I find TikTok a fascinating platform because it boomed during the lockdown, and then it slowly kept growing. It was shying away from the headlines for a while, whilst Instagram and Clubhouse got all of the attention.
Yet, its growth, and its strength, have been growing, week by week. TikTok now has over 130 million active users in the US.
If you are an entrepreneur, or you have a brand that wants to create a more visible and relatable persona, TikTok might be still the place for you. It does require you, somebody from your team or your customers to be in front of a camera.
However, it can be an influential tool to answer critical questions and drive your expertise, as well as becoming that go-to person. Trends like BeYourOwnBoss show more and more attention from the platform to entrepreneurs and public figures as such.
There are three ways you can harness TikTok to establish yourself as an expert whilst remaining true to the platform and its unique features.
Create a clear goal for yourself
First, you have to dive deep and get clear on the intention behind your content. TikTok is tapping into a unique audience, and the said audience’s habits are different from those on other platforms. To harness the app effectively, you have to look at your goals differently when it comes to TikTok.
On most platforms, you may find yourself giving a more 360 approach to your brand and who you are. Showing different sides of you as the expert you are.
However, on TikTok, becoming the ‘go-to person on a specific subject, field or topic, is what can help you nail down your messaging. A great example is Dr Julie Smith, who became known as TikTok’s psychologist.
Whether you are here to educate, inspire, answer questions, or dispel myths, TikTok allows you to zero in on one problem and turn you into the person for the job. Iy should inform the type of content you are going to create on the platform.
Embrace TikTok Trends
TikTok has become a digital destination for communicating about various categories of your everyday routine, and it’s the place Gen Z, Millennials and boomers alike go to find sources they trust.
Far too often, we may fall into the trap of trying to make our TikTok the reflection of every other platform. We want to polish it to perfection, show ourselves as trustworthy and experienced. Yet, TikTok allows you to be more approachable – and that’s where its superpower lays.
Are you struggling to nail that side of your social strategy? Trends can be excellent to inject personality into your personal brand.
Whether it’s LinkedIn or your Instagram feed, there is a lot of pressure on social media to ‘polish’ the way our showreel looks. We want to be perceived as experts – yet, vulnerability and the ability to show our human side become more relatable.
As a bonus, you’ll also tap into discoverability thanks to TikTok’s algorithm. Discoverability is big on TikTok and something Instagram is trying to emulate with Reels. 68% of engaged TikTok users claim to have watched somebody else’s video in March 2020.
TikTok can be a clever combination of fun, relatable content and information in short bursts. Spend time on the discovery page of TikTok to get more ideas for challenges and hashtags.
The beauty of trends is that you can adapt most of them to what you talk about – remember, our go-to conversation just a few moments ago? By aligning them to your goals, you create content that speaks to your audience. For example, I took a very famous sound on TikTok and gave it my very own flair.
How can you use your expertise or unique USP to add value to TikTok? Check out this great new sponsored challenge from LinkedIn called Work this Way as an example of how you could use trends for yourself. The challenge encourages users to share their priorities in the workplace.
Use TikTok Q&A
There is a little, maybe not a prominent feature that doesn’t have as much spotlight as it deserves on TikTok. If you set your profile as a creator, you can choose to add the TikTok Q&A to your profile. It might seem an effortless addition. However, for experts, it can be a true revelation.
I am a massive fan of allowing my audience to ask me questions to understand their needs, struggles, and pain points. Seeing and accessing something like the Q&A is a no brainer when trying to grow and create relatable brands.
You can add a Q&A profile link to your Profile bios, which leads to a separate Q&A page where all questions and answers are aggregated. Users will browse earlier questions and answers and submit new questions directly from the Q&A page.
There are two ways you can use this for yourself. You can encourage your customers, your audience to ask your questions about your products or services via the TikTok Q&A. You could even activate it during specific times: before a launch or throughout a particular campaign.
You can encourage your audience on TikTok to ask you questions about a new product and answer them in a TikTok video by potentially spotlighting some of the experts, team members, or people best suited to answer this question.
Alternatively, you as the personal brand can showcase your expertise on a given topic by encouraging your audience to ask you questions on TikTok. I know of quite a few well known TikTok users that use a Q&A to answer specific questions on that topic of expertise.
Once I saw the Q&A in action, I understood how it could help you develop content your audience wants and needs and become the person others would associate on the platform to a specific skill or industry.
All in all, TikTok is an excellent platform that uses the power of video content to create a deeper connection between yourself and your audience.
TikTok is straightforward in its proposition: encourage its users to create unique content and discover new users. The beauty of the platform is that it provides endless ideas for new content for you to film and try. Get out of your comfort zone and embrace it – because TikTok is here to stay.
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My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.