How to Use TikTok for Business?

Jul 7, 2020
13 min read

Tiktok is one of the newest social media trends with Google Play and App Store downloads ranging around 1.5 billion, including more than 96 million in the United States. It has more than 500 million users and consists of 15 seconds and 60 seconds live recorded video clips that you can edit and also integrate with other major social players. Brands tend to engage with users in TikTok through the short, bite-sized videos. Many brands have switched to TikTok accounts for exploring and engaging with consumers, from celebrities, influencers to politicians.

What Is TikTok?

Tiktok is a Chinese video sharing platform that is owned by Byte Dance, which is a Beijing based internet technology organization founded by Zhang Ying in 2012. Tiktok was later launched in 2017 outside of china for the android and iOS markets the after merging with it became available in the U.S.

What Can You Do On TikTok?

You can watch and create comedy, talent videos, lip-sync, and short dance videos in TikTok. You can add music. Tiktok edges out the other social apps here; you can add, discover, save, and remix sounds and songs via videos or playlists as it has an extensive music library, and it's integrated with apple music.

You can interact by following the accounts you like, give gifts and hearts, share or comment on the videos you enjoy. Sounds, effects, hashtags, and videos can be added to the favorite section of the user.

You can explore different profiles. A TikTok profile shows a tally of followers, follows, and the total number of hearts a particular user has received.

You can discover through hashtags on the discover feed, but you can also search for users, sound effects, videos, and keywords.

You can spend virtual coins that can be used to give virtual TikTok gifts on TikTok. Users can buy them and convert them to emojis or diamonds. They then use the diamonds for a cash exchange.

Creating Your Profile

Just like the other platforms, first, you’ll need to cover all the basics of proper TikTok accounts. You can use these ideas for a good start:

Use a Friendly Profile Picture

This is even common in other social networks. You need a remarkable, clear, and unique profile picture. Consider showing yourself in the friendliest way possible and stand out by using bright colors. Furthermore, in TikTok, instead of using a photo, you can use a video that is even more outstanding.

Profile Description

An outstanding profile description is essential to convert visitors to followers and customers as well. Be clear, unique, and standout in communicating what you deliver and what you are. Ensure also that the description indicates the type of content your audience should expect.

If not knowing how to go about it, you can get some fresh ideas from the bios of some creators. You can also put a call to action button in your description. This is aimed at directing your audience to your products or website.

Finding Friends

The first thing you would like to do as a new TikTok user is to add a good number of followers. Just like Instagram, other users can follow your account, and on the other hand, you can follow back or decide not to. Set your profile to the public and consistently produce video content, although you can still add friends without any content.

Creating Your first TikTok

Here are the steps on how to create your first TikTok video; in-app recording, using effects, and editing your first TikToks for business.

Understand the TikTok Interface

For the new TikTok users, you need a walk-through start of the app’s interface. After opening the app, you will see feeds side by side; the “For You” page that includes content that may go viral very soon, brand new content, and most popular content; the following feed, where you will find the TikTok content you have followed.

Following accounts of businesses, influencers, and brands are one way of getting started with TikTok in a similar niche but not necessarily competitors.

Record Your First Video

Have you seen the “+” at the bottom of your screen? Proceed by tapping that button to get started in creating your first video. You can select at the bottom of the screen whether to record 15- or 60-seconds videos.  It’s recommended you start with the shorter 15-seconds video clips before jumping to the longer ones (60 seconds).

Incorporate Visual Effects

Most of the TikTok magic happens in the “effects” area. After tapping the effects icon, a variety of effects pops up from which you can choose from, such as the green effect, the shake effect, and the clones which back up your every move just standing behind you.

Choose Music or Audio Clips (sounds)

The sound option is at the top of the screen. Add audio clip or music to your video by clicking this icon. You can browse through playlists, search for sounds, or choose from the TikTok's recommended music in the sounds library.

You can also record your sound when recording your videos. This is done while recording by tapping and long-pressing the big red button.

Add Text Overlay

You can add stickers and text when reviewing your videos in the playback mode, which adds to the narrative of your videos. Add text by tapping the text icon at the bottom of the screen then type the text. You can resize and drag it to a different position on the screen by clicking it off and pinching it.

