Brand Reputation

Best practices for brands on TikTok

TikTok, being one of the fastest growing social media platforms, is currently the hot topic among both small companies and large corporations. Brands are drawn to the platform because of its young user base, which is otherwise difficult to reach. After all, younger generations are innately hostile towards “corporate” language — and most attempts at advertising towards them.

Still, the heyday of phenomena such as “genre-savvy,” “cool” or “woke” brands on other platforms such as Twitter seems to be behind us. The interest in a new platform, however, needs to be matched by new methods of engagement. If edgy, insular Twitter language doesn’t cut it anymore, what does?   

Brand strategies for TikTok success – best practices and examples


#1: Specializing content according to platform trends

No social media platform is truly for everyone – there is no one-size-fits-all formula for garnering engagement on social media. As such, some form of separation between types of content should be used for optimal results when utilizing multiple platforms. 

A good example of this practice would be the American NBA. The organization had already established itself on other platforms before the advent of TikTok. Capitalizing on the fast-paced, attention-grabbing character of viral content on TikTok, the NBA has relegated more long-form and ‘heavy’ content to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, focusing its TikTok presence on memes, reactions, and particularly ‘showy’ highlights. This strategy has paid off massively – as of May 2022, the NBA has over 15 million followers, making it one of the 5 most followed brands on TikTok.

@nba Big mood in Memphis tonight! 🔥 #NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel #nba #basketball ♬ original sound – NBA

#2: Following platform-wide trends in a brand-appropriate manner 

Going along with the various fads of today’s social media is considered to be a no-brainer for brand accounts. However, this is by no means a low-stakes matter – brand trend-chasing can – and often does – go wrong. While a particularly spectacular failure in that regard can still sometimes go viral, those looking for positive (and more reliable) attention should seek to emulate Duolingo’s campaign in Brazil. Presenting ingenious use of already present trends in a context-sensitive manner, Duolingo dedicated a part of its back-to-school season campaign to translating the meaning of popular hashtags, such as #fy, #trend, #stitch and #cringe. Following the campaign, Duolingo increased its follower count by a whopping 1400%.

#3: Skilled use of in-feed advertising, Branded Effects, and other brand-friendly platform features

TikTok comes with an array of functions that, when skillfully used, can elevate a brand to new heights of popularity. In-feed advertising (ads that mimic ‘real’ posts), Branded Effects (like filters, for example) and Duets enable brands to leverage user involvement to create truly memorable content.

One good example of such practices can be seen in content created by JIF. The company skillfully utilized the Duets, in-feed advertising and hashtag systems to create a viral campaign involving the rapper Ludacris.

@tiktokbrownchick #ad #duet with @ludacrisdtp didn’t know @jif peanut butter could give my flows this much ✨umph✨ y’all gotta try this out #JifRapChallenge ♬ #JifRapChallenge – Ludacris

Branded Effects have been used in a novel manner by Ford, enabling prospective car owners (or just curious onlookers) to visualize a virtual version of the company’s new Ford Maverick in their environment. The campaign ended up garnering Ford over 10 billion views – not bad for their first go at TikTok!

All in all, TikTok has been more than willing to accommodate brands and create a brand-friendly environment, giving them access to an otherwise elusive market. While TikTok’s goodwill can only get a brand so far, there is ample opportunity for prospective advertisers.  

Which neatly brings us to a little bit of good news from us — SentiOne recently launched TikTok integration. Interested in tracking trends and measuring the performance of your campaigns on TikTok? Contact us to schedule a demo today!