TikTok is all the rage lately. You’ve probably heard of it — especially if you have a teenager or two in your life. But you might not really understand what it is or how powerful it can be. That’s understandable. Many other business owners in the travel industry feel the same way.
In this article, we’ll educate you on all things TikTok. Keep reading to learn what TikTok is, why it’s an important channel for travel brands, and how to properly use the app.
TikTok began in 2014 as Musical.ly, a short-form video network that allowed users to record themselves lip-syncing to popular songs. The videos created could then be shared on the platform and users could interact with each other regarding the content.
But in 2018, the Chinese company ByteDance purchased the social media channel and migrated Musical.ly’s 100 million users over to its own short-form video network, TikTok.
Now, TikTok users can use the platform to create and share short-form videos on any topic of their choosing. TikTok creators also have access to a large library of sounds, song snippets, visual effects, and filters to enhance their video creations.
While TikTok content runs the gamut, some of the platform’s more popular videos include fun challenges, dance competitions, magic tricks, and comedic stunts and skits.
3 TikTok Advantages
So TikTok allows users to create and share short-form videos. “Sounds fun, but is it necessary?” we hear you asking. Between YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, you may feel that all of your video creation and publishing needs are perfectly met.
While TikTok is certainly not a mandatory network, it does present a few unique advantages:
- TikTok has over 500 million monthly active users. That’s a lot of people! But many experts expect the social media channel to continue growing. If you get in now, you’ll have an advantage over every other company who waits to jump on the bandwagon.
- TikTok is incredibly popular with younger demographics. In fact, about 50% of the app’s users are below the age of 34. If your travel brand mainly sells to this age bracket — or wants to be prepared for when this group matures — TikTok is the place to be.
- And finally, TikTok is incredibly easy to use. Just like Instagram made it easy for anyone to take and share eye-catching photos, TikTok gives users the tools they need to quickly craft compelling videos with only their phones.
As you can see, TikTok definitely presents companies of all kinds (including travel brands) with a few unique advantages. If you’re ready to dive in and begin using the app, keep reading. In the next section we’ll show you exactly how TikTok works.
How to Use TikTok in 4 Easy Steps
Ready to become a TikTok superstar? First you have to learn the basics. The four-step process outlined below will get you up and running with the social media app. You can then build on this foundation and create truly groundbreaking content in the future!
1. Setup Your TikTok Profile
Like any social media app, the first thing you need to do on TikTok is download it, create an account, and setup your profile. To download, visit the App Store or Google Play. Then sign up via Facebook, Gmail, or Twitter, or simply type in your own username and password.
Now that your account has been created, you need to update it with either yours, or your company’s information. Tap the “Me” icon at the bottom of your screen to do so.
Next, tap the “Edit Profile” button and add details like a profile photo, a username, and bio information. You can also choose to link your YouTube and Instagram profiles if you wish, which might help you promote the other social channels you frequent.
And that’s it! You’ve now successfully created and setup your TikTok profile.
2. Get to Know the TikTok Platform
Now that you’re TikTok legit, you can begin exploring the platform.
The main section of the app is the video feed. This is where the videos of the users you follow will appear, ready for you to consume. Note: if you haven’t followed any TikTokers yet, TikTok will populate this area with random videos for you to watch.
Once you find a video that you enjoy, you can tap the heart icon to like it, select the speech bubble to write a comment, and/or choose the forward icon to share the video. Also worth mentioning, swiping left will take you to the video creator’s profile where you can follow them by clicking on the picture with a red “plus” sign beneath it.
Lastly, there’s the search area of TikTok, represented by a magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen. This is where you can search for specific accounts or kinds of videos.
3. Create Your Own TikTok Content
When you feel comfortable navigating the TikTok platform and have spent some time consuming other users’ content, you can begin creating your own videos to share.
Tap the white “plus” icon located at the bottom center of your screen. This will engage the app’s camera and give you various recording options:
- Speed: This setting allows you to choose the speed of your video. You can either slow them down to slow-motion or speed them up for a fun effect.
- Beauty: The beauty setting acts as an automatic AR filter that will remove blemishes from your face and smooth out your skin.
- Filters: Similar to Instagram, the filters feature will allow you to add filters to your videos in order to give them different tones and colors.
- Timer: This feature is perfect for hands-free filming. You simply select the amount of delay you want before TikTok starts to capture video.
- Music and Effects: This feature is what TikTok is really known for. It allows users to select the perfect song or sound effect to accompany their video. It can also be used to add AR effects to videos and change your face and/or surroundings.
Once your recording options have been chosen, you can actually begin shooting your video! Simply hold and press the red “Record” button. TikTok will allow you to record your entire video in one take, or string multiple takes together to create a single video.
Now that your masterpiece has been shot, you can edit it to perfection using TikTok’s editing features. Many of the options we listed above (speed, filters, music and effects, etc.) can be engaged at this time. You’ll also have the option of adding stickers and text overlays to any video that you intend to post on TikTok.
The final step in the TikTok creation process is to post your video. To do so, hit the “Next” button, add a relevant caption and hashtags, select the appropriate privacy settings, and then simply click the red “Post” button to release your video into the wild.
4. Analyze Your TikTok Results
After you’ve been using TikTok for a while, you may want to learn about your audience and the way your content performs on the platform. TikTok recently added an analytics tool to share these details, but you need to have a Pro account to access it.
If you haven’t already, switch your account to Pro by accessing your account settings and tapping “Manage My Account”. On the following screen, select “Switch to Pro Account”.
You’ll then be asked to pick a category for your account. Your options include Public Figure, Education, Media, Entertainment, and Art, among others. Once your category is selected, you just need to add a phone number and enter the code that TikTok texts you.
Now, you’ll have access to analytics when you enter your accounts Settings menu!
TikTok’s analytics will share with you important metrics like how many times people have watched your videos, how many profile views your account receives, and details regarding your followers. Want to know which percentage of your following is male and where in the world they live? TikTok analytics will tell you.
When used correctly, TikTok’s analytics dashboard will help you create better content and grow your following on the platform faster than before.
2 Travel Brands Killing it on TikTok Right Now
Great, you now know how to use TikTok! Before we let you go, let’s take a look at two travel brands who are using the social media channel to perfection. We encourage you to use these brands as inspiration as you create your own TikTok content.
As of this writing, Booking.com has already curated more than 600 videos on TikTok. Most of them revolve around booking travel and taking trips abroad.
It’s important to note that much of Booking.com’s content isn’t actually created by them. They simply repost other people’s videos that have to do with travel and fit their brand. This is definitely a strategy that your travel brand can use as well.
The San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a popular tourist destination. As such, it makes the list of top travel brands on TikTok. What does the zoo do so well? The team behind the organization’s TikTok account are experts when it comes to selecting music for their videos. The zoo also posts consistently, which is important on just about every social media network out there.
When creating your own videos, pay special attention to the music you choose and do your best to publish content on a consistent basis.
Boost Your Travel Brand With TikTok
TikTok is an up and coming social network that has already amassed 500 million monthly active users. It’s a fun environment that’s perfect for promoting your travel brand. Fortunately, you now know how! Just follow the four steps we outlined above:
- Setup Your TikTok Profile
- Get to Know the TikTok Platform
- Create Your Own TikTok Content
- Analyze Your TikTok Results
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