How To Win at TikTok (In response to TikTok)

TikTok shouldn’t be a social media platform. It’s an leisure platform.

That’s how Khartoon Weiss, TikTok’s World Head of Company & Accounts, described the world’s most downloaded app at The Gathering, an annual enterprise and advertising summit held in Banff, Canada.

What’s the excellence?

Folks don’t “verify” Tiktok. They watch it. And, Weiss says, “that small pivot in conduct is every thing.”

So what does it mean for marketers?

In this post, we’ll share key takeaways from Weiss’s on-stage presentation. But that’s not all!

Weiss shared more detailed insights at one of The Gathering’s intimate “inner sanctums”. And we’ve got the scoop for you below.

Embrace the shift from Me to We

TikTok is not a platform for YOLO, FOMO, and selfies. Instead, it’s familial and inclusive.

You see into everyone else’s living room. And they see into yours.

It’s a collaborative space that rewards optimism. “Microcommunities” crystalize around hashtags like #crafttok, #planttok, and #DIYtok.

The specialists inside these communities share “advanced data boiled down so usefully”. This in flip creates much more specialists and extra data to share.


#learnontiktok #diytiktok #diytok #painterstape #oddlysatisfying #painting

♬ Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man

As a model, this implies you should give attention to offering leisure or edutainment.

Discover your home in these current communities and contribute worth that’s uniquely yours. Flip your belongings into a number of TikToks and study as you go what works in your model.

And go away the feedback in your content material open – the neighborhood will inform you what they assume. Use their insights to information your ongoing TikTok strategy.

Be actual, not retouched

You understand who’s not massive on TIkTok? The Kardashians. “We hold it actual on TikTok,” Weiss mentioned. “They aren’t accepted on the scale of a Jessia.”

So who’s Jessia? A Vancouver-based singer who went from this:


TikTok is simply too lovely 😂 #Welcome2021 #RareAesthetic #belly #🍑 #pretty #fun #fyp #neverseentwoprettybestfriends #wtf #bop #trash #newyear #new

♬ original sound – JESSIA

To this:


Tour with @OneRepublic was a dream 💙 #nexttime #onerepublic #tour #pov #tour #tourlife #fyp

♬ Next Time by Jessia – JESSIA

After her music caught hearth as a physique positivity anthem that spawned numerous TikTok duets.

On TikTok, it’s all about “the language of the following technology and the brand new digital media behaviors.”

“It’s difficult if you would like it to be nice, however the neighborhood doesn’t have an issue with accepting no matter it’s you need to put on the market,” Weiss mentioned.

And that neighborhood acceptance is important. TikTok’s algorithm focuses on a content material graph, not a social graph. Meaning what you see in your feed is what the neighborhood brings to the floor, relatively than who you comply with.

On this entrance, #smallbusinesstiktok is main the way in which. How? You guessed it: by telling actual behind-the-scenes and product-creation tales.

“Small companies have taken their creativity and turned it into content and now it’s mechanically commerce,” Weiss mentioned.


Guess what scent they are going to be? 😋 #smallbusiness #ZFlipClackdown #halloween #spooktember #spookyseason #slimemonster #cute #newproductalert #cutesoaps #foryou #froliccreations

♬ original sound – Meg ✌

Actual, real tales create that visibility within the content material graph. And the perfect folks to inform these real tales about your model might not (but) work for or with you.

Perceive the ability of creators

“We’ve redefined what celeb means,” Weiss mentioned. “And we’re the driving power behind the migration from the eye economic system to the creator economic system.”

A key instance? Similar to Jessia, 7 of the ten nominees for Finest New Artist on the 2022 Grammys gained at the very least a few of their momentum from TikTok.

Creators gasoline discovery. And discovery creates demand.

“We devour issues, and we convert on product, as a result of it embodies the communities and the folks we need to emulate,” Weiss mentioned.

For entrepreneurs, this implies empowering and studying from creators who perceive the platform.


#ad made a brand new stage on @candycrushsaga 🍬

♬ original sound – Andrea Love

Unlearn every thing you’ve discovered,” Weiss mentioned in her internal sanctum. “It’s not how the following technology speaks. You’ve all the time had companies seek the advice of you – why wouldn’t you let creators? Creators will allow you to unpack your model and take into consideration methods to attach along with your viewers.”

View discovery as decrease funnel (aka #tiktokmademebuyit)

“When each touchpoint turns into a chance to purchase, each technique turns into a commerce technique,” Weiss mentioned. “It’s a courageous new world the place media and leisure have discovered their technique to content material, creator, and commerce.”

Reasonably than social commerce, TikTok likes to consider this as “neighborhood commerce.”

“Hundreds of creators are leaping in, and they’re delivering product efficacy and product advocacy,” Weiss mentioned.

Witness the case of 54-year-old Trinidad Sandoval:

She created a virtually 3-minute TikTok displaying her go-to eye cream in motion. Trinidad thought solely her 70 followers would see it. Nope.

She went viral and led the 10-year-old product to promote out nearly in all places inside every week.


♬ original sound – user3761092853451

This wasn’t a paid partnership – it was model loyalty and advocacy in motion.

This all provides as much as one vital lesson for manufacturers: TikTok shouldn’t be like different platforms, and it’s inconceivable to pretend your technique to success.

Above all: Be actual and put the neighborhood first. Create an amazing product. Construct that loyalty. And the neighborhood will gasoline the invention of your model.

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