If we can be sure about anything from the year 2020, it is that TikTok rose in the ranks. With 680 million active users worldwide, and video and music content to attract endless scrolls and an entirely new user generation, brands are now seeing the serious benefits of upping their community engagement in this rapidly growing social sphere.
Like other social channels, in addition to attractive, consistent content, brands must build a proactive engagement strategy on TikTok in order to garner a loyal, committed, and action-driven brand and audience.However, TikTok’s video-based, creator-heavy cyber world brings unique challenges and opportunities.
In the following article we’ll relay the essence of a proactive engagement strategy on social, with challenges and opportunities to keep in mind that are unique to TikTok.
Hot take 🔥: It took Instagram 6 years to get to the user base that TikTok created in under 3 years.This was in large part due to the company’s better understanding of a younger generation’s mind. Don’t worry, adults – notably in the U.S. – are on the platform more and more.
Here are the top 5 tips to be the most engaged brand on TikTok
1. Know your Goals and KPIs with Reporting & Analytics
Whether your community management goals on TiKTok are to create brand awareness, grow brand loyalty, or actualize revenue goals (or a mix of the three), brands must set key performance indicators (KPI’s) to know the goals are met. Here are a few indicators to get started:
In its many forms, engagement catalyzes improving all other KPIs. It’s not a vanity metric to count your likes; it shows intent and action based on your content and what they had to say. With proper analytics, brands should track views, comments and followers on TikTok, in addition to less common data points such as average watch time, source, and specifics on an individual follower’s action.
For example, is your brand seeking brand awareness? Hashtags and hashtag campaigns are a lower hanging fruit in community engagement efforts. For restaurants like Chili’s who found success by carrying over their hashtag #WelcometoChillis to TikTok, it’s helpful for brands to maintain consistency between platforms at the get-go, and test out a variety based on TikTok’s trends or current company campaigns as you feel more creative liberty down the line
Share of Voice
The social share of voice is the percentage of an industry-relevant conversation that is revolved around your product or service. Tracking this metric will require a social listening tool or service, and is highly recommended to stay relevant and timely in the crowded TikTok sphere.
Having a more engaged audience is important; it doesn’t matter if you have a billion followers if not a single one ever looks at your content. Tracking active followers – and which videos they are watching – helps you determine which content is effective, and how it withstands the test of TikTok time.
2. Brand Voice: Pick yours and stick to it
TikTok is a relatively newer platform, but that doesn’t mean your brand voice needs to be. Take the core elements of your brand voice – whether that be trustworthy, witty, comforting, reliable, etc.-and apply it to the essence of your videos and your guides for creator or paid influencer content.
The key will be to observe both your target audience’s behavior, while simultaneously testing out the sounds, tone of voice, and visual style that is proving successful in your analytic reports.
3. Proactive Outreach: Be the first to say hello
One of the most important actions you can take when starting to engage your community online is to proactively connect with new visitors, and keep the conversation going with incoming responses. This extends beyond just “liking” user content.
Keep your audience engaged and ask more questions. There’s an art to this, and it can take time to learn and master in accordance with your brand voice and policies. It’s important to review the data and adjust your content and strategy based on the results. As you do this, you’ll begin to anticipate what your customers need to stay engaged and talking with your brand on any platform.
4. Don’t undervalue Community Management: Stay on top of Social Listening & Moderation
Across the board, social media management and community management require an investment of time and resources. However, the investment is worth it. It is estimated that users spend on average 52 minutes a day on TikTok – about the same as Instagram and Facebook. Brand community interactions on social media are wide ranging – from negative product reviews to outstanding (and often unpaid) product integrations, and are equally important to monitor and engage with.
Monitor for Creator Content
Oftentimes, creators will create content about a brand, which is a major time savor for brands already busting out expensive content. Be sure to track these mentions and engage as appropriate, like this time Southwest found out a passenger checked her pool noodle into baggage and recorded it on TikTok.
Track and Report Adverse Events and Product Reviews
When it comes to products or medicine customers consume or put on their skin, monitoring product-base conversations is imperative to brand safety & understanding, and ultimately – success.
Particularly for pharmaceutical companies who must abide by Compliance guidelines, monitoring and reporting even the slightest mention of an adverse event is important on the platform, and requires a 24/7, 365 monitoring team by your side.
Hot take 🔥: Outside of plain Entertainment, sport and beauty products are the most popular product categories on TikTok.
5. Take your pick: Quality vs. Quantity
Lastly, a proactive community management strategy involves making strategic decisions based off of time and resources. In community engagement, the fork in the road is between quality and quantity.
For brands who want to build an engaged loyal audience, you should opt into a quality approach. Your brand responses to user commentary will be more selective and specific to your brand goals – think longer, back and forth conversations, with most of the neutral commentary left with little engagement. The pros of this are highly engaged fans and a vibrant community who converses with your content often. The cons are you may miss a fan or leave a question unanswered as you triage what you do and do not want to engage with.
For brands who want to have incredible customer service, it is recommended to follow a quantity approach. This means your community will receive responses at a faster and higher rate, but the level of conversation will not be as deep. The pros to this are you reach as many people as possible, making them feel heard. Unfortunately, the cons are missed opportunities to learn nuanced insight and optimize those conversations.
Ultimately, building and monitoring community around your brand or agency is no easy feat. In today’s 24/7 hectic world customers demand that businesses are available around the clock. Find the “always on” community management support for your brand needs.