MarketingThe what, where and how to cashing in on today's viral video-sharing social network.

Marketers, is it time to take TikTok seriously?

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TikTok factors in multiple indicators such as likes, shares, rewatches, video completions, etc. to arrive at defining what a “popular” video is.
TikTok factors in multiple indicators such as likes, shares, rewatches, video completions, etc. to arrive at defining what a “popular” video is. Photo Credit: Unsplash/Solen Feyissa

There are now 800 million monthly active users averaging 52 minutes of daily view time and 68% of users over 20 years old — TikTok's presence in the social media scene cannot be discounted.

So, how can the hospitality industry work this to their advantage? Online hotel booking system, STAAH shares a quick introduction to the viral app.

What is TikTok?

The video-sharing social network allows users to post quick videos that max out at 15 seconds, or combine these videos for up to 60 seconds. It's the home of viral dance trends, lip-sync videos and challenges, with the ability to add special effects and background music.

Not just for personal accounts, TikTok also has the Pro Account option for businesses to set up a business and ad account, with supporting resources to get started.

Weaving content in

Succeeding with TikTok comes down to creating exciting content, so people are more likely to watch and engage with your videos — thus pushing your content in front of others.

  • Show wonderful places inside and around your property. Focus on what’s unique and remember to edit your video and make it more engaging by adding trending sounds, filters, special effects.
  • Behind the scenes is fun content to share. From goof-ups to wins, everything goes. Keep the video authentic.
  • Collaborate with travel influencers on TikTok to create content that reaches an engaged audience. Partnerships with influencers and other local tourism businesses is a great way to move forward on this platform.

Working the TikTok algorithm

Unlike other social media channels, TikTok is less transparent with how its algorithm works. Marketers have shared the following tips:

  • Exposure and performance are closely linked.

The more popular your video, the more users re-watch, the better it performs. That is why making authentic and relatable content is imperative on TikTok.

  • Engagement matters.

TikTok factors in multiple indicators such as likes, shares, rewatches, video completions, etc. to arrive at defining what a “popular” video is.

  • Initial exposure is geo-based.

Videos are first shown to users in the same geo-location as you. This is great for hoteliers who are now looking to promote themselves locally.

  • Use hashtags and sounds to improve the discoverability of your content.

While there is no concrete guidance on it, using #fyp, #foryou or #foryourpage are thought to increase your chances to appear on For You feeds.

  • Don’t write off old content.

Even old videos can suddenly go viral on TikTok. If one of your older videos becomes more relevant and its engagement picks up, it could get served up ahead of others.

  • Boost up with paid ads

Just like all social media apps, TikTok offers direct feature advertisements from in-feed or top-view ads, also extending to more in-depth engagements such as brand take-overs, branded hashtag challenges and branded effects. But they are at a cost: a minimum spend of US$500.

For hoteliers and marketers starting off on their TikTok journey, it could be best to first create free content and understand who engages with it on this channel before pushing forward with a paid strategy.

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