Create a Caption for Your TikTok Video

After getting satisfied with your created TikTok video, tap next to navigate to the screen of creating your post. Here, you can add a cover image, hashtags, and the caption. The caption option has a limit of 150 characters, including all the added hashtags. Use the desired keywords to publish your video to the desired audience and make sure you proofread the text thoroughly because you cannot go back and edit it once published.

Using Hashtags

Use hashtags that are niched-down mostly for discoverability improvement. Its easier to get niche hashtags from the TikTok's auto-populated hashtag bunches. You can add some keywords for more niche-close hashtags.

It’s recommended to stay at the 5-6 figure search hashtag counts. Do not jump to the million hashtags before your videos begin performing consistently. For instance, a hashtag with 10, 000 views can be perfect if you’re building your TikTok account from scratch.

Select Cover Image

Go for an image with action to pick the viewers' interests.

Post the Video To TikTok and the Other Platforms

It’s easy to cross-post your video to the other social platforms for cross-pollination and organic boost between platforms. There is an option to share your video to Instagram or via text messaging at the bottom of your post screen.

You can now publish your post or save it as a draft after filling everything about the post. Make sure to review your TikTok analytics once you’ve started posting to discover what isn’t working and what’s working for you.

Creating a Following

It is relatively easy to garner followers on TikTok if you understand whatever you are up-to. You may have read some blogs and watched some YouTube tutorials on various methods to get followers, but here are some of the best ways to gain a favorable following on TikTok.

Be Niche-Specific

Not everyone succeeds in TikTok. Many people are unsuccessful due to the failure of choosing a specific niche. You go for what you’re interested in when figuring out the niche to go with. It will be somehow tricky to succeed when you’re not passionate about your chosen niche. People should be interested in your niche for them to follow you.

Upload Videos Daily

Post often enough for the other TikTok users to find your content. People following your account expect to see much content. Have a schedule of posting. You will lose followers when you fail to post for months.

Post Original Content

Posting the common videos, just like everyone else, won’t help in growing your followers. Find a way of making yourself to be unique; the way you act, what you wear, what you perform etc. garner followers by injecting that unique personality into every video.

Tiktok and trends are just one thing! Add the latest songs in your videos by scrolling through the For You section in search of a song you would like to incorporate in your video. If you find one incorporated by another user, identify it by clicking the vinyl record icon at the screen corner. Learn the inner functions of TikTok if not familiar with how TikTok works.

Perform Duets

This is another excellent way of expanding your fan-base in TikTok and boosting your videos in reaching new audiences. The duet function allows you to collaborate and perform with another TikTok user without having to meet them.

Follow Others

Expand your network by merely following other TikTok users. After following enough users, you'll get an increase in the number of your followers. Moreover, when you follow somebody, there are prompted to visit your profile.

Use Professional Videos

Improve your camera skills and learn some photography basics for your videos to be famous in TikTok. Shoot professionally looking videos even if you’re using just your smartphone. Move to a quieter place or remove any distractions around your location before you start recording your video.

In Tiktok, you need to use hashtags for signifying the trendiest topics. Your content should be unique, but you can also participate in TikTok trends and challenges creatively. Be creative and make particular trending topics distinct from the rest, post it, and see your followers increasing!

Monetizing Your Following

As you become better known on TikTok, brands with business propositions will begin to approach you. You are suitable to monetize on TikTok after gaining thousands of followers.

Tiktok Ads Platforms

Tiktok monetizes majorly through sponsored marketing and ads (if done via alliance or partnerships). A user can earn after getting sponsorship opportunities from given brands, and this is possible if you’ve got a ton of followers on TikTok. To be considered for sponsorship, followers are just the basic.

Influencing and Promoting Brands

Depending on the person’s level of influence, companies tend to pay between $200 and $20,000 on a single branded video promoted by an influencer.

Other TikTokers earn money on the platform from the reputation they build on TikTok. They can appear at events of brands as comicons or beautycons. You get paid when you represent them at those brand supported platforms. For instance, if you’re in the music niche, the brand grants you a chance to perform live.

Cross-promotion on Other Social Platforms

Many influencers are not necessarily on one social media platform. They tend to operate mostly successful on other accounts as well. Some TikTokers also have successful YouTube accounts as it's video-based. This builds up the cross-promotion opportunities. For instance, you can come up with TikTok video highlights which are on YouTube, but make sure you add YouTube advertising at the front.

