There’s no time to wait until every stat has been collected and reported about what works and what doesn’t on the short-form video platform TikTok. Fortune favors the bold, so embrace a social strategy that includes trial and error and get your brand on TikTok. One advantage of being on TikTok right now is that it is still new enough that you’d be considered an early adopter in the home furnishings industry and can bank on that loyalty being rewarded.
Here are five ideas to make TikTok work for your business:
1. Embrace Gen Z trends
Take the time to understand internet culture and languages and get comfortable with the rapid pace with which they change and evolve on TikTok, a platform driven by younger users. Using trending audio and editing techniques and motifs is a great idea — just make sure you’re in on the joke. Nothing turns off potential customers on TikTok more than when they feel their “fun” has been co-opted by a company to sell to them. Show that you can play along with them.
2. Get even more niche
One thing that’s unique about TikTok compared with other platforms is that feeds have never looked more diversified and curated specifically for individual user’s experiences. If you can dream of it, there is an incredibly niche lane on TikTok for you: “Embroidered Pillow Tok” or “Farmhouse Decor Tok,” for example. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Form micro-influencer partnerships
There are two major buckets of influencers to consider for a partnership: someone with a massive following who has generally broad appeal or someone called a micro-influencer who may not have a huge following, but has loyal, consistent engagement. Since TikTok is like a giant freeway system with hyper-specific lanes of interest crisscrossing one another, it’s a great idea to involve micro-influencers in your social strategy.
4. Don’t treat it like a billboard
Unlike with traditional forms of marketing, on social media the work really begins after you put the “ad” out there. Measuring success is all about engagement happening in real time. Customers have and expect a direct and casual line to you. I’ve chosen the word “you” here for a reason: The more human the voice of your brand is, the better. It’s not about being on a sign far above a freeway, it’s about being in their pocket.
5. Explore in-app purchases
The priority of all social media platforms is to keep you on them, scrolling and swiping. Instagram has rolled out shopping features that allow users to buy from businesses within the app, enabling ordering and processing right then and there. (If your business is not set up to take orders and process them directly through Instagram, you could be leaving money on the table). TikTok is beginning to roll out similar features. Their recent partnership with Ticketmaster enables artists to sell concert tickets directly within the app, as opposed to taking buyers away to another website. Anything you can do to help the app keep the customer on their platform, the more you will be rewarded for it.
Courtney Porter is a designer, author, host and media director. She specializes in seamlessly bringing interior designers, architects, furniture manufacturers and showrooms’ physical products and services into the digital world. She is co-author of “Green Interior Design: The Guide to Sustainable High Style” with Lori Dennis. Porter also is a host and producer of design shows. You may have caught her on “Behind the Bar,” interviewing your favorite celebrity designers or sharing her favorite decor finds on the live sales network Lit Live.