Given that TikTok is a relatively new development in the world of social media marketing, many brands have a multitude of questions about the platform. What is TikTok for business and how does it work? What is a TikTok Business Account vs. a Creator Account? How can you leverage TikTok for business purposes and achieve organizational goals?
Here, we provide the answers to these questions and offer guidance on how to use TikTok for business pursuits. We also list some creative TikTok business ideas that marketers can use on their accounts.
- What is a TikTok Business Account?
- How to create a TikTok Business Account
- How to use TikTok for business
- Content strategy: TikTok ideas for businesses
What is a TikTok Business Account?
As the name suggests, TikTok Business Accounts are specifically designed for companies and brands, rather than individual creators. Because they are geared towards different goals, TikTok business accounts offer specialized features and tools that help companies create content and target audiences more effectively.
TikTok Business Accounts are different from Personal Accounts. When a new TikTok account is created, it is automatically created as a Personal Account. Under this default setting, the app assumes that the user is an individual using the platform for personal purposes (unless/until otherwise specified). The app even goes one step further for users under the age of 16, making their accounts private to ensure the security of minors.
If you’re relatively new to the world of TikTok, you might be wondering what the key differences are between TikTok Business Accounts vs. Creator Account. Again, TikTok Business Accounts are unique in that they function specifically to optimize branded content. As a result, they supply users with a distinct set of features and tools.
Some of the features you can expect to see on TikTok Business Accounts (that you wouldn’t see on standard creator accounts) include:
- The ability to run paid ads
- The capacity to work with TikTok influencers via the TikTok Creator Marketplace (an in-app platform that allows businesses to search for creators, invite them to collaborate, and assess their analytics)
- Analytics and real-time performance tracking
- Audience data
- A business content guide, which can advise you on every step of the content creation process
- The option to direct traffic to external websites
- Access to the Commercial Music Library (CML)
How to create a TikTok Business Account
In this section, we will explain how to make your TikTok a business account. Before we list the steps involved in this process, we’ll start by categorizing the different TikTok account types. TikTok accounts fall into two main categories: Personal and Pro. As of October 2020, the Pro level now features two subcategories: Business Account and Creator Account.
Remember: TikTok accounts are automatically created as Personal Accounts. Therefore, if you have an existing Personal Account, you will need to upgrade it to a TikTok Business Account to use it for business purposes.
These are the steps to follow to upgrade your account from a Personal Account to a Business Account:
- Open your TikTok account.
- In the top-right corner of your screen, tap the three dots or three horizontal lines (depending on the device you are using).
- *If you are using an Android device, you may see a pop-up menu. Select Settings and privacy.
- Click Manage Account.
- From the list of options, select Switch to Business Account.
- On the following screen, choose the business category that most closely aligns with your company. Upon doing so, you’ll receive customized event invitations, content suggestions, and solutions.
How to use TikTok for business
If you’re looking to innovate your marketing strategy, TikTok is an excellent place to do it. There are a variety of creative ways to use TikTok for business and integrate it into your overall social media strategy, which we explore in the following sections.
Collaborating with influencers on TikTok
Partnering with prominent TikTok creators is a fantastic way to reach new audiences and build relationships with those audiences by leveraging creators’ influence. When you create a TikTok Business Account, you gain access to the TikTok Creator Marketplace, where you can search for specific creators, send them collaboration invitations, and view campaign results.
Advertising on TikTok
TikTok Ads (also known as TikTok Ads Manager) is the tool through which businesses can publish and oversee the performance of their ads. TikTok advertising comes in a range of formats, including in-feed ads, brand takeovers, branded hashtag challenges, and branded lenses. Not only do TikTok ads provide a creative outlet for companies but they connect brands with TikTok’s prolific user base.
A key component of effective TikTok advertising is understanding the app’s algorithm, which is based on a number of factors, including video duration, content topic, hashtags, and keywords. By understanding these elements, you’ll be better able to abide by the algorithm and improve the chances of your content reaching more users.
When it comes to any marketing or advertising initiative, it’s vital to assess its performance. When you advertise on TikTok, this process is made incredibly easy thanks to TikTok analytics. Users who hold a TikTok Business Account automatically gain access to TikTok analytics, which features four categories:
- Overview – Here you can see a summary of your account’s engagement levels, follower count, and the number of posts published within a specific period.
- Content – This tab shows which of your videos were the most popular within a specific period, showing metrics like views, likes, comments, and shares.
- Followers – This tab offers insight into your follower count and your follower growth rate. You will also see important details about your audience members, including a gender breakdown and where they are from.
- LIVE – Under the LIVE tab, you will find a summary of the live videos you have streamed within a specific period, as well as how many viewers the videos had, how many followers you gained, and how much time you spent on live. Here you will also see the number of Diamonds you gained in that time frame. Diamonds are a form of virtual currency awarded to users who receive Gifts during live videos. You can learn more about LIVE gifting here.
To access TikTok analytics on mobile, follow the steps below:
- Visit your profile page.
- Open Settings in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Under Account, select Creator Tools.
- Select Analytics.
You can also check TikTok analytics on your desktop by following these steps:
- Log in to your TikTok account.
- Hover your cursor over your profile picture.
- Click View Analytics.
Content strategy: TikTok ideas for businesses
Many companies have integrated TikTok into their content strategies in creative and innovative ways. By familiarizing yourself with these marketing pursuits, you can use them as creative templates and develop your own TikTok strategy with ease.
Ryanair: Using memes as powerful branding tools
Ryanair is an Irish budget airline, known for its extremely discounted flights and, more recently, for its hilarious TikTok content. The company has done an outstanding job in mastering the TikTok algorithm, regularly using trending sounds and colloquial language to appeal to TikTok’s young user base.
Perhaps the most notable achievement is the creation of its signature airplane meme, which features a Ryanair plane with a pair of eyes and a mouth on it. A quick scroll of the airline’s TikTok account sees the meme repeatedly appear – an indication that it has become an integral component of its branding. In one video, the company goes as far as to acknowledge its use of the filter that creates the meme. The video garnered several comments with users confirming that they have come to associate the filter with Ryanair, solidifying its status as one of the most accomplished brands on TikTok.
Fenty Beauty & Rare Beauty: Leveraging celebrity owners to boost engagement
When it comes to TikTok marketing, what is a celebrity-owned business’ most valuable asset? The celebrity owner.
Brands like Fenty Beauty and Rare Beauty – created by Rihanna and Selena Gomez, respectively – are excellent examples of how certain companies are leveraging the presence of their famous founders. Both Rihanna and Selena Gomez boast incredibly successful and prolific careers, which is why it should come as no surprise that their companies’ TikTok content performs exceedingly well when they are featured.
In the case of these examples, the video featuring Rihanna has exceeded 11,000 likes, while Rare Beauty’s video with Selena Gomez has gained nearly 1 million views and over 43,000 likes.
Bentley: Partnering with influencers to target niche audiences
TikTok content caters to a wide range of interests and abilities, making the creative possibilities endless. Bentley is a great example of a brand that has taken note of this and used it to its advantage. In February 2022, the brand partnered with creator Kurt Schneider who makes music with unusual, everyday items; in this case, the items of choice were the various elements of a Bentley vehicle. The video also features a clever call-to-action with Kurt asking the audience to guess the song he is replicating, thereby encouraging users to comment on their guesses. While it may appear like an unlikely duo given that music and cars are two distinct interest groups, the collaboration worked incredibly well, with the video gaining 4.5 million views and more than 230,000 likes.