TikTok has taken the world by storm — and not just because of teenagers. Sure, the overwhelming demographic on the app are Gen Z, and TikTok dances are still very much a prevalent type of content, but TikTok also grants an immeasurable amount of exposure to its creators: exposure that can do wonders for your business, your other social pages, or your email list.
Just ask Elizabeth Prairie. She’s no stranger to the world of social media, and that’s why her recommendation to take advantage of TikTok’s algorithm as soon as possible is credible. As the owner and creative director of the digital marketing agency Social Static, she’s witnessed firsthand how challenging it can be to generate organic exposure on the other social media platforms — a contrast that makes the ease of TikTok’s growth capacity a once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunity.
“As audiences are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Instagram algorithm no one can crack, the lack of engagement and attention on the platform is driving people to new places. That place is Tik Tok,” she shared with me. We talked through her top five growth hacks to make TikTok work for you and your business – no dances required.
1. Be Authentically You & Find Your Audience
At first, you may feel that you need to post hilarious or dancing videos to immerse yourself in the status quo TikTok culture. But, there’s a niche for everything on the platform – education, entertainment, inspiration, travel, parenthood, and more.
“TikTok is all about being genuine, it’s about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. Users will recognize this and be more likely to press follow or like,” shared Prairie. Unlike most of your content platforms, your content can (and should be!) fun and playful. Show your personality through your videos, and let your audience get to know you in ways you don’t usually show through a photo grid on Instagram.
2. Utilize Hashtags
We’ve all heard the advice to utilize hashtags — but hashtags are a whole new ball game on TikTok, as opposed to Instagram or Twitter. “Use hashtags and keywords related to the video in your post to be seen by more people who engage with that type of content,” advised Prairie. Using a hashtag doesn’t just mean you’ll get on that hashtag’s page — it’s how the TikTok algorithm knows who to show your content to.
So, if you’re posting personal finance tips, using a hashtag like #personalfinance will get your video in front of the eyeballs of your perfectly curated target audience: users who have already engaged with related videos in the past. This is one of the major reasons that the exposure pays off, and turns to organic growth.
3. Access Your Analytics
Every TikTok user has the option to upgrade their account to a Pro Account, which is totally free to do. “The Pro Account will allow you to find your analytics and strategize against them. You will find your audience demographic information, most active times on the platform, even the songs your followers listened to along with other key information,” explained Prairie.
These analytics can be used to help you fine tune or amp up your content strategy in accordance with what your followers are enjoying most so that you’re in a better position to go viral or attract more exposure. As video watch time is a major factor in the algorithm (the longer a viewer watches your video, the better), many creators benefit from learning the average watch time of their past content, then taking that data into consideration to create more bait-worthy videos moving forward.
4. Optimize Your Bio
TikTok’s other hidden gem is its ability to promote your other sites and social media platforms. On every creator’s profile, an “Instagram” icon is present, which automatically links to your Instagram. A web link is allowed, too. This creates a funnel-like opportunity on TikTok: a video of you sharing sales tips could go viral, and as viewers visit your profile, they could follow you on Instagram and go to your site to purchase your sales course, too.
Prairie advises to optimize your bio to take full advantage of these features. “Drive traffic directly to your products or services, and include a call to action to prompt users for a higher chance of a conversion,” she encourages. Since your content will speak for itself, you don’t have to go into the amount of detail you’re accustomed to from your Instagram or Twitter bios. Use the limited space as a call to action, and let the embedded links do the rest.
5. Find What’s Trending On The Platform
TikTok is an app that’s self-generated by trending content. It’s possible to open the app and watch six videos in ten minutes that all feature the same, trending song. When something is trending, the best way to use that advantage is to jump on the trend and ride the wave. “Find trending hashtags through the discovery page, create content around those topics, and use the hashtag. Utilizing the trending songs section may also increase your chance of your video being viewed,” shared Prairie.
Other content creators like Gary Vaynerchuk are also encouraging a move to TikTok for explosive organic growth and reach. With an opportunity like this, Prairie urges that a ‘first mover advantage’ is paramount. It may have been the most downloaded app in Q1 of this year (surpassing the highest number of downloads for any app per quarter, according to TechCrunch), but many users are just viewers. Be among the first wave of creators, and watch your organic audience soar.