My screen time is up to 8 hours some days. Admittedly, a lot of that is my own personal scrolling addiction, but at least 2 of those per day are spent doing work-related research on TikTok.
“Research on TikTok? You mean…watching TikToks?” Yes. Exactly. And I get paid to do it. Getting familiar with the trends, the lingo, the songs, what goes viral (and what doesn’t) is an essential part of establishing your brand on TikTok.
Research, strategy, execution, and community management are foundational tasks to every social media platform — but TikTok operates much differently than Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. It has a unique culture, its own rules, and niche best practices and cadence. With that in mind, here’s why you should hire a full-time TikTok Manager, whose sole focus is that platform, and that platform only.
Research and Strategy
As I just mentioned, TikTok is its own beast. Yes, Instagram made Reels and Youtube made Shorts, but each platform has its own culture.
TikTok is more youthful and far less curated, and its influence transcends the app — elements of our real world like language, fashion, beauty, music, and more have all been heavily impacted by what’s popular on TikTok.
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Think of your full-time TikTok Manager as an Anthropologist, immersing themselves in the culture of the platform until they become experts on it. You must understand its values, rules, social norms, structure, and more, and then adopt them seamlessly in order to become part of the community.
For all of the reasons above, your TikTok strategy and voice may be vastly different from what you do on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out the huge difference in brand voice between Duolingo’s website, their instagram, and their TikToks.
While their Instagram and website are more polished, Duoloingos full-time TikTok manager went completely rogue – doing what fed the TikTok algorithm and matched the trends, and because of it, has built one of the most successful brand TikTok accounts ever.
One of the tough things about TikTok is that it moves incredibly fast. This is vastly different from classical social media platforms where trends are subtle and move much, much slower. Trends are the core of TikTok, and come and go in mere days—blink and you’ll miss the next big viral sound or dance.
A downside to keeping up with the platform’s unprecedentedly fast pace means content has to churn out just as quickly. There is urgency in recognizing a trend, planning the spin on it, and executing the video. Depending on your brand, you may need props, a unique setting, or even actors (read: your coworkers). Having a sole visionary plan and direct streamlines the process and prevents too many cooks in the kitchen.
While some TikToks can be made in minutes, others can take hours, and the time-sensitive nature of the platform can require the need to to stop, drop, and Tok. How can one effectively balance those demands while managing a bunch of other tasks within an 8-hour day?
Culture extends to community management. Traditional marketers would reel at the idea of “roasting” someone in their social media comment section, using curse words, or even innuendo. And yet, the TikTok audience eats that up. Pushing the envelope moves the needle on TikTok, for better or for worse.
Keeping brand voice consistent on TikTok from the videos themselves to the dialogue in comments is another reason why one person should be in charge of all facets of the app. Let’s go back to duolingo for examples of this.
On top of engaging in your own comment sections, brand presence can grow through commenting on other creators’ TikToks (as seen below from Chipotle). Especially when you’re just starting out, devoting time to being witty, helpful, or even controversial in other creators’ comment sections will help grow brand awareness.
There are only 8 hours in a workday to accomplish all of this. It is not realistic to expect virality and success by making “TikTok management” a bullet point in a long list of other job duties. We’ve had over a decade to establish, fine tune, and optimize efficiency on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Linkedin. TikTok is still in its infancy, and requires devoted attention and nurturing.
So, if you’re still wondering if hiring a TikTok manager is the right decision for your brand, the answer is “yes.”