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TikTok is a highly popular, trend focused social media app that allows users to create, watch, and share video-based content. In 2022, TikTok was the most downloaded app globally (850 million downloads), followed by Instagram and WhatsApp. TikTok is now available in more than 200 countries.

Why should your business be on TikTok? Research shows, brands are remembered 40% more on TikTok than on other platforms. Learn all about TikTok below;

History and Evolution of TikTok

Before TikTok exploded into the phenomena it is today, there was Musical.ly. A platform where users could create and share short lip-syncing videos. After it was acquired by Bytedance in 2018, it was renamed to TikTok and evolved from just a lip-syncing app to a platform where users were able to get creative with their content - from synchronised dances, funny sketches to informative videos.

How Old Are People On TikTok?

It’s not a secret that TikTok is most popular with the younger demographic. The video-sharing app allows users to create short form videos on any topic, so we understand the appeal. A total of 60% of TikTok users globally are Gen Z, followed by Millennials, but interestingly, ‘despite its youthful reputation, engagement has grown the most among Gen X and baby boomers.’ (GWI Social Media Trends Report).

TikTok Controversy

Despite its popularity, TikTok has faced several controversies. Many countries and regions around the world have implemented partial or total bans of the app due to concerns it may be leaking sensitive data to the Chinese government. And most recently, The US and Canada have both issued orders to ban the use of TikTok on government-issued mobile devices citing privacy and cybersecurity concerns in spite of Chinese owned parent company Bytedance, maintaining that they do not share data with the Chinese government.

In Australia, for almost two years nothing much has happened on the regulatory front as the app continued to explode in popularity. It is now estimated that 7 million Australians use TikTok each month. But now, following its fellow Five Eyes security partners – the US, Britain, New Zealand and Canada – who have all announced similar bans, Australia could be looking at a similar ban or worse.

Despite these challenges, TikTok still remains one of the fastest growing apps in the world.

Get Started With TikTok

Get started with TikTok

Why You Should Use TikTok for Your Business

TikTok has fast become one of the most popular apps and its user base continues to grow rapidly with no indication of slowing down anytime soon. In a blog post posted by the company, they show that TikTok reached 1 billion monthly active users around the world back in September 2021. Opening up a huge opportunity for businesses to reach a wider and younger audience in a fun and authentic way. Brands like Chipotle (@chipotle), Starbucks (@starbucks), Redbull (@redbull) and Australia’s very own Sticky lollies (@stickyaustralia), have successfully used the platform by creating branded hashtag challenges, utilising influencer creators and by creating unique and engaging content.

Venues have been using the platform for hosting Q&As, sharing behind the scenes moments and videos of their menu and weekly venue offerings, as well as teaming up with influencers for increased reach.

Setting Up Your TikTok Business Account

Creating a TikTok Business Account is super easy and won’t take you very long. Start with downloading the TikTok app (if you haven’t already) and set up a user account. We suggest using a business email, in case you want to keep or create a personal account later on. Once that’s completed, it’s time to switch your profile to a Business Account.

To switch your account type:

  • In the TikTok app, tap Profile at the bottom.
  • Tap the Hamburger icon button on the top right.
  • Tap Settings and Privacy.
  • Tap Account.
  • Tap Switch to Business Account and follow the instructions provided to finish.
  • Add information about your business to your TikTok profile, including contact information and a link to drive traffic to your official website

Optimise Your Account

Tip #1

Choose a profile picture and user name that represents your brand. Try to stick to the same user name and profile pic across all social media platforms for consistency. This way, your brand will be easier to find and increase brand recall. We recommend using your logo or a strongly branded image for your profile image people will instantly recognise.

Tip #2

Create a clear and engaging bio that describes who you are and what your brand has to offer. You have 80 characters in your TikTok bio to do this, so remember to keep it short and snappy.

Tip #3

Add a URL to direct traffic to your website. Similar to other social media accounts, TikTok only allows you to have one clickable link. So, we suggest making the most of this by using tools such as Linktree, Campsite or Later , allowing you to direct your audience to multiple landing pages.