Selling Merchandise

Selling merchandise is another way of earning on TikTok. You can create a Shopify eCommerce store when you establish a large enough support base on TikTok, where you can sell your merchandise to your audience.

TikTok Business Stories

Creating videos that appeal to TikTok demographics is a valuable tool for your business. This platform is deemed as a place where a brand shows its real side. One of the great marketing strategies is authenticity. You can shine if you utilize the sophisticated editing tools of TikTok.

Several business brands are hitting it at getting their audiences involved.


This is a famous Mexican restaurant with more than 600k fans in TikTok.

They tend to use memes and music to highlight their menu items in their published posts. Chipotle created a trending hashtag, #ChipotleLidFlip.

Fans, on the other hand, showcased their abilities to flip the lid without using hands onto their bowls. This challenge was then launched by the business to promote their free delivery – Cinco De Mayo deal.


Gymshark tends to post a lot of educational content such as workout video clips rather than video posts of individuals showing off their gym outfits. This now directly speaks to their target audiences, fitness enthusiasts. Gymshark has garnered more than 1.8 million followers, with more than 27 million likes.

Flexibility tests, inspirational stories, challenges, and box training are also included in their TikToks. Generally, their fans are most interested in staying motivated all through their fitness processes and getting to know about new workouts.


This popular footwear brand creates content, including challenges and ads. #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge is one of the popular seen examples. Post Malone lyric inspired this campaign leading to a collaboration of the company with this artist and sold out immediately.

Fans started posting what they thought their crocs would look like if priced at a thousand dollars. This resulted in the company gaining an 18% boost in its followers.

How To Advertise On TikTok

Tiktok poses an excellent opportunity to advertisers with the 500+ million worldwide users. Big companies like Grubhub, Disney, and Nike have swiftly managed to advertise on TikTok to create huge impressions. Smaller businesses may not be favored by TikTok advertising because the ads on the platform come at a huge premium cost.

Here is how to get started if you think ads on TikTok are worth investing in to grow your business.

Sign Up For a TikTok Ads Account

You need to visit the TikTok ads home page to begin creating ad campaigns. Tap the create tab.

A form will pop up requesting your info for setting up your account. Submit the form after filling the details and wait for a representative to get in touch with you. It takes 48 hours or less for your account to be set up.

Create TikTok Ads Campaigns

Tap the campaign tab at the TikTok's dashboard on the page top and then tap the create button.

Then, choose the campaign objective which serves as the primary goal of the ad. Under settings, you can choose either total or daily budget to set the budget at the campaign level. Both budgets must be at least $500.

Set the TikTok Ad Details, Targeting, and Placements

Proceed to create an ad group for the campaign and then choose targeting and placements.

The TikTok ads dashboard will let you select particular platforms where you would like to run your ads such as news republic, Vigo video, and buzz video.

Tiktok also has an automatic placement where it will determine where the ad will perform best, and then it places the ad there.

Continue to enter all the necessary details for your ad to start running, e.g., images, display names, categories, URLs, etc.

In targeting, you get to select the preferred audience for the ad. This lets you attract the right audience for the ads by setting parameters for age, languages, gender, devices, and location.

Control the TikTok Ad Goals, Spend, and Duration

At this stage, you are now ready to select your preferred budget, goal, and a schedule for your ads. Create a budget for the ad group by choosing either a daily or a total budget for your ad.

At the ad group level, there is a minimum of $50 minimum budget for both plans. You should also select the scheduled duration for running the ads.

Choose your optimization goal. Optimization goals reflect the key metrics you hope to achieve with the ad campaign. Optimization can be for clicks, conversions, or impressions.

The smart optimization allows your bid to be optimized and continuously adjusted to increase the conversions. When you choose your impression or click, its recommended you switch the smart optimization off.

Use the TikTok's Video Creation Kit to Design Your Ad

Designing your ads is relatively straightforward as they can just be vertical, horizontal, or square images and videos. This video creation kit comes with ad types such as in-feed ads, hashtags, challenges, and brand takeovers.

The in-feed ads redirect you to the product app or website, and they are placed in the feed or at the bottom of the organic TikTok videos. The brand takeovers appear mostly when a user opens TikTok and is redirected to external or internal links. The hashtag challenges allow TikTok users to share content on behalf of your brand.

TikTok is just about creativity, and with its large follower base can be a correct platform for you and your business. There are various ways through which you can earn money through the app and can be successful. All you need are good content and quality followers.