How Hootsuite Grew Our TikTok Following to 11.8K in Only 10 Months


For a social media firm, you may argue we have been a bit late to the TikTok sport. However whereas we solely launched our official TikTok technique in July 2021, we have been lurking on TikTok for years prior to that.

We watched, we adopted, we realized the language, after which we took the plunge into essentially the most thrilling factor to occur to social media because the invention of the selfie. We’re only some months into our TikTok journey however what an beautiful journey it’s been thus far—and one which’s introduced us all the way in which to 11,800 followers lower than a 12 months later.

We’ve laughed, cried, danced, gone viral, flopped spectacularly, and dueled with fellow owl-forward manufacturers (we’re you, Duolingo). Above all, we’ve realized a TON of classes that we would like to share with you to assist make utilizing TikTok for your enterprise rather less scary.

How we developed our TikTok technique

Find it irresistible or hate it, TikTok is more and more arduous to ignore. With over 2 billion downloads in complete, it’s rising at a fast tempo. It was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads (over 100 million greater than its closest rival, Instagram).

TikTok isn’t going wherever so we knew we would have liked a presence there. However like most manufacturers, we have been apprehensive concerning the position TikTok would play in our broader social media technique. We didn’t simply need to soar on the bandwagon for the sake of it, so we did our analysis.

  • We checked out what different manufacturers have been doing on TikTok and the way the profitable ones have interaction with their audiences.
  • We browsed the feedback and realized that TikTokers communicate a unique language. Phrases and emojis have different meanings. (e.g., 💀=😂)
  • We realized that tendencies come and go at a dizzying velocity and for those who wait too lengthy to react, you’ll be thought-about ‘cheugy’ (that’s TikTok communicate for off-trend or dated).
  • We realized that TikTok is a novel and terrifying platform. Nevertheless it presents an unbelievable alternative to strive one thing enjoyable and be genuine.

We created a TikTok account for our model in February 2021, secured our @Hootsuite deal with, and drafted our preliminary technique. We included a content material plan with 5 key pillars aligned to our total advertising aims and agreed to take a test-and-learn strategy.

We launched our technique in July 2021. We went viral; we have been an in a single day success; Owly was topped king and queen of TikTok; the tip.

Simply kidding. It was crickets.

@hootsuite Don’t fear, we’re nonetheless making an attempt to wrap our heads on this one as properly 🙃 #socialmedia #instagram #reels ♬ original sound – Hootsuite

Why we threw our technique out the window

One in all our largest learnings in the early days was that the content material we have been utilizing on different social media channels had no place on TikTok.

Whereas our purpose was to be sure our content material was hyper-focused on social entrepreneurs, we realized that isn’t the one factor individuals need to speak about on TikTok.

We realized that there was a chance to attain new audiences, construct extra model love, and humanize our group by bringing our mascot Owly to the forefront. We switched our bio from, “our pleasant social media specialists 👋” to “simply an owl on the TikTok asking the web to love me” to replicate this shift.

What didn’t work for us

We made the basic mistake of making professionally produced video content material for our early TikTok movies. They carried out okay, however it shortly grew to become clear that fashion was misplaced on TikTok.

TikTok analysis validated this—65% of TikTok customers agree that professional-looking movies from manufacturers really feel misplaced or odd on TikTok, in accordance to analysis (Advertising Science World Group and Self-expression Examine 2021).

So we threw our technique out the window and began once more.

We shifted away from our authentic content material pillars and launched revamped content material pillars that leaned into TikTok tendencies, embracing a extra versatile, short-term technique higher suited to the quick tempo of the platform.

To generate extra genuine content material on a funds, we reached out to some TikTok influencers to create user-generated content material (UGC) to share. The UGC carried out very well and crammed a spot in our content material, nonetheless, with our feed that includes so many alternative individuals, we began to lose our model voice somewhat.

That’s after we realized we would have liked our personal in-house TikTok content material creators.

What did work for us on TikTok—spectacularly

Battle of the manufacturers

After we first launched our mascot Owly to TikTok, we found they weren’t the one owl in city.

They have been shortly dubbed the “Walmart model” of language studying app Duolingo’s fashionable owl mascot Duo. We might have taken this to coronary heart and despatched Owly to their nest.

As an alternative, we noticed a chance to have some enjoyable.

@hootsuite Reply to @duolingo (*10*)

We instigated a ‘battle of the manufacturers’—a rising development on TikTok—and poked somewhat enjoyable at Duolingo’s TikTok video fashion. Folks beloved our spicy tone and commenced creating their very own narratives round Owly versus Duolingo—some needed us to struggle one another; others needed us to fall in love.

Our ‘battle of the manufacturers’ strategy resulted in a 5,205% enhance in followers. One video even went viral with 647,000 views in one week!

The 7-second problem

Originally of 2022, TikTok creators began reporting unbelievable engagement, just by posting text-heavy, seven-second movies that includes trending audio clips to beat the TikTok algorithm.

