Even though TikTok has been a prominent app for a couple years now, it remains a platform that many content creators shy away from. With nearly 1.8 billion users, there are countless videos uploaded each day, across countless different topics, with viral “trends” popping up all the time.
In a digital landscape that is always changing, it can be tempting to “stick to what you know” when it comes to sharing your content on social media. We get it – it can be hard to learn new platforms, but TikTok simply has too many advantages that website owners must consider.
Let me briefly introduce why I’m writing on this topic to begin with (and why you can trust me!). As Ezoic’s Head of Social Strategies, I am responsible for managing our presence across 7+ platforms and always incorporating current industry best practices, so I stay very up-to-date on all things social media. But more than that, I am also a digital native who has grown up with all these social platforms. Something I frequently notice when I read industry pieces on emerging platforms is that they are out-of-touch with how my age group interacts with media. Consider this your lesson from a Gen-Z social media user who also has been a social media manager for 10+ brands over 4+ years.
In this article, I’ll break down how TikTok might work for your site, some basics you should know, and ways to use TikTok to drive traffic. We’ll walk through the following sections:
- What is TikTok and how do I use it?
- What are “TikTok trends” and how do I stay up-to-date on them?
- What should I post?
- Best practices for website owners on TikTok
What is TikTok and How Do I Use It?
TikTok is a video-driven social media platform that has grown in popularity immensely over the last few years. It has become the third largest social media platform on the planet, and users of all demographics are flocking there to learn and be entertained.
TikTok is unique in that your feed is extremely curated to you compared to other platforms. Whereas your Facebook is somewhere you’re likely connected to family members and coworkers, on your TikTok, you might just browse or follow popular creators and send those videos to your friends, as opposed to telling your community what is new with you through TikTok updates.
There are a couple key things to know about how TikTok works compared to other platforms:
- Content is extremely curated to the individual
- Content can spread easily to users you do not know
- TikTok “trends” and “audios” are the bread and butter of the app
One thing that makes TikTok unique, and particularly enticing for content creators, is the fact that anyone’s content could end up on anyone else’s “For You Page” (or “FYP”). Anyone’s content, regardless of how many followers they have, could blow up if enough users find it entertaining and engage with it.
In practice, this could mean that, if you focus on creating quality videos, you can end up on anyone’s feed. And not only that, but you could likely end up on the home feed of someone who is already primed and interested in the topics you post about, due to the curated nature of the app and the way its algorithm works.
What are “TikTok trends” and How Do I Stay Up-To-Date on Them?
Trends and audios are the way content spreads on this app. To a content creator not familiar with the app, this might be the biggest learning curve.
While you can post normal videos of you speaking, in formats that you might post to other apps like YouTube or Instagram stories, a good bulk of content on TikTok is following a certain trend that is popular at that time.
A trend usually begins with some kind of audio that spreads quickly, and then has creators use that same audio for their video with their own spin on it. You can almost think of the audio, or “sound,” like a hashtag in this sense, because when you click on it, you can see some info about who created it, and then see all the other videos that have used the same sound, which will typically be part of the same “trend.”
A sound can be part of a trend, but doesn’t have to be. Sometimes a new song released by an artist will be popular on TikTok because it’s popular elsewhere, and the audio will be used in many different contexts. Either way, the numbers don’t lie: 93% of top performing videos use audio, so it should be considered pretty much essential to include in a TikTok. Even if it is not the center of attention, you should pretty much always at least include audio in the background.
What Should I Post?
When you’re posting on TikTok, you should balance the aim of driving traffic with the aim of entertaining. In fact, the majority of users (60%) said they use TikTok primarily “to find funny/entertaining content” in a 2022 GlobalWebIndex survey. What does this mean? Purely posting dry, educational or informational content simply won’t work. Because users are heading to TikTok seeking comedy and entertainment, they will pretty much only interact with content that entertains them in some respect.
Here are some types of content I would post if I were a content creator aiming to build my brand and drive traffic to my website:
- Content about your niche that piggybacks on a current popular trend (bonus points for incorporating humor!)
- Previews of your content that incorporate popular audios
- Visuals with people and other interesting things on screen – not just computer screens!
- Lots of text on-screen, timed with the audio
Overall, I think a tip I’d give here is not to take it too seriously. From two perspectives, I can tell you why this doesn’t work.
- From my Gen-Z consumer perspective, we are immediately put off by a brand or creator that is trying too hard. While Instagram rewards high-production videos and photos, TikTok actually champions the stuff that you film straight on your phone. It doesn’t matter if the aesthetic is perfect; the more raw, the better.
- From my marketer perspective, this kind of serious content just doesn’t landon TikTok. Trust me, I tried. Like I said above, people are coming to TikTok to be entertained, so if your video isn’t funny, it should have some other aspect to it that is unique and interesting. It doesn’t have to leave someone laughing, but it should make an impression, like “Wow, I never knew that,” or “That was so interesting,” or “That is really cool.”
Best Practices For Website Owners on TikTok
Let the following serve as a checklist for you when you’re creating content on TikTok. These are just simple things you should make sure are set up when you start your TikTok to ensure that you’re working toward your ultimate goals of building your brand and driving traffic to your website.
- Set up a landing page for links in your bio
- There are some third party tools that do this for you if you just want to cross it off, but the best practice here is to create some kind of landing page on your site that links out to the content that you’re referencing. For instance, when you post a video highlighting your most recent blog post, you’ll want to make sure that there’s somewhere your users can go to check out that blog, but you’ll also want your home page and links to other content to be accessible.
- Use hashtags
- This is yet another way to get more views on your posts. You can see how many videos use certain hashtags to gauge their popularity and decide if they would work for your post.
- Use popular audios
- Like I’ve mentioned above, this is another way to expand your reach. Audios work like hashtags, so you want to pick one that is popular so others looking at that same audio can view your video as well.
- Set a timer for making a TikTok & don’t overthink it
- Spending too much time on any one TikTok will not be worth it, especially if you are experimenting to see how it might work for you. It’s best to start creating.
- Recycle your videos where you can
- One great thing about TikTok is that after you edit in-app, you come out on the other side with a ton of content you can use elsewhere. For one, your TikToks can be saved to your camera roll and uploaded to Instagram Reels, YouTube, or even shared on your website. Take advantage of the content you create here!
- Follow TikTok creators who explain TikTok trends
- Watch TikTok tutorials to start out
- The best way to learn how to edit in-app is to start trying to do it. I open YouTube on my laptop and TikTok on my phone and just try to create TikToks. Here are a few tutorials that helped me when I started creating videos inside TikTok:
Wrapping it all up
If you got anything from this blog, I hope it’s that TikTok is conquerable. It’s always a good idea to think critically about if this platform will work well for your site, because every niche and website are different from one another. However, TikTok will likely continue to grow, so having some form of background understanding of it and how it works can do nothing but help you in the long run.
For more content about social media for your site, check out these blogs below: