick to “cancel” users that post offensive content, so you need to be careful with what you post.
Case in point, TikToker Charli D’Amelio recently lost over one million followers after she made a scene when her private chef cooked her up a paella that included a snail. Her followers found her reaction both disrespectful to her chef and to Spanish culture and showed their distaste for the antics by unfollowing her.
Obviously, you don’t want this to happen to you. To avoid this, make sure you do some research on what your audience will likely find offensive. TikTok is largely made up of Gen Z, so look into trends among them to get a better idea of what will fly and what won’t.
As a general rule of thumb: if you can imagine someone getting offended by what you’re posting, then it’s best to avoid it entirely. Play it safe. This is not the area in which you should be taking risks.
Mistake #5: Not Choosing A Niche
There’s a place for jacks of all trades and a place for specialists. For the most part, TikTok is a place for specialists.
It’s important to choose a niche for your content because it will help your followers know what to expect from you. If you post extremely diverse content, someone might follow you because they liked one video you made only to find that their feed is cluttered by all your other videos that they have no interest in.
Similarly, if you followed an account that posts about cars, only to find that all the posts in your feed are actually about raising moose, you would probably unfollow it.
To avoid this problem, make sure you understand who your target audience is and always cater your content to them. Just like you can recognize a great band or musician even if you’ve never heard a particular song before, you want to have a recognizable voice on TikTok so that people can immediately tell who’s posting even if they can’t see your face or your brand immediately.
Avoid Mistakes And Find Success On TikTok
All in all, the rules for engagement are fairly simple, but they can take quite a while to master.
The key to success in TikTok for business really comes down to being honest, communicating and connecting with others, being nice to people, and finding a way to define your identity and stand out from the pack.
In short, don’t overthink your TikTok strategy too much. Instead, try to be yourself, relax, and have fun with the platform. TikTok isn’t LinkedIn, so make sure that no matter what you’re posting, your audience will be able to enjoy it.
Smiles are some of the most valuable things in the world. If you can bring some to your audience, you’re already ahead of the game.