TikTok first penetrated the market as Musical.ly, but recently rebranded as TikTok. As a video-based application, TikTok allows users to film and share short videos, usually injected with musical overlays, fun filters and effects, as well as customised text. Since its penetration into the mainstream, TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms in the entire world, with more than 500 million active users monthly and a collective download rate of more than 660 million.
As of December 2019, 8.7 percent of the UK’s smartphone population is using TikTok, with over 60 percent of them between 16 to 24 years of age. Especially popular among the younger generations, TikTok presents an opportunity for businesses like restaurants to reach a new demographic of potential diners. To successfully use TikTok as a marketing tool, here is a simple guide for you. Let’s start!
Getting Started on TikTok
Fortunately, TikTok is free, as with other social media platforms! To successfully use TikTok for your restaurant marketing efforts, you first need to be active on the platform. Begin by downloading the application on iOS or Android and create an account. Choose a username and add a profile photo or video, elements that should embody what your restaurant business offers. We've found that making your account as personal as possible works wonders. Perhaps instead of using your brands logo, you could use a picture of your Head Chef and position your account around them, or even the owner of the restaurant with your brands colours in the background.
Before using it as a marketing tool, explore TikTok and familiarise yourself with the type of content people engage with. Learn how best to connect with other TikTokers, as this is essential to gaining popularity later on. As you explore, you’ll find that TikTok is a platform for fun and creativity. Videos usually last for 15 to 60 seconds, often using a casual, personal and approachable tone. Your usual highly polished videos won’t thrive here—a simple smartphone video will be more than enough!
To make your video content stand out, remember to make use of filters and special effects, as with the video speed. TikTok also allows you to trim the video and add additional effects, such as music. You can create audio mash-ups for your videos or pick among a selection already available in the library. When you’re ready to publish, remember this crucial aspect: add a catchy caption and relevant hashtags, as this makes your content searchable, reminiscent of SEO.
In addition, it’s important to remember to just have fun! Original content that stays true to your brand’s personality is key. TikTok is a platform that boasts genuineness and openness, so make sure to remember to exude those qualities in your content.
How to Utilise TikTok for Your Marketing Efforts.
Now that you have a good grasp of how TikTok works, it’s time to delve further into the marketing opportunities it can bring. Like other forms of social media, TikTok can be utilised for brand awareness generation, allowing you to engage further with potential customers.
Your restaurant can be marketed on TikTok in three simple ways:
Posting of relevant videos on your channel
Partnering with influencers to broaden the reach
Advertising on TikTok
Most brands have come up with different ways of combining any of the three methods. For instance, your restaurant can upload original video content every single day, as this helps keep your brand stay top-of-mind. You can also work on creating engaging experiences for your diners, which can encourage them to post about their own experiences on their TikTok channels.
The younger millennials and Gen Z love being involved. To encourage them to participate, post challenges like “build your own dish” or “create your own cocktail.” TikTokers will be compelled to create their own video content assembling a certain dish or drink their own way, helping you reach new audiences!
Here are more ways to market and advertise on TikTok:
Hashtag challenges - These are key to the platform’s community. Here, users film a short video on challenges, and upon publishing, the caption “#(name of the challenge)” is used. Similar to SEO, this makes the video content searchable.
Influencer marketing - Similar to Instagram, influencers can help supplement your marketing efforts. As a restaurant business, you could partner with local foodies and have them post about the dishes and experiences at your local establishment. Be sure to allow the influencers to create their content, though, as they know their followers better than anyone.
Infeed native content - Similar to Instagram Stories and Snapchat ads which is platform-based, helping you gain website clicks and conversions.
The landscape of marketing changes drastically, and with social media platforms evolving with the times, it’s best to keep track of what’s new in order to adapt quickly. As with any businesses, your restaurant needs marketing efforts that go beyond flyers and Facebook posts. Ultimately, the key to reaching potential customers is through active engagement. Given its nature, TikTok allows just that—direct engagement and resonance.
As you branch out your marketing efforts into TikTok, get in touch with us to see how we can help. We are a digital marketing agency specialising in digital marketing for restaurants, along with other social media efforts targeted on food. We take trends seriously and we turn them into leads and conversions for you!