How Hootsuite Grew Our TikTok Following to 11.8K in Solely 10 Months

For a social media firm, you possibly can argue we had been a bit late to the TikTok recreation. However whereas we solely launched our official TikTok technique in July 2021, we had been lurking on TikTok for years previous to that.

We watched, we adopted, we discovered the language, after which we took the plunge into probably the most thrilling factor to occur to social media for the reason that invention of the selfie. We’re just a few months into our TikTok journey however what an beautiful journey it’s been up to now—and one which’s introduced us all the way in which to 11,800 followers lower than a 12 months later.

We’ve laughed, cried, danced, gone viral, flopped spectacularly, and dueled with fellow owl-forward manufacturers (we’re you, Duolingo). Above all, we’ve discovered a TON of classes that we wish to share with you to assist make utilizing TikTok for your corporation rather less scary.

How we developed our TikTok technique

Find it irresistible or hate it, TikTok is more and more exhausting to disregard. With over 2 billion downloads in whole, it’s rising at a fast tempo. It was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads (over 100 million greater than its closest rival, Instagram).

TikTok isn’t going wherever so we knew we wanted a presence there. However like most manufacturers, we had been apprehensive in regards to the function TikTok would play in our broader social media technique. We didn’t simply wish to bounce on the bandwagon for the sake of it, so we did our analysis.

  • We checked out what different manufacturers had been doing on TikTok and the way the profitable ones interact with their audiences.
  • We browsed the feedback and realized that TikTokers converse a unique language. Phrases and emojis have different meanings. (e.g., 💀=😂)
  • We discovered that tendencies come and go at a dizzying pace and when you wait too lengthy to react, you’ll be thought of ‘cheugy’ (that’s TikTok converse for off-trend or dated).
  • We realized that TikTok is a singular and terrifying platform. But it surely presents an unbelievable alternative to strive one thing enjoyable and be genuine.

We created a TikTok account for our model in February 2021, secured our @Hootsuite deal with, and drafted our preliminary technique. We included a content material plan with 5 key pillars aligned to our general advertising aims and agreed to take a test-and-learn strategy.

We launched our technique in July 2021. We went viral; we had been an in a single day success; Owly was topped king and queen of TikTok; the tip.

Simply kidding. It was crickets.

@hootsuite Don’t fear, we’re nonetheless making an attempt to wrap our heads on this one as properly 🙃 #socialmedia #instagram #reels ♬ original sound – Hootsuite

Why we threw our technique out the window

One in every of our largest learnings within the early days was that the content material we had been utilizing on different social media channels had no place on TikTok.

Whereas our objective was to verify our content material was hyper-focused on social entrepreneurs, we realized that isn’t the one factor individuals wish to speak about on TikTok.

We discovered that there was a possibility to succeed in new audiences, construct extra model love, and humanize our group by bringing our mascot Owly to the forefront. We switched our bio from, “our pleasant social media specialists 👋” to “simply an owl on the TikTok asking the web to like me” to mirror this shift.

What didn’t work for us

We made the traditional mistake of making professionally produced video content material for our early TikTok movies. They carried out okay, nevertheless it rapidly grew to become clear that type was misplaced on TikTok.

TikTok analysis validated this—65% of TikTok customers agree that professional-looking movies from manufacturers really feel misplaced or odd on TikTok, in accordance with analysis (Advertising and marketing Science International Neighborhood and Self-expression Research 2021).

So we threw our technique out the window and began once more.

We shifted away from our authentic content material pillars and launched revamped content material pillars that leaned into TikTok tendencies, embracing a extra versatile, short-term technique higher suited to the quick tempo of the platform.

To generate extra genuine content material on a funds, we reached out to some TikTok influencers to create user-generated content material (UGC) to share. The UGC carried out rather well and crammed a niche in our content material, nonetheless, with our feed that includes so many various individuals, we began to lose our model voice slightly.

That’s once we realized we wanted our personal in-house TikTok content material creators.

What did work for us on TikTok—spectacularly

Battle of the manufacturers

Once we first launched our mascot Owly to TikTok, we found they weren’t the one owl on the town.

They had been rapidly dubbed the “Walmart model” of language studying app Duolingo’s well-liked owl mascot Duo. We might have taken this to coronary heart and despatched Owly to their nest.

As a substitute, we noticed a possibility to have some enjoyable.

@hootsuite Reply to @duolingo ♬ Monkeyshine-JP – Lt FitzGibbons Men

We instigated a ‘battle of the manufacturers’—a rising development on TikTok—and poked slightly enjoyable at Duolingo’s TikTok video type. Folks beloved our spicy tone and started creating their very own narratives round Owly versus Duolingo—some wished us to battle one another; others wished us to fall in love.

Our ‘battle of the manufacturers’ strategy resulted in a 5,205% improve in followers. One video even went viral with 647,000 views in a single week!

The 7-second problem

Initially of 2022, TikTok creators began reporting unbelievable engagement, just by posting text-heavy, seven-second movies that includes trending audio clips to beat the TikTok algorithm.