**Since January 20, 2022, only Business Accounts with 1,000+ followers can add a website link to their profile page.

Tip #4

Once you’ve started creating content, pin your best content (max 3 videos).

Types of Content

While creating TikTok video content that is both engaging and entertaining seems intimidating, the ideas are endless! And while we suggest experimenting with different types of videos to see which works best for your brand and target audience, we’ve compiled some of the top content ideas for businesses across the platform to help get you started.

Get to know you and the team
  • Workplace/venue tours
  • Meet the team
  • Share success stories
The Company and Behind the Scenes
  • Showcase your offering (menu items, food and specials etc.)
  • Behind the scenes and ‘How-to’ videos
  • Tease an upcoming product/campaign/event
  • How to use products
  • Education videos (Wine or beer 101 etc)
  • Share tips and tricks
  • Put a viral hack to the test
User Generated Content
  • Create a branded hashtag challenge
  • Run a competition campaign
  • Utilise the ‘Stitch’ and ‘Duet’ options and mix your videos with others

TikTok Algorithm

how the TikTok algorithm works

TikTok Algorithm

TikTok’s algorithm centres around the ‘For You’ page. The For You feed is unique to each user based on a number of factors such as;

User interactions

Such as videos you have watched, liked, favourited or shared in the past, comments you’ve posted, accounts you follow, and content you create on your own account.

Video information

Based on the content you tend to seek out through Discover or by searching. It includes captions, sounds, hashtags, and trending topics.

Device and account settings

Your location and language preferences.

The idea is for TikTok to provide you with videos curated to your interest and to help you find more content you enjoy – therefore using/staying on the app longer.

To kick start the algorithm, TikTok asks new users to select categories of interest when setting up their account. This will start an initial feed, which over time will develop into a more curated For You feed based on your interactions moving forward. What happens if you don’t select any categories? TikTok will push a very general feed of videos and base your feed on your first set of likes, comments etc. Until it starts to learn more about your interests.

Ultimately, the better understanding a business has of how the TikTok algorithm works, the better chances of the business account growing.

TikTok Filter Bubbles

How exactly is the TikTok algorithm so well customised for the audiences?

TikTok helped content creators connect with audiences based on commonalities to develop a symbiotic ecosystem. And to achieve this effect, it followed a two-pronged strategy — curate a personalized “For You Page” to retain app user interest and boost influencer reach to reward them for creating valuable content.

Whenever a TikTok user logs into the app, they are shown eight viral videos from various genres. Based on what video the user chose, the algorithm shares another eight new videos in that genre. The algorithm also collects data about the user's device, account settings, captions, hashtags, language settings, location, and more. By taking that information, TikTok labels and categorizes people into "clusters" and keeps them in "bubbles."

While the impressive accuracy of TikTok’s recommender system (RS) could be used to effectively communicate important messages, there are several arguments that this tool can be misused and/or have audiences stuck in 'filter bubbles.' 

TikTok acknowledged in its blog post some of the challenges that come with designing recommendation algorithms, like this risk of creating filter bubbles, where users are shown the same one-sided ideas over and over again, and the app is still trying to find a middle-ground.

Grow Your TikTok Following

how to grow your TikTok following

Grow Your TikTok Following

Study the Platform and Know Your Audience

If you’re serious about growing your TikTok followers, it’s best to start at the beginning. Learn everything you can about your target audience. What type of content do they like? Do they enjoy short and fast videos filled with light hearted humour? Or do they prefer longer, more informative videos where they are hoping to learn something new about products?

Business accounts have access to insights, which is very helpful in providing information on your audience. Find what it is that they like, and structure your content around them.
Create Engaging and Quality Content

Once you’ve zeroed in on your target audience, the next step to grow your business account is to start creating high quality, engaging content. It’s important to keep in mind that while TikTok videos are known for being spontaneous and fun, your content should still be quality and relevant to your business or brand.

