Every brand and every business should have a PR strategy. This is not new news. Nevertheless, there are so many industries and numerous types of businesses, yet only a handful of channels to pursue public relations. It is important to understand how a company should utilize these channels to their advantage.
Here, I will be tackling the newest boomer in social media in TikTok. Although a very complex platform, and difficult to learn how to use, it is a very effective tool to keep up your sleeve.
Now, just to be clear… I am going to be covering the PR angle on TikTok. If you are unsure as to how PR differs from other company business units, refresh yourself with our blog post on the difference between marketing, advertising, and PR. Now, let's get into it.
Understand the TikTok ‘Vibe’
TikTok is a very unique platform that has evolved greatly since its purchase of Musica.ly in 2017. The best thing for a company to do when considering TikTok for their PR practices is to hop on TikTok and see what kind of content is flying around, especially with well-known entities. If you don’t want to leave and see for yourself right now, I can give you a little run down of what I mean.
TikTok is a platform that pushes people to show their friendly and creative side. It is a mobile, vertical video-based platform that people use to entertain themselves until the clock tiks midnight (pun intended 😉). They watch dances, lip syncs, cannonballs, etc., similar to the likes of Snapchat and Vine.
It is important to understand that TikTok video is supposed to be intriguing and create value for the user. Simply promoting a product exactly like you would on Facebook or Twitter may not be as successful on TikTok.
The big concept businesses are running through TikTok revolves around campaigns. These can be anything like dances with a company’s shirt, or a picture drawing commercial with a new pencil that has been developed. A brand has to be very careful about how they do this because it has to be interesting enough for a user to interact with it. TikTok influencers can also be used to promote a company or brand. For a good read going specifically into how companies are running TikTok campaigns, check out this blog post by MediaKix.
The tricky part is, if you are a newer start-up company, it can be tough to get the interest and views of these bigger companies and brands. For an idea of how you should go about using TikTok as a startup, check out PR Over Coffee's post about it.
For other ideas on how to utilize all of TikTok’s PR offerings, click here
Keep Content Authentic
Besides understanding the meaning and ‘vibe’ behind TikTok, one of the most important pieces of using TikTok for your PR is to keep content as real as it can be. This means friendly captions and emojis. It means welcoming and inviting content. It means thumb-stopping content that will put a positive look on your brand or company in an effort to generate more sales. Our friends at Agility PR make the connection of big brands like The Washington Post and the NFL adjusting the younger audience in Gen-Z - starting with TikTok.
One point I would like to bring into play, that has been a problem in the past is the ethics behind the content that is posted. It is common for brands and companies to get wrapped into what they post, trying to get customer attraction, and it's not just through TikTok. Vuelio has a great section on the ethics behind all of this in their blog post.
When Struggle Comes, Keep Trying
TikTok is a very new social media channel (2017) and companies are just starting to use it for their brand. Glean.Info describes it as “testing the waters.” When you are creating challenges, campaigns, video content, etc. you have to try and find the right balance of music, filters, dance moves, and whatever it is to not overwhelm the customer. Videos will fail and videos will succeed; but with a new channel, it is important to keep trying.
Last Thing, Have Fun!
TikTok is a very fun and innovative tool and can put a very positive swing on the perception of your company, enjoy it! 😃
‼️ Check out the rest of our blog here and keep an eye out for future posts to help build your company’s PR ‼️
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About the Author
Trevor is a third-year Marketing and Finance student at the University of Colorado, USA, and joined GuidedPR as a Marketing Assistant. He has a passion for football, golf, and music as well as a grown appreciation for traveling. Trevor also loves meeting new people and leaving a positive mark on the world.
Find Trevor on LinkedIn.