We experimented with the seven-second challenge development and it labored! We posted our video on February 2, 2022 and it went viral, clocking up 700,000 views.

@hootsuitedo that hack your self 🙌💯♬ original sound – material growl 😘💅

Capitalizing on trending audio

We observed that individuals who had been commenting on our posts fell into two buckets: individuals who knew and beloved Hootsuite and individuals who had completely no thought what Hootsuite was.

To showcase extra content material about what Hootsuite does, we launched product-centric posts, together with a collection of ‘product hacks’ demonstrating Hootsuite’s most-loved (and infrequently underrated) options and little-known tips.

One submit demonstrating our new planner view within the Hootsuite dashboard used some trending audio and was an enormous success, leading to numerous constructive sentiment from our followers.

@hootsuitescheduling on social simply bought quite a bit higher 😉♬ original sound – Barstool Sports

Dance problem (we needed to!)

Then, in March 2022, we labored with Brian Esperon—the choreographer behind Cardi B’s WAP dance—to create a singular dance problem for Hootsuite as a part of our marketing campaign at SXSW, a serious tech and leisure convention.

Owly and Brian hit the streets of Austin, Texas with their sick strikes and bought tons of various individuals concerned. General the marketing campaign’s movies clocked over 56,000 views on TikTok.

Whereas the dance movies had been successful, the way in which we executed this marketing campaign didn’t align with how individuals eat content material on TikTok. Within the run-up to the occasion, we launched a multi-part teaser video collection that was created to be consumed consecutively. We discovered that self-contained movies work higher on TikTok.

Why? Along with being tremendous fast-paced, TikTok isn’t a very chronological platform, so that you don’t know what’s going to land in your viewers’s #fyp and when. Folks may see movies in your collection out of order or solely see certainly one of them, lacking out on essential particulars from the opposite entries. Protecting your complete story in a single video provides you the perfect likelihood of making certain your viewers sees the entire story—particularly when you maintain that one video as quick as doable.

@hootsuite 🚨NEW TREND ALERT🚨 get able to shake your tail feathers with these strikes 🤪 dc: @besperon & Owly #WheresOwly ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

Key takeaways for TikTok newbies

The function of the social media supervisor is evolving

Previously, social media managers might sit behind the scenes, writing copy, creating graphics, and crunching numbers. With the arrival of TikTok (and comparable options like Instagram Reels), there’s a possibility for our roles to change into extra well-rounded as we flex our inventive muscle tissue.

Understanding the intricacies of video creation will be daunting at first. Not everyone seems to be snug recording themselves or being on digicam, however with observe, it will get simpler.

For those who can, rent content material creators or discover individuals in your crew who’re genuinely enthusiastic about TikTok and revel in being in entrance of the digicam.

Our Social Advertising and marketing Coordinator and in-house TikTok aficionada Eileen Kwok is crushing it. Comply with us on TikTok to see her strike the right stability between capitalizing on TikTok tendencies and offering useful evergreen recommendation and assist to our core viewers of social media managers.

@hootsuitehootsuite at all times saving me time 😍♬ original sound – Hootsuite

Genuine works greatest

When entrepreneurs consider video creation, we sometimes consider pricey or time-consuming manufacturing that eats up a TON of funds and assets.

TikTok doesn’t want that high-production content material. In truth, genuine, unpolished low-production movies resonate a lot better with TikTok customers.

Be taught to talk TikTok

TikTok has its personal language and magnificence. You’ll be able to present your viewers that you simply perceive the platform by studying how greatest to speak on it. Watch how different manufacturers do it by studying the feedback sections or learn our TikTok Culture Guide for ideas.

Touch upon different model accounts

The remark part of TikTok movies is an thrilling (and surprisingly constructive) place. Many customers truly go on to the feedback earlier than watching the total video to see what others are saying about it. (The feedback are additionally an important place to discover ways to converse TikTok.)

We began proactively commenting on different manufacturers’ accounts and a few of our feedback acquired hundreds of likes, which introduced tons of visitors to our account.

TikTok tendencies don’t wait

Leaning into totally different TikTok tendencies is the simplest option to construct your followers. So when you discover a development that fits your model, don’t waste time over-thinking content material manufacturing.

Act quick or the development may go you by. (Tip: For those who’re too late for a development on TikTok, don’t fear: You may nonetheless be early on Instagram.)

Be selective with the tendencies you bounce on

A number of TikTok humor is darkish and NSFW (not secure for work). Watch out which tendencies you hop on (and which songs you select for backing tracks).

Hold your viewers in thoughts always by asking your self if they might relate to or admire your humor.

collage of two screenshot images showing Hootsuite interacting with comments on TikTok

TikTok tendencies transfer FAST. Keep up-to-date with our TikTok Tendencies Publication. Signal as much as get the newest updates, our suggestions on whether or not your corporation ought to hop on them, inspo from manufacturers doing cool issues on TikTok, and sizzling ideas.

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