Interact With Your Audience

TikTok is a very interactive platform, so take advantage of it. And in order for a business to grow their TikTok account, it’s important to engage with your audience on all active social media platforms. Reply to people who comment on your videos, spend some time following or liking other creators' content, post videos asking questions people may have about your business etc.

Share Videos Frequently

Similar to other social media platforms, by posting frequently increases your visibility. TikTok recommends aiming to post 1-4 times per day to test how different types of content are received. If that seems like it would be taking up too much time, we recommend trying to post 3-5 times a week, to help gain traction over time.

Jump on Trending Songs and Sounds

In short, the algorithm will favour any content using trending sounds, so using them will be a sure way to get more views on your videos. You can find trending songs in the discover tab, or use the selection that the TikTok app suggests when you shoot a new video.

Don’t Forget the Hashtags!

Hashtags should play a big part in your TikTok marketing strategy. They can help your content get seen by an audience outside of your followers and allow you to see what’s trending. They have become quite a very effective marketing tool for businesses, brands and creators alike.

Keep in mind that you should be using hashtags relevant to your product/brand, instead of only using hashtags that are trending.

TikTok Feed vs TikTok Story

tiktok feed vs tiktok story

When you go to post something on TikTok, you can either post it temporarily as a story, or on your feed as a post.

TikTok Feed

TikTok Feed refers to your profile page and the content you post there. The content you share will show up in your followers’ feeds and have a permanent place on your profile (unless you delete it or make it private). Because of this, the feed is preferably something that you keep well curated and only use strategic content that represents your business.

TikTok Stories

Similar to Instagram stories, TikTok stories allow you to share videos up to 15 seconds on your profile that disappears after 24 hours.

Stories appear on the For You page like regular TikTok videos. You are also able to like Stories and leave a public comment. This is something that sets TikTok Stories apart from other platforms, where you can typically only reply to the person who posted the story.

You can find them by tapping on a user's profile picture. If someone has posted a Story to TikTok, they will have a light blue circle encasing their profile photo.

TikTok Insights

how to use instagram insights

TikTok Insights

TikTok Insights allows you to cut through heaps of the platform’s data to get straight to the insights that are relevant to your business.

Here, you'll find "snackable" insights on everything from how your community behaves and connects with brands, to how ads on the platform are driving real business impact.


Under the Audience tab, you’re able to filter your audience by Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X. This helps with understanding your audience, helping you to then create highly targeted ads towards your chosen demographics.


In this tab you can filter data by the category of information you'd like to see.

  • Advertising
  • Creator
  • People
  • Trust & safety
  • Ad solutions
  • Effectiveness


You can choose your business' industry and get tailored information on how users interact with businesses similar to yours. E.g. If you were to choose Food & Beverage, you'd find out that 46% of TikTok users said they would recommend TikTok to others who are shopping for food and beverage.

Holidays & Events

When creating a marketing plan around holidays and events, this tab helps you dive deeper into the users' behaviours and preferences on different occasions. These include Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, Easter and more.


From 2020- present, you can learn all about TikTok trends and behaviours through the years. This not only gives you a keen insight to the platform's journey, but also helps you make future predictions.

Advertise On TikTok

advertise on tiktok


TikTok has emerged into a powerful platform for social media advertising, proving that it is far more than just entertainment for the younger generations. TikTok surpassed 1 billion users, and TikTok ads can now reach an estimated adult audience of 825 million people world-wide.

Benefits of TikTok Ads:

  • Flexible cost-control
  • Immersive full-screen, sound-on ads
  • Ready-to use templates for ad creatives
  • Good customer support

Drawback of TikTok Ads:

  • Minimum campaign budget of $500
  • TikTok prohibits the advertising of alcohol
  • Making good creatives (video with sound) can be more time consuming than other platforms
  • Since it is newer than Instagram and Facebook, there may be a lot of trial and error involved to optimise your results

Should your food or hospitality brand be advertising on TikTok? Learn more on our blog on TikTok Ads.

