How Should Businesses and Brands Utilize TikTok?

It’s clear as can be that TikTok is one of the greatest untapped social media resources for businesses. Statistics alone tell the story:

  • Active TikTok Users: More than 1 billion
  • Active Users in the U.S.: 80 million
  • Average household income of average user: $100,000 annually

The number of TikTok users has long surpassed Instagram and is expected to surpass Facebook within the coming year. In 2021, users spent 3X as much time watching TikTok content as they did watching Netflix content.

So, with all this potential, how can you leverage it to benefit your business? Stream Companies keeps ahead of the trends in all arenas of traditional and digital marketing, and we’re here to offer our 5 core tenants for effectively using TikTok for business.

To learn more, watch our webinar!

1.K-I-S-S (Keep it Super Simple!)

Unlike many other social media channels, TikTok content isn’t about a perfectly curated feed. Audiences on TikTok value authenticity over perfection—they’re not looking for content that’s completely polished. Think: genuine and organic.

Today’s social media audiences have a keen eye for pushy sales techniques that pop up on their feed. That’s why we recommend developing an engage mindset instead of a sell mindset:









A Message

An Experience





While we ultimately want to convert leads into customers, doing so on TikTok is more about brand awareness than sales pitches—that means we need to engage with our audience. Create spur of the moment vignettes from your dealership floor. Utilize your mascot or even a pet. There are myriad ways to stay relevant to today’s audiences if you pay attention and keep your eyes open to opportunities.

Don’t create a brand on the fly. Keep it authentic

Phone playing a TikTok videoOn TikTok, we want to focus on engaging our audiences through brand recognition. If you don’t currently have a strong brand that you can create a narrative around for TikTok, don’t make one up on the fly. Instead, do a little legwork to:

  • Develop and refine your logo and tagline
  • Define your tone/message
  • Discover the USPs that set you apart

An experienced marketing and advertising agency like Stream Companies can help you build your brand, so you can start using it to engage TikTok users.

Your TikTok persona should be an extension of your business culture

Remember, any great brand is an extension of the business culture. Your TikTok persona should tie into your core values, brand message, and brand positioning. Most importantly, your brand’s TikTok personality should correlate with what consumers experience when they interact with your brand in real life. That’s authenticity defined.

2.Create a community

Consider this: At any given time in the automotive industry, only 2% of the market is in market to buy. If you consistently have engaging content over time, then the customer is going to come to you first when they’re ready to buy because you’ve gained familiarity. So, how do you create a dedicated community as a business on TikTok?

One of our top tips is to answer questions posted as comments with a video. This video shouldn’t be scripted and produced. Instead, have a recognizable member of your team open the app and record a conversational response. By creating a video response, brands can demonstrate passion and care for their fans, which builds credibility and community, while providing critical information for potential customers.

Another tip is to engage with other businesses in your area and in your industry. Building a community of businesses like or near yours allows you to share customer bases and deliver referrals.

An engaged fanbase is crucial

As we mentioned, today’s social media users have a keen eye for advertisements, and many may actively avoid them. So, it’s critical to build a community of followers and fans who go beyond just viewing content. Taking these steps can create an engaged viewer base that’s more likely to comment and share, too. An engaged fanbase provides authenticity and credibility while expanding the number of viewers of your content.

3.Hop on trends quickly

Phone with social media message, likes, and comments notificationsSimply put, waiting too long was one of the greatest mistakes that many businesses made during the early days of Facebook. As social mediums grew in popularity, many businesses took the “wait and see” approach before diving in to adopt Facebook as a marketing tool.

In this instance, businesses were able to adjust their strategies after-the-fact, but Facebook is much slower than TikTok, so the “wait and see” approach may mean missing out.

Popularity on TikTok is rooted in the ever-changing trends and the fast-paced world of modern social media. An agile strategy is critical. Sticking to the long, drawn-out process of conceptualizing, planning, filming, editing, approving, and posting may result in missing a trend completely. You don’t want to adopt a trend after it’s already over—that’s a social media faux pas.

Identify your brand’s online personalities

We’ve found that brands that succeed on TikTok don’t take themselves too seriously and jump on those trends quickly. Be open to adopting a controlled silliness that allows for spur-of-the-moment creativity.

Start by building a dedicated TikTok creative team you trust to have complete control. They’ll need the flexibility to post quickly, increasing the odds of a video going viral. However, you don’t need to hire a specific TikTok coordinator. Instead, look for current employees with the right personality. The best people for this team are:

  • Long-term employees who know your brand
  • Employees with experience and a knack for social media
  • Employees who are truly engaged with TikTok
  • Employees who are entertaining and can think on their feet

To ensure your content is as genuine as possible, it’s especially important to choose team members who understand the culture of TikTok and have an interest in it.

Vary content types to engage more users

It’s also important to remember that engaging on TikTok isn’t always about being zany or “out there”. TikTok is a platform with more than one billion users, and each user engages with the app differently. For example, many people use it as a source for reviews.

In fact, 30% of Generation Z prefers to do their product research on TikTok. Even if you don’t have a big personality as the face of your business, you can take advantage of this market simply by being active and educational on the platform.

You can do your own A/B testing by comparing your posts that utilize more selling-based tactics with the ones that are more engaging to discover what works best for your business. TikTok isn’t a one size fits all platform. Sticking with one kind of video may alienate some users, while attracting others.

4.Use hashtags. And use them correctly

Like many other social mediums, hashtags play a big role on TikTok, and it’s important to use them correctly. There are two primary tabs through which users can view and discover content:

  1. The “For You” page (like the Discovery page on other apps)
  2. The “Following” feed (videos created by accounts that user follows)

TikTok is unique because, unlike most other platforms, the “For You” page is the most-used feed. Viewers are shown content based on other videos they have liked significantly more than accounts they follow.

That means more people engage with recommended content. Effectively using hashtags (we recommend five hashtags per video) gets you on the recommended page for users who are already open to engaging with your content.

Broaden your definition of hashtags

There’s more to tagging a video on TikTok than just hashtags. For example, we’ve seen a client successfully reach more users by adding a song to a virtual tour of their dealership. Using a song or location creates a tag that allows your video to be seen alongside other videos from your area or ones that use the same song.

You can also utilize this tagging feature by duetting relevant and popular videos. This allows you to be seen by and capture that video’s audience as well.

5.Track engagement with analytics

With your TikTok for Business account, you can track your account’s analytics to gain insight into the things your target audience enjoys seeing—and refine your content accordingly. The biggest benefit to using these metrics is that it’ll take a lot of the guesswork out of your TikTok marketing strategy.

TikTok’s free in-app analytics are broken into four categories.

  1. Overview: Tracks engagement and follower count
  2. Content: Tracks your most popular videos
  3. Followers: Breaks down audience growth as well as audience demographics
  4. Live: Shows insights from Live videos

Stream Companies has ample experience tracking and interpreting analytics thanks to our many years in the digital advertising space. We can help you interpret yours, so you can learn how to identify the right trends to adopt and define what works for you and your brand.

Make TikTok part of your marketing strategy

TikTok offers many opportunities for brands that are quick to adopt this fast-paced platform. In addition to the free tools, there are also paid advertising features that can give your business even more of a boost. Contact the Stream team to discuss implementing TikTok as part of your marketing strategy today!