How To Easily Use TikTok Trends To Promote Your Business
Social media is a phenomenal powerful tool in the digital age. It gives you direct access to millions of potential customers, and (when done well) can garner you huge reach organically, without the need to pay to get in front of people.
Facebook was arguably the original platform for this, with many businesses in the early days of Facebook attracting huge audiences they still leverage for revenue to this day. But what we learned from Facebook is that social media platforms have a golden period. A time when they’re new enough and hip enough that anyone with the energy and drive to create the type of content people want to see can build a successful revenue stream on them organically.
No ad spend needed. But (and it’s a big, fat, hairy butt, the kind you’d expect to find on Hagrid), that golden phase does not last indefinitely.
The powers that be create these platforms and allow people to enjoy them for free in order to make them big and successful. As soon as they are, and businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals are successfully leveraging them to create an income, they suddenly start making you pay for the ability to continue. And once that starts, it snowballs.
We saw it with Facebook, as they slowly phased in ads, then slowly updated the almighty algorithm to make it impossible for anyone not spending on ads to gain organic reach. These days if you want any organic reach on Facebook you have to pay for ads. Madness, right? That the only way to boost your organic reach is to pay to get in front of people and hope the knock-on effect of that allows you to organically reach even more.
YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, they have all followed suit, at various stages. So that (currently) the darling of organic social media is TikTok.
We love TikTok. It incorporates all the best elements of online content in a single place without all the nonsense we’ve grown bored of, still plaguing the other platforms. There are no images, and very little text, it’s all about the video. There’s access to a huge selection of sounds, sound bites, and amusing voiceovers. Nobody’s trying to make you read a blog, or article, or even a caption that’s too long because the platform doesn’t support it. And best of all, going viral on TikTok really only requires you to jump on the latest trend.
What relevance does TikTok have to business? Absolutely none. It’s not a networking site like LinkedIn (now also monetised), or a discussion board like Reddit. It’s a place for content, pure and simple. So, how can you leverage this platform while it’s still in the golden period to create huge organic reach (and by extension, organic traffic and sales on your website)?
If, like most entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers, the thought of doing a dumb dance or lip syncing fills you with dread, don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s well worth the effort though, if done right. Here’s how to easily use TikTok trends to promote your business…
Relate It Back To What You Do
One of my pet hates on social media is marketing gurus who build decent followings by jumping on all the trends, doing all the viral shit, and then touting themselves as qualified to teach you how to market your business on social media.
Let’s be crystal clear about something: having a huge social media following only helps your business if you have an audience that is relevant (i.e. likely to want what you offer) and genuinely engaged (i.e. likely to buy at some point). Otherwise you just have a load of people who like to watch you tit about but will never actually send any money your way.
Now, influencers do this and leverage their audience to make tons of money. But they do this through sponsorships and various other ways of people paying them to keep creating content.
They don’t generally do it to promote a specific business selling a particular product or service.
If you have TikTok odds are you follow a few accounts that are purely for fun. People doing things you find entertaining. You follow to see more entertaining videos. But, I’ll wager you have no idea what those people do professionally. Unless being an influencer is their profession. If they told you they were a lawyer, would you need to hire them? Would you want to hire them given how many times you’ve watched them pratfall for laughs on camera?
What about the teachers who get huge followings from doing amusing skits about their students? You follow them to watch more skits, but are you ever going to move to where they happen to teach and enroll your kids in their school? Not likely.
Building a following on TikTok is actually relatively easy. You just need to jump on all the trends, post regularly, and you’ll quickly gain traction.
The TRICK is doing this in such a way that it actually benefits your business.
You want followers who will buy your products or hire you for your services. That takes a bit more finesse.
When jumping on trends, be sure to relate the videos you create back to what you do, your core offering. That might mean tweaking the trend slightly, or adding a caption of text over the video that explains how it’s relevant.
One great way to do it is to change the lyrics on a song to reflect what you do. Film the trend as it’s trending, to the real song, but have captions that include the alternative lyrics discussing your industry or services. Look at other ways to link trends to what you do. Is there a theme you can pick up from the trend that relates to your offerings? Can the trend serve as an analogy or metaphor for an element of your work?
Even if you can’t think of anything you can still use it as an opportunity to discuss work by simply saying ‘taking a break to…’ and emphasising the importance of self care.
You can perfectly choreograph every trend you jump on so it’s pristine. Set, makeup, hair, outfit, camera angle, lighting.
Or, you can just whack your phone on a tripod and do it.
For one of my recent TikToks, jumping on the Wednesday dance trend, I really didn’t think about it much. I grabbed a black floaty dress (yep, that’s just one of my normal dresses I wear on a regular day, by the fabulous Killstar if you’re wondering), quickly curried my hair into pigtails, popped my phone on my ring light, and away I went. I could have redone my makeup in a Wednesday specific look, but I didn’t. I could have spent hours trying to make my hair look like her, but I didn’t. Bish, bash, bosh, job done.
The problem with thinking too much about these things is that you end up getting in your own way. Suddenly you don’t have the time to do it because it’s become a performance. You’re worried about it all looking perfect and get too self conscious. There are things you need in order to do the perfect makeup or hair or outfit, and you don’t have them, so you delay until you do, but then you never buy them or can’t afford them, so you just give the whole thing up as a bad job.
