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


For a social media firm, you would 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 previous to that.

We watched, we adopted, we realized the language, after which we took the plunge into probably 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 wish to share with you to assist make utilizing TikTok for your online business rather less scary.

How we developed our TikTok technique

Like it or hate it, TikTok is more and more laborious to disregard. 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 anyplace 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 wish to bounce 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 converse a special language. Phrases and emojis have different meanings. (e.g., 💀=😂)
  • We realized that tendencies come and go at a dizzying velocity and if you happen to wait too lengthy to react, you’ll be thought-about ‘cheugy’ (that’s TikTok converse for off-trend or dated).
  • We realized that TikTok is a singular and terrifying platform. But it surely 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 and marketing goals 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 top.

Simply kidding. It was crickets.

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

Why we threw our technique out the window

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

Whereas our objective was to verify our content material was hyper-focused on social entrepreneurs, we realized that isn’t the one factor folks wish to discuss on TikTok.

We realized that there was a chance to achieve 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 consultants 👋” to “simply an owl on the TikTok asking the web to like 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 turned clear that model 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 response to analysis (Advertising and marketing Science International Group and Self-expression Research 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 price range, we reached out to some TikTok influencers to create user-generated content material (UGC) to share. The UGC carried out very well and stuffed a niche in our content material, nonetheless, with our feed that includes so many various folks, we began to lose our model voice a bit of.

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 on the town.

They have been shortly dubbed the “Walmart model” of language studying app Duolingo’s common 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 ♬ Monkeyshine-JP – Lt FitzGibbons Men

We instigated a ‘battle of the manufacturers’—a rising pattern on TikTok—and poked a bit of enjoyable at Duolingo’s TikTok video model. Individuals liked our spicy tone and started creating their very own narratives round Owly versus Duolingo—some wished us to combat one another; others wished us to fall in love.

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

The 7-second problem

At the start 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 pattern 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 seen that individuals who have been commenting on our posts fell into two buckets: individuals who knew and liked Hootsuite and individuals who had completely no concept 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 within the Hootsuite dashboard used some trending audio and was an enormous success, leading to lots of optimistic sentiment from our followers.

@hootsuitescheduling on social simply received lots higher 😉♬ original sound – Barstool Sports

Dance problem (we needed to!)

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

Owly and Brian hit the streets of Austin, Texas with their sick strikes and received tons of various folks 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 folks 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? Along with being tremendous fast-paced, TikTok isn’t a very chronological platform, so that you don’t know what is going to land in your viewers’s #fyp and when. Individuals would possibly see movies in your collection out of order or solely see one in all them, lacking out on essential particulars from the opposite entries. Preserving your whole story in a single video offers you the most effective likelihood of guaranteeing your viewers sees the entire story—particularly if you happen to hold that one video as brief as attainable.

@hootsuite 🚨NEW TREND ALERT🚨 get able 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

Previously, 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 turn out to be extra well-rounded as we flex our artistic muscular tissues.

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 follow, it will get simpler.

In case you can, rent content material creators or discover folks in your staff who’re genuinely enthusiastic about TikTok and luxuriate in being in entrance of the digital camera.

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

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

Genuine works finest

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

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

Be taught to talk TikTok

TikTok has its personal language and elegance. You may present your viewers that you simply perceive the platform by studying how finest to speak 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 truly go on to the feedback earlier than watching the total video to see what others are saying about it. (The feedback are additionally a terrific place to discover ways to converse 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 completely different TikTok tendencies is the simplest technique to construct your followers. So if you happen to discover a pattern that fits your model, don’t waste time over-thinking content material manufacturing.

Act quick or the pattern would possibly move you by. (Tip: In case you’re too late for a pattern on TikTok, don’t fear: You would possibly nonetheless be early on Instagram.)

Be selective with the tendencies you bounce on

Numerous TikTok humor is darkish and NSFW (not protected for work). Watch out which tendencies you hop on (and which songs you select for backing tracks).

Preserve your viewers in thoughts always by asking your self if they’d 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 Tendencies E-newsletter. Signal as much as get the most recent updates, our suggestions on whether or not your online business ought to hop on them, inspo from manufacturers doing cool issues on TikTok, and sizzling ideas.

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