With an estimated one billion global monthly users, there are plenty of reasons why small businesses with a relevant customer base should be putting thought into their TikTok strategy.
Indeed, a 2021 study from Influencer Marketing Hub showed that it has the highest engagement per post of all the social platforms. But knowing it has huge potential and knowing how to play to its strengths are two different things. One business doing it well is Toronto-based Lala Hijabs – a hand-dyed hijab brand set up by husband-and-wife team Will and Sana Saleh during the pandemic. In a little over a year, the two have managed to grow two thriving accounts with more than 1.3 million followers combined. Here, Sana offers a few rules to stick to.
Keep it engaging
‘We create content around whether people will engage with it – whether that’s sparking a conversation or learning something new. People think it’s just a dancing or music app, but it’s so much more than that. You can literally learn anything on TikTok: how to cook perfect pasta or cut grass properly. So utilize TikTok to gain authority in your niche, teaching people while giving value. The amount of knowledge that comes from a one-minute video is crazy.’
‘We do a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. We love sharing sneak peeks of new products we’re working on or thinking about, sometimes asking our audience for name suggestions. It makes people feel special to be involved. How does your business work? How many employees are there? How do you pack your orders? It brings it back to relatable content. If people see that, they’re more likely to support a business.’
Be consistent – and raw
‘You’re not going to go viral right off the hop, although some people do. It’s about consistency. Don’t feel discouraged if the first 10 or 15 videos don’t perform great. There’s going to be that one video that finally sparks on the For You page and it’s going to be like wildfire. Post frequently, a minimum of five times a week if you’re just getting started. Once you’re a bigger brand, you can post a lot less. But you don’t always have to put so much thought behind them. They don’t have to be high-production. Just use your phone and capture the raw, authentic moments.’
Use trending sounds
‘When you’re scrolling through the For You page on TikTok, there will be certain sounds you’ll hear more than once. Those are the sounds that you need to use in your videos because they’re currently trending. TikTok is going to push those out to more people so utilizing those is always a good thing.’
More: TikTok and fame velocity
Showcase new products
‘When we design a new hijab, a week before we launch it I always hype it up on TikTok. I’ll show the pieces and I do tutorials with it, and that really makes people want it right away. They’ll set alarms and make sure they’re on the website right when it launches. Our peak times when we sell out are always when we launch and that’s strictly through that because we’re not running ads. All that hype comes directly through TikTok.’
This article was first published in Courier issue 42, August/September 2021. To purchase the issue or become a subscriber, head to our webshop.