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Recently, a startling statistic rocked everyone over the age of 25: nearly 40% of Gen Z users prefer using the app TikTok to Google for searching.

This finding was confusing for several reasons. For one, TikTok is best known as a viral video platform, particularly for dance crazes and memes. The idea of finding actual information on TikTok is a hard concept to get your head around for non-users.

But the truth is that TikTok offers so much more: DIY, recipe videos, reviews, political content, and everything else. Its enormous popularity has created a paradigm shift in the entertainment industry and sent veteran companies like Instagram and Facebook scrambling to compete. But what does this mean for a small business owner?

How is TikTok Different?

TikTok differs from conventional social media in two critical ways. For one, it is entirely based on videos ranging from 10 seconds to 10 minutes (though most are on the shorter side.) For another, users can completely ignore the site’s search function thanks to its seemingly magical algorithm that serves a constant stream of new content. If you don’t like a video, simply swipe it away and it’s on to the next one. This low-effort, endless approach to content is the app’s addictive secret.

That endless content is bolstered by TikTok’s remixing abilities, where users can “duet” with others or use popular audio clips in their videos. Musicians have used this to launch their careers: a single viral song on TikTok can be the next big radio hit.

Creating Content for TikTok

You’ll find creating content for TikTok isn’t much different than you’re used to: users want content that’s informative, authentic, and interesting. With TikTok it’s extra important to grab people’s attention quickly (since they can just scroll away) and to be concise. The site’s userbase also skews younger, and they’re very sensitive to inauthentic attempts to connect with them. So if they’re your target, just be real; it’ll get you further than misunderstanding a meme.

For targeting your content, you want to use keywords based on your goals. Going after niche communities you’ll want low search volume but high relevance. For maximum exposure, you’ll want max search volume and minimum difficulty. TikTok’s algorithm picks out keywords in both video descriptions and audio so make sure to include them in both. If you’re remixing audio, be careful as trends go fast on TikTok and you don’t want to force people to listen to “Astronaut in the Ocean” again.

Your keyword and hashtag choices also depend on what phase of customer you’re targeting. A longer phrase (takeout Chinese food in North Raleigh) is better suited for a customer about to buy, whereas a shorter phrase (Chinese food) is for exposure or gaining new followers.

Are you a small business looking to grow your social media presence? Final Piece can help – contact us today. 

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