So, you registered a TikTok handle, but you’re not sure what to do with it? Lebo Moerane, Social and Digital Lead at VMLY&R South Africa and TikTok for Business Ambassador, explains how to get started. Dancing and lip syncing not required.
TikTok has come a long way since the increasingly more bizarre dance and fitness challenges it became known for during the pandemic – and brands are taking notice. But in the way a Capetonian approaches a social invitation… as in, “I’m interested, but I’m not ready to commit”. IYKYK. Here are seven rules of engagement to set you up for success. Now, you just need to put on your Joburg pants and go for it.
1/ Be relatable.
TikTok is a great example of consumer-centric content. Rather than getting bogged down by the typical marketing strategy of value propositions, messaging hierarchies and the like, just play. Bring your brand message across in a way that shows where you fit into culture.
2/ Use audio.
If you’ve ever tried to open TikTok sneakily during a meeting, you’ll know that it is a sound-on platform – and you will not make that mistake again. Sound is extremely important for TikTok – from voiceovers and text-to-speech to sound effects and music. Brands that don’t have the budgets to buy rights to a track can use original audio or remix trending audio.
3/ Be yourself.
Find what’s endemic to your brand and think of creative ways to bring it to life in your content.
4/ Be agile.
Trends get sparked on TikTok on a daily basis. And while a content calendar is important, it should not be so rigid that it doesn’t allow your brand to jump on a trend. Riding a trend gives your message momentum and makes your brand feel more relevant and connected to culture.
5/ Facilitate user-generated content.
When you create for TikTok, don’t create content to be shared; create content to be emulated. Give your audience the building blocks for creating their own content that has your brand front and centre. That could be a filter, a challenge, audio or anything else that sparks creativity.
6/ Embrace imperfection.
TikTok users aren’t looking for beautiful content – they’re looking for content that’s entertaining and relatable. Instead of creating high-end content and posting it to TikTok, use the native editing features within the app to create content that looks, feels and sounds like a TikTok.
7/ Use creators.
And not for their influence, but for their ability to produce content that’s fit for the platform. Creators were there first, and they know a lot more about how to make a successful TikTok than the brand manager who just logged on for the first time today. Collaborate with them to help you create content that feels right for the platform.
TikTok is a place where you can get inspired, create, be raw and be relatable. Embrace it. Don’t make ads, make TikToks.
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VMLY&R is a global brand and customer experience agency that harnesses creativity, technology, and culture to create connected brands. Made up of more than 11,000 employees worldwide, the agency has principal offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kansas City, New York, Detroit, London, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. VMLY&R works with client partners including Absa, BAT, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Nando’s, New Balance, Pfizer, Vodacom and Wendy's. For more information, visit www.vmlyr.com. VMLY&R is a WPP company (NYSE: WPP).