How to Advertise on TikTok

There are two ways to create ads for TikTok. For someone new to paid social media, it can be both confusing and difficult to get right.

Spark Ads

Marketers use this ad format to scale UGC (User Generated Content) and own organic content. It helps drive more eyes and engagement during brand discovery. For a quick reference, this is similar to boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram but with the ability to use influencer feed posts.

Create Ads in TikTok Ads Manager

TikTok Non-Spark ads are a standard format delivered to the ‘For You’ page. The ad video placing is seamless, creating a more native content approach but with a Call-To-Action for TikTok users.

TikTok Ad Formats

Since TikTok focuses on the visual, the most important element of your TikTok ads is, you guessed it - the content. Within the Ads Manager, you can choose to use a single image, a selection of images or a video, paired with text and a call to action. Similar to Meta Ads, there are a number of different options to choose from:

In-feed Ads

These types of TikTok ads appear as people scroll through their “For You Page” (FYP).

In-Feed ads can be up to 60 seconds long (although videos between 9 to 15 seconds seem to be the “sweet spot”). TikTokers can actually engage with these ads via likes, comments (sometimes) and shares. On the flip side, these ads are also skippable.

TopView Ads

These “video-first format” ads are 60 seconds long and appear immediately after someone opens the TikTok app.

These ads are unique because they’re full-screen and auto-play with sound. Advertisers can include a call-to-action button within the ad. These ads are quite literally “must-see” since they take over your entire screen.

Spark Ads

Like In-Feed ads, these ads look and feel like organic content. That’s because they appear in-feed without interrupting the scrolling experience.

But unlike In-Feed ads, Spark ads can link out to a TikTok account versus just a landing page. Since these ads are attributed to an actual TikTok account, viewers can visit the original poster directly.

Brand Takeover Ads

These full-screen ads appear on the FYP immediately after someone opens TikTok. They’re created using 3 to 5-second videos (or 3-second images), directing viewers to a Hashtag Challenge or landing page.

TikTokers only see one Branded Takeover ad per day. This means less competition for the ad space but also makes them slightly expensive.

Branded Hashtag Challenge

These sponsored hashtag challenges are featured at the top of TikTok’s Discover Page. This form of advertising results in greater engagement (on average 8.5%) and encourages user-generated content, too.

A viewer clicks on the branded hashtag challenge at the top of the Discover Page. They’re taken to a Brand Challenge page containing a description of the challenge, rules, the sponsoring brand’s logo and a link to their website. TikTokers then create their own content based on the challenge, using the brand’s hashtag to promote their post.

TikTok Ad Creatives

In line with the short attention span of the new-age users, TikTok ads tend to have a short life span. This means that their shelf-life is shorter and longer campaigns must have their creatives refreshed every month.

Here are the ad specs to keep in mind:

  • Use vertical videos.
  • The recommended aspect ratio for all TikTok videos is 9:16.
  • Resolution options– 720px x 1280px, 640px x 640px, and 1280px x 720px.
  • Ad videos can be anywhere between 3 and 60 seconds long, but videos with a duration of 9 to 15 seconds perform best.
  • Your brand name should be between 2 to 20 characters long. App names should be about 4 to 40 characters.
  • Include a product description or service explanation with In-Feed Ads and TopView Ads. Descriptions should be between 12 to 100 characters long.

Targeting on TikTok

With TikTok ads, there are three primary targeting options:

  • Broad, which has no specific targeting and therefore leaves it essentially to TikTok's algorithms to find the audience
  • Layered interests, for which you can choose things like interest categories, engagement-based videos or views, fans of certain types of creators, and even hashtags
  • Source data, such as a list you might upload from an email provider or your SMS subscriber list, which you can upload to a custom audience and build a lookalike audience on top of that.

Measuring Success on TikTok Ads

Let's go through some of the metrics you may want to keep track of to gauge performance and make updates to your strategy.


A marketing impression is defined as the number of opportunities people have to view your campaign. Essentially, impressions are the number of times your ad has been shown.