One of the key things here – and I’m SO guilty of forgetting this – is to remember that we’re talking about trends. You have a short window while a trend is massively trending during which you can jump on it and get a TON of views with very little effort. But the longer it takes you to jump on the bandwagon, the fewer views you’re going to get for your effort.
Overthinking is a huge issue because it delays you. The trick (and I freely admit I need to get better at this myself) is to just do a trend video the second you realise something is trending. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Or next week. Or when you’ve written a blog that relates to it. Or when you’ve next had your hair and nails done. Or when you’ve had chance to order the perfect outfit/prop.
There are a few exceptions to this – for example, certain transition trends require a specific prop, like an umbrella. If you don’t have an umbrella on you at the time you’re going to have to do it once you have one. Just try to keep that time as short as possible, firstly so you don’t miss the window, and secondly because the longer you wait the more in your head you’ll be about it. The harder it will become to actually do it.
Lean Into The Embarrassment
A lot of people (myself included) have avoided doing TikTok trends and swerved other social opportunities because they’re embarrassed at the thought of doing them. The thing is, what is hugely popular on social media is not perfectly polished people doing things flawlessly is awe inspiring locations.
It’s real people dicking about at home either on their own or with a spouse or mates. The viral videos and influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers become popular because they’re genuine. They may look like absolute idiots, be laugh out loud funny, or have a particular skit that’s worked for them so they keep doing it. Here are a few I follow, for no other reason than they amuse me:
Everyone in these videos is doing something potentially embarrassing – they’re dressed in weird costumes, getting insulted, or doing a very bad dance. But the embarrassment is kinda the point.
It’s just funny, light hearted entertainment. That’s the whole point of social media. Don’t take yourself too seriously while doing it. Feel embarrassed, but film it anyway.
Remember, you don’t have to actually post it. The more you film these things the more comfortable you will get doing them. So you might end up with a load of drafts of stuff you never actually post, but every one will teach you something, every single one will build your confidence, until one day you’ll do one that you’re actually ok with posting.
Avoid Other People’s Input
If you’re unsure about the videos you make you can always get a second option – show your draft to a friend and see how they react. Just be wary of asking for the opinions of others, they can easily get in your way. My OH is incredibly supportive but I’ve learned not to show him social content before I post it. He nit picks. He’s being helpful, trying the make sure it’s perfect, but that just leads to overthinking it. I lose all enthusiasm for what I’ve done and don’t want to post it any more because I’m second guessing thinking, oh, maybe I should redo it how he said.
It depends on your personality; if you’re capable of hearing helpful advice and either taking or leaving it without it making you more self conscious, go for it. Just be warned, it may not help as much as you think. In fact, it can just make it all the harder.
You’ll often find people give you unsolicited advice too; ignore it. If you didn’t ask for it then it has no right to any of the space in your head. You don’t need that shit. A few months ago my mother voiced an opinion on a review I did of an episode of Game of Thrones and despite plans to review every episode as they aired it took months to psych myself up enough to do another. She really got in my head. She didn’t like the fact I swore, she felt I was portraying myself in a certain way rather than simply being myself, and she didn’t like this.
The salient point she missed was that I was being myself, she just doesn’t know me very well and has never been particularly accepting of my alternative nature and tendencies.
Is that my problem? Not in the least. Did it get in my head and make me hesitant to record more reviews? Absolutely.
I never asked for her opinion, never even showed her the video. In fact, she saw it because she doesn’t understand Facebook (a whole other story). Yet i was the one who had to do a load of mindset work to overcome a major confidence issue that was holding me back from building my author platform.
All because my mother gave me an unsolicited opinion.
I’ve learned to ignore the opinions of others when it comes to my content. Just let it wash over you. If they insist on voicing thoughts you never asked for, just don’t listen. Usually the problem is that your ‘thing’ whatever it may be is not something they are interested in or understand. They don’t ‘get’ what you’re doing so they view it negatively.
But they’re not your audience. You’ve not made your content for them. So their opinions are not only irrelevant they’re undermine positive aspects of your content, that your actual audience will love.
Cross Post To Other Channels
I’m a huge fan of repurposing content to get the most mileage out of it possible, so you should absolutely be cross posting your TikToks to other channels. Reels on Instagram are the easiest, you can also post to Facebook, and elsewhere. This is so worth doing, partly because it saves you creating different content for different channels, and partly because you can just never predict what will work best on which channel.
That Wednesday dance video I did? Overnight that gained a couple of hundred views on TikTok… and a couple of thousand on Facebook 🤷♀️
Some videos go viral on TikTok and barely get views on others. Likewise you’ll post something on TikTok that gets a meagre handful of views only to have it blow up on Instagram.
One Last Thing About TikTok Trends…
If you’re still unsure on how to jump on TikTok trends be sure to follow me @RebelWolfMarkting, where I will be walking my talk and hopping on the latest trends myself. Better yet, I’ll be including easy tutorials that help you jump on them yourselves, without overthinking!
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Rebel Wolf Marketing is run by Hazel Butler, an award-winning writer and creative content marketer specialising in SEO. Hazel has over a decade of experience in all things wordy and digital. She’s worked with big names like The BBC, huge sites like The Huffington Post, marketing ninjas like Plann, and snazzy brands like BMW and Subaru. She’s also worked with countless small businesses and entrepreneurs to produce epic content, rock their SEO, and help them create passive income streams in their businesses. You can find her freelance copywriting services at The Write Copy Girl.
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