We experimented with the seven-second challenge development and it labored! We posted our video on February 2, 2022 and it went viral, clocking up 700,000 views.

@hootsuitedo that hack your self 🙌💯♬ original sound – material growl 😘💅

Capitalizing on trending audio

We observed that individuals who have been commenting on our posts fell into two buckets: individuals who knew and beloved Hootsuite and individuals who had completely no thought what Hootsuite was.

To showcase extra content material about what Hootsuite does, we launched product-centric posts, together with a collection of ‘product hacks’ demonstrating Hootsuite’s most-loved (and infrequently underrated) options and little-known methods.

One put up demonstrating our new planner view in the Hootsuite dashboard used some trending audio and was an enormous success, ensuing in a number of optimistic sentiment from our followers.

@hootsuitescheduling on social simply obtained rather a lot higher 😉♬ original sound – Barstool Sports

Dance problem (we had to!)

Then, in March 2022, we labored with Brian Esperon—the choreographer behind Cardi B’s WAP dance—to create a novel dance problem for Hootsuite as a part of our marketing campaign at SXSW, a significant tech and leisure convention.

Owly and Brian hit the streets of Austin, Texas with their sick strikes and obtained tons of various individuals concerned. General the marketing campaign’s movies clocked over 56,000 views on TikTok.

Whereas the dance movies have been successful, the way in which we executed this marketing campaign didn’t align with how individuals devour content material on TikTok. Within the run-up to the occasion, we launched a multi-part teaser video collection that was created to be consumed consecutively. We realized that self-contained movies work higher on TikTok.

Why? As well as to being tremendous fast-paced, TikTok isn’t a very chronological platform, so that you don’t know what’s going to land in your viewers’s #fyp and when. Folks may see movies in your collection out of order or solely see considered one of them, lacking out on vital particulars from the opposite entries. Protecting your whole story in a single video offers you one of the best probability of making certain your viewers sees the entire story—particularly for those who hold that one video as brief as attainable.

@hootsuite 🚨NEW TREND ALERT🚨 prepare to shake your tail feathers with these strikes 🤪 dc: @besperon & Owly #WheresOwly ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

Key takeaways for TikTok newbies

The position of the social media supervisor is evolving

Up to now, social media managers might sit behind the scenes, writing copy, creating graphics, and crunching numbers. With the arrival of TikTok (and related options like Instagram Reels), there’s a chance for our roles to develop into extra well-rounded as we flex our artistic muscle tissue.

Understanding the intricacies of video creation may be daunting at first. Not everyone seems to be snug recording themselves or being on digital camera, however with observe, it will get simpler.

When you can, rent content material creators or discover individuals in your crew who’re genuinely enthusiastic about TikTok and revel in being in entrance of the digital camera.

Our Social Advertising Coordinator and in-house TikTok aficionada Eileen Kwok is crushing it. Observe us on TikTok to see her strike the right steadiness between capitalizing on TikTok tendencies and offering useful evergreen recommendation and help to our core viewers of social media managers.

@hootsuitehootsuite at all times saving me time 😍♬ original sound – Hootsuite

Genuine works greatest

When entrepreneurs consider video creation, we usually consider pricey or time-consuming manufacturing that eats up a TON of funds and assets.

TikTok doesn’t want that high-production content material. In truth, genuine, unpolished low-production movies resonate significantly better with TikTok customers.

Be taught to communicate TikTok

TikTok has its personal language and elegance. You may present your viewers that you simply perceive the platform by studying how greatest to talk on it. Watch how different manufacturers do it by studying the feedback sections or learn our TikTok Culture Guide for ideas.

Touch upon different model accounts

The remark part of TikTok movies is an thrilling (and surprisingly optimistic) place. Many customers really go straight to the feedback earlier than watching the complete video to see what others are saying about it. (The feedback are additionally a fantastic place to learn the way to communicate TikTok.)

We began proactively commenting on different manufacturers’ accounts and a few of our feedback acquired hundreds of likes, which introduced tons of visitors to our account.

TikTok tendencies don’t wait

Leaning into totally different TikTok tendencies is the simplest method to construct your followers. So for those who discover a development that fits your model, don’t waste time over-thinking content material manufacturing.

Act quick or the development may cross you by. (Tip: When you’re too late for a development on TikTok, don’t fear: You may nonetheless be early on Instagram.)

Be selective with the tendencies you soar on

A whole lot of TikTok humor is darkish and NSFW (not secure for work). Watch out which tendencies you hop on (and which songs you select for backing tracks).

Maintain your viewers in thoughts always by asking your self if they might relate to or respect your humor.

collage of two screenshot images showing Hootsuite interacting with comments on TikTok

TikTok tendencies transfer FAST. Keep up-to-date with our TikTok Traits E-newsletter. Enroll to get the most recent updates, our suggestions on whether or not your enterprise ought to hop on them, inspo from manufacturers doing cool issues on TikTok, and scorching ideas.

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