TikTok Ads impressions are important as they help brands gauge users’ interest level in their products or services, they can provide valuable insights into content resonating with users and driving engagement, and finally, impressions can inform future marketing strategies and budgeting decisions.


Your ad clicks are very straightforward, a cumulation of the number of times people have clicked on your ads. If your ad’s goal is to drive traffic to your website, this is a key metric and is indicative of the efficacy of your campaign. This is also shown in your TikTok Ads Manager.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Your CTR calculates the percentage of users who viewed your ad (impressions) and then went on to click on the ad. This is automatically calculated in the backend. The average CTR across all industries on TikTok is 0.58%.

CTR =Total Clicks on Ad / Total Impressions

Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is your number of conversions divided by your total number of visitors. In other words, a conversion is simply getting someone to respond to your call-to-action. This could be bookings, app downloads, visiting your website or buying a product.

If your TikTok ad campaign gets viewed by 5,000 visitors in a month and you have 50 conversions, you would calculate your conversion rate as follows:

50/5,000 = 0.1 x 100 =1% conversion rate

Engagement Rate

Your engagement rate is also calculated as a percentage and tells you how engaged your visitors are with your TikTok ad content. In other words, this metric assesses the quality of your content and how your followers interact with it. You can calculate your engagement rate with this formula:

Engagement Rate = Total Engagement / Total Followers x 100%

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS is how much money you make on an ad campaign versus how much you spent on putting the ad campaign together. There's no point in putting a sophisticated ad campaign together if you're not going to get enough sales to cover the costs and give you good returns.

A good return for most businesses on TikTok is 250% – or 2.5:1.

You can use this formula to calculate ROAS:

ROAS = Revenue from Advertising / Cost of Advertising

Cost per View (CPV)

CPV is a pricing model that calculates how much you pay for each video viewed in your brand awareness campaigns. This metric will help you ensure that you're getting your money's worth out of your advertising budget. You should be aiming for a CPV less than $0.20.

You can calculate your CPV with this formula:

CPV = Advertising Cost / Video Views

Cost per Click (CPC)

This is a pricing model which charges you a set cost per user click. On TikTok, the CPC is $0.19, while the average CPC is $1 or less based on biddable ads. The formula for calculating your CPC is:

Cost Per Click = Advertising Cost / Number of Clicks

Cost per Mille (CPM)

CPM calculates how much you're spending on an ad campaign for every 1 000 impressions ("mille" means 1 000). TikTok CPM ads cost $10 per 1,000 views with a minimum spend of $500 on a campaign. Here is the formula most commonly used for calculating CPM:

CPM = Cost/Impressions x 1 000

TikTok Ads Vs. Meta Ads

The overall mechanics of the TikTok ad account are very similar to that of Meta’s ad accounts. The types of ads you can run on TikTok are also similar. You'll find almost identical campaign objectives to Meta —reach, video views, community engagement, conversions, and so on.

The most prominent different here is the structure of the account. TikTok's overall structure much simpler than Meta, and therefore is also a bit limited in terms of the technical capabilities.

The results, however, can be much higher on TikTok. Because TikTok is more exclusive with less advertisement saturation, its click-through-rate is 1% to 5% for in-feed ads, 7% to 10% for brand take-over ads, and 16% for top-view ads. Facebook CTR sits at 0.5% to 1.6% depending on your industry, with most e-commerce campaigns around 1% CTR.

It's also worth noting that advertising on TikTok is more expensive than Meta, with a minimum campaign spend of $500, a minimum campaign level daily budget of $50, and a minimum ad group level daily budget of $20. Additionally, TikTok prohibits the advertising of alcohol due to 28% of the audience being under 18.

For the best results, we recommend using a combination of TikTok and Meta ads to deliver different content to different audiences.


TikTok may feel completely different from the other social platforms you’re promoting your food, beverage or hospitality business on. But once you understand how use the platform for all that it offers, you could see impressive results for your business. You may want to get on it before it gets saturated with businesses and advertising becomes extremely competitive!

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