Last night I was lying on my couch enjoying my nightly scroll through TikTok when a video promoting a silk bonnet came up on my For You Page. Never in my life have I considered buying a silk bonnet, but earlier I was searching for tips and tricks on how to get healthier hair. It was a cute, 45-second long organic video featuring another twenty-something-year-old female. The only difference between us was that she had long, beautiful, healthy hair, and mine is well— fried. She modeled the product, explained how to use it, and showcased its value. I bet you can guess what I did next. My new pink silk bonnet will be here in 3-7 business days.

The entire transaction was seamless and took less than a minute, all thanks to the TikTok Shop, one of many ways the app has become a powerful tool for creators, users, and businesses to leverage. When you open other social media apps like Instagram, the first page that opens up is your following. When you open up TikTok, it’s your For You Page, a page of endless scrolling through videos, carousels, skits, and so much more from users all across the world. And for brands, nothing fits the customer journey puzzle better than an organic video made into a paid ad mixed into an organic feed.

It’s the conversion brands dream of: engaging, real content that didn’t require a production level photo shoot to achieve. But with any newer channel or tactic, it can be confusing on how to show up and engage your audience authentically.

While the future of TikTok may be uncertain, the app will pursue legal action against the bill passed requiring TikTok to be sold within a year to a buyer that satisfies the U.S. government. This is poised to be a legal issue that will take time to resolve, so the app isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, and definitely not tomorrow! Brands should remain active on the platform, both organically and with paid investments at this time.

Now is the time for brands to start testing, learning and diversifying their investments across platform partners. This can include TikTok - as the future remains unclear, it’s critical for brands to know just how well content resonates with their audience on the app.

Keep reading for six tips from our TikTok experts on how to Organically Engage Your Audience:

1. Focus on producing high-quality content that stands out. A user’s For You Page can get crowded, so it’s important to stand out. Be creative, try to stay original by adding a personal twist and don’t be afraid to use comedy. Think about the Chipotle TikTok account— people love a fun personality that stays on top of trends. TikTok is a place where your brand can let their personality shine and not take themselves seriously. Showcase the value of your products or services, but make sure you’re having fun!

2. Tell a story. The best part about TikTok for brands? Most users actually watch TikTok videos in full. This means it’s a unique space for businesses to really reel customers in with long video formats. Focus on telling a great story: flaunt your product, show its features, explain its value and why everyone should have it.

3. Encourage users to engage. You can never have too much engagement. Let it be known you want users to comment and ask questions. Encourage them by asking what their favorite product of yours is, what questions they have or even a question related to your industry.

4. Interact with your audience. Everyone wants to be heard in some way, shape or form, even when it comes to shopping. If someone asks a question, don’t hesitate to comment back. Check your messages and try your best to respond to potential customers. We know to some level, if you are a larger scaling business, you can’t respond to everyone. But, most times people have the same questions, so responding to a few here or there will get the job done. Compiling commonly asked questions and creating a video is another great way to inspire engagement and show users you’re listening.

5. Be authentic. Authenticity is key on TikTok. People LOVE content they can relate to and it allows brands to connect with users on a personal level. Experiment with behind the scenes videos, clothing try-ons, trending challenges, product demonstrations. Put yourself in consumers shoes - would you want to see it? Then go for it - nothing is off limits!

6. Stay consistent. While TikTok is a fun channel where brands can showcase personality, consistency is key. Staying consistent when advertising or running organic media on TikTok is critical to establish brand recognition while maintaining top-of-mind awareness among your audience. By regularly appearing in a user's feed you reinforce your brand's identity, which you want to keep consistent. With consistency you build trust.

While paid social is always top of mind for brands, organic content almost always feels more real. Whether it's being used in a paid ad or an organic post, it resonates better with users.  It’s nice to see a real person try something on or test a product, as opposed to your regular scheduled advertising. TikTok is the moment of social media right now. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the fun!

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