Whether you love it or hate it, there is no doubt that TikTok is rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, it was recently announced that TikTok now has a longer watch time per user than those on YouTube.

In a world where social media is ever-changing, user generated content on TikTok continues to take many forms, whether it’s a fun and engaging clip, a dance challenge, educational snippets or something else entirely.

But you might be thinking: “TikTok isn’t for me, my business couldn’t possibly publish TikTok content!” and today I’m here to tell you that simply isn’t the case. Many businesses from all shapes and sizes are thriving on TikTok, creating content that has been encouraging users to buy their product, or simply raise awareness of their brand.

A recent study by CreatorIQ on TikTok in Q2, demonstrated that mega influencers (those with a following of 1 million or more) had an average Engagement Rate of 11.83%—vs. 0.35% on Instagram, 2.75% on YouTube, 0.01% on Facebook and 0.01% on Twitter.

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at 4 business brands on TikTok that you can take inspiration from to form your own TikTok strategy.

Before we begin, what even is TikTok?

TikTok launched in September 2016, and is a social media app that allows you to record, edit and share short, looping 15 or 60-second videos, often with musical overlays, sound effects or visual effects. In July 2021, TikTok also announced that they are allowing users to create videos up to 3-minutes long.

Since launching, the platform has grown to over 689 million monthly active users, with rapid growth worldwide and many accounts garnering multi-million views and followings. Example posts include music videos, comedic shorts, videos with special effects, and challenge videos.

More recently, TikTok unveiled TikTok for Business, an off-shoot TikTok account designed to be an all-in-one tool for marketers to advertise on the platform. The platform takes marketers through the entire process of creative adverts, setting budgets, reaching their target audiences, and analysing data from campaigns.

Now that we have an overview of TikTok, let’s look at some business brands on TikTok who are killing it:

Chipotle’s #Boorito Halloween campaign

Despite being relatively new to TikTok, American fast-food chain Chipotle was quick to jump on the “hashtag challenge” bandwagon, and set a new standard for how brands can use TikTok to engage with their community.

A large driver of their success comes from consistency, which when combined with their #boorito campaign has generated over 4 billion views on the platform. Chipotle has grown their brand presence from day 1, engaging with their community in few and authentic ways.

The Washington Post breaking the boring newspaper stigma

We’re all guilty of believing newspapers to be archaic and a thing of the past. But The Washington Post is striving to challenge that perception with their TikTok account.

Check out their profile here to see what funny and engaging videos they're posting, and what trends on TikTok they’re following.

San Diego Zoo channeling their “cute baby animals” factor

Everybody loves cute animals, right? San Diego Zoo has been posting cute animal videos from day 1, embracing the “cute factor” and providing much needed comedy and happiness for viewers.

Red Bull’s global dance competition

Red Bull has long embraced video platforms as a method of connecting with fans and sharing inspirational stories. With that in mind, TikTok and Red Bull are in perfect harmony, with the latter seeing explosive growth on the platform globally and locally.

In 2020, Red Bull wanted to raise awareness and entries into its annual Red Bull Dance Your Style competition, which that year was hosted solely on TikTok.

To do this, Red Bull ran a branded hashtag challenge on a global scale, aptly titled #RedBullDanceYourStyle, asking users to show off their best dance moves. The campaign was met with incredible success, driving over 7 billion video views globally and capturing the attention of over 1 million creators, all of whom submitted their own dance styles. Engagement was astronomically high at 14.94%, a level only seen with viral campaigns.

How to get started with TikTok

TikTok has rapidly taken app stores, millennials and gen-z users alike by storm, and if you’re wanting to learn more about the app, and see if it’s right for your business, the best thing to do is dive straight in with producing your own posts, whether it be a personal or business account.

We recognise that TikTok is very niche, and can be a difficult platform to navigate, so here are some step-by-step instructions to get your TikTok strategy moving:

Step 1: Download the app and sign up

To download TikTok, you will need to visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and you can sign up instantly with a Facebook, Gmail or Twitter account, or with a username and password if you prefer that.

Step 2: Set up your profile

Once you’re logged in, you can begin to edit your profile. This means adding a bio, a profile picture or video, and linking your other social media profiles. If you’re a business, this is a helpful space to advertise your other visual platforms.

Step 3: Browse videos

Once you’ve got your profile setup, you can tap back to the first tab, which is the video feed. Here you can browse, like, comment and share videos you enjoy. If there’s something you particularly like, you can also swipe left to view their profile and follow them.

You can also search videos by clicking the magnifying glass to enter the app’s search area. Here you can search by users, videos, sounds and hashtags.

Step 4: Record your first video

This is where the fun begins! It’s time to record your first video. Tap the centre tab to enter camera mode. You will be greeted by a series of icons:

  • Speed, which allows you to record in slow motion or sped up.
  • Beauty, which is an AR filter to hide blemishes and smooth out your skin.
  • Filters, letting you change the colour filter of the camera.
  • Timer, allowing you to set an auto-record countdown if you need to film hands-free.
  • Flash.

You’ll also see a section that allows you to add music and effects, replacing any original sound you might have recorded. You can choose musical overlays, sound effects and more here.

Once you’ve done all that and recorded your first take, you can still add further effects if you wish, including captions, and then it’s time to hit publish.

Congratulations, you’re a TikTok-er (if that’s not a word, we’re coining it!) If you’re ready to do more, you can try dueting with other users, stitching a video, or participating in a challenge.

Check out this article by HubSpot for some other tips and takeaways to get the most success out of your TikTok account.

Are you ready to TikTok your way to success?

We’re confident that TikTok is going to continue building its user base and become a platform that rivals any previous mainstayers, and with that in mind, we absolutely recommend giving TikTok a try with your business.

We hope that the aforementioned brands have inspired you to dive straight in, and if you need any further support with your TikTok strategy, get in touch with our social media team for some direction and support.