Tumblr eventually fell down a spiral after some questionable decisions and getting acquired by Yahoo, but when it was good, it was really good. When I saw Tiktok a couple of years ago, I had the same feeling I had when I was on Tumblr. This is the new Wild West with untapped gold nuggets that no one else took seriously.
Our first fews months of Tiktok were a big flop
I thought I could just cross post Instagram stories or our story ad videos onto Tiktok. We had our social media manager try to learn Tiktok, and it backfired. I was wrong to treat Tiktok like another social media channel. I should know better, I saw the same mistake brands made when they went from Instagram to Twitter.
It’s no surprise that the audience (and algorithm) rejected us immediately.
We changed our game plan
I wasn’t ready to give up on Tiktok just yet, I saw the potentials that small creators had when they made the right video. It literally propelled them into stardom. For a brand to thrive on Tiktok, we can’t approach the platform as a brand.
I spent a few weeks scrolling through Tiktok, curating a list of micro-creators that would fit our voice the best and could tell a story that keeps people watching. We hired the creator to make Tiktok content for us, changing Tiktok as a behind-the-scene channel rather than a storefront that Instagram is.
Tiktok is the backstage pass for your audience
This evolved into treating Tiktok as the backstage of our brand. People on Tiktok get excited when they feel like they’re participating in the success of your brand. So many indie brands grew out of Tiktok because of the power of community that brands built there.
To build this community, you have to be vulnerable. Break down the walls between the brand and the audience and show them journey. It allows your audience to feel involved and motivating them to share your content. You’re now pitching your story and your right to exist to a group of micro-investors who are investing with their likes and comments.
Tiktok is an opportunity for your brand to be raw and unfiltered. To show your customers who is running the business and let them participate in the success. Reframing how you approach Tiktok will transform your business on the platform, and I’ve seen this work time and time again for multiple DTC businesses I’m involved with.