TikTok for Personal Branding (Douyin抖音)_ The Definitive Guide (2019 Edition) (1)

TikTok for Personal Branding: The Definitive Guide

If you have a teenage child, you’ve probably heard about TikTok, the newest rage amongst Generation Z.

Did you know that TikTok is actually a Chinese social network?

Did you also know that it is not just for teenagers but can be a powerful branding platform like LinkedIn branding for brands and people?

Welcome to an introduction to TikTok through the perspective of leveraging TikTok for personal branding.

TikTok is a Chinese social network that puts video first. People can post short videos, edit them, add music, and post them to their TikTok followers. It’s estimated that over 500 million people use TikTok, meaning the network is larger than Twitter and Pinterest. Boom!!

TikTok(Douyin抖音) is the best platform to promote your Personal Brand because if it is true that Personal Branding is about talent, then short videos give you the chance to showcase your skills-art-abilities-ideas in a fast+smart -consuming way.

I use TikTok(Douyin抖音) it myself for 2 main reasons:

  • To promote my Personal Brand
  • To study Chinese millennials, trends and adapt my B2C marketing strategies.

In China, things change quickly and we cannot rely on a single platform. Today we need to concentrate not only on WeChat and Weibo, but also on Douyin and Zhihu and here I explain why Tik-Tok (Douyin) is the best choice to reach new Chinese online communities.

I’ve put together a mix of strategies, tips, and advice on building a personal brand I’ve talked about over the years.

We focus on China, a powerful country that offers incredible possibilities for foreigners able to adapt to the social media ecosystem. For more insight about Personal Branding and China Social Media go to my blog. https://www.aicy-create.com/blog/

What is TikTok?

TikTok – 抖音 (Douyin) is a far-famed and fast-growing Chinese platform for short videos mostly 15 seconds long, but with the ability to make 60 seconds long clips. While using this platform, you’re supplied with a number of songs and many filter options to customize the videos.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance. That’s the privately held company, founded in 2006, that is, according to reports, now the most highly-valued tech startup in the world. It just raised a $3bn round of funding that valued it at $75bn. So TikTok has a lot of capital behind it, which could make it more difficult for incumbents to quash it.

TikTok – 抖音 (Douyin) burst out in 2018 and became the most downloaded iPhone app, getting the nickname of “China’s Snapchat”. Chinese adore it and they use it to show their life, passion, and talents.

Its audience is extremely young and active. According to a survey, nearly 67% of TikTok’s users are under 30 and 56% of them are students. At the same time, Jiguang data shows that 43% of Douyin users live in first and second-tier cities, the developed metropolitan areas.

There are so many users and they are so different, different ages, different income, different interests that almost any brand could find here its target and any creator — his audience.

As far as it’s a short-video app, it is often compared with Vine. A US-based short-form video app that was actually acquired by Twitter in October 2012 prior to its official launch. In 2016, however, thanks in part to growing competition from other apps including Instagram and Snapchat, it was shut down.

Vine became popular with content creators who used it to create comedy and music shorts, and it eventually grew to 200m active users. Not surprisingly, brands were eager to get in on the act as well.

Why should I use TikTok for Personal Branding?

Videos are easily “digested” by your fans

People love video. Chinese society is hectic and Douyin offers entertainment without unnecessary complications. Short videos force you to show interesting things about your talent without tricks; the storytelling must be simple and the skills easily recognizable. This makes the platform extremely natural and interesting to follow.

15-second videos are an extremely easy way to promote your ideas, make people laugh and awaken their interest. People adore these videos because they are easy to understand and can help them to relax.

By recording one’s day-to-day life and sharing unique points of view, insights, and stories via vlogs, business leaders and entrepreneurs can boost their personal brands and fill an unsatisfied educational, motivational or entertainment niche in their industry.

2. Your Fans are Millennials

You can just use simple in-app tools of TikTok and create original and authentic content which immediately will be delivered to a huge number of users and your customers.

Are you looking for a fresh and young audience? They’re looking for your brand here.

With the average age of a TikTok user being 13- to 24-years-old, mostly girls, TikTok is a gold mine when it comes to getting your brand in front of Gen Z’ers.

Very creative and active, they will promote you to their friend and families, if they like you. They are looking for new things, so you can absolutely find new customers here.

3. Personal Branding to Corporate Branding – Switch

Ok, you’ve started and got your first audience. And what’s next? Enjoy the easy conversations with them! This audience is so affable you can receive feedback as soon as you post things.

The fastest and easiest way to engage them is by using daily challenges and a wide network of hashtags. Some of the big western brands already have created their own highly welcomed challenges.

Not so long ago fashion brand Guess launched its #InMyDenim hashtag challenge, the first-ever branded partnership with TikTok. Guess posted several “Official” videos accompanied by Bebe Rexha’s “I’m a Mess,” and then let the content creators do their work. NBC Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon lauded the app and created the #Tumbleweed Challenge. Users posted more than 8,000 videos using this hashtag.

If you want to be involved with something buzzy, something shining brand new, operate in a different way and on a platform that has the potential for visibility in a less-crowded space. TikTok was definitely created for you.

4. Learning as a process of your Personal Branding Journey

After downloading the TikTok app you’ll find yourself in the brand new world of Chinese lifestyle and culture. Actually, it’s a good way to understand the Chinese, what they want, what they’re looking for, what they are used to. Just spend some time scrolling through videos and soon you’ll understand how your potential audience thinks.

5. Artists’ Personal Brand: use TikTok – 抖音 (Douyin) as your online stage

Creating a personal brand? Are you an artist? Musician, dancer or singer? Do you have some other talent? Simply show it.

Film a few short videos about yourself, your life, your work. Let people get to know you as a talented artist, and exhibit your art online. You can take short videos when you sing indoor or on-stage, you can even play with your band and show the video to thousands of people.

Nowadays customers are presented with a lot of options and alternatives of similar type products. So brands have been opting for brand collaboration to present new and innovative products to the customer.

So collaboration marketing is on the rise. If you get someone in the same industry as you, you can share ideas with them. This also can be someone who shares the common goals, values, target market, and business objectives with you. They could reveal the one thing you’ve never done which could transform your traffic altogether. They’ll also learn something from you, which might be of help to them. Overall, you both will win here.

Conclusion and Tips on using TikTok for Personal Branding

At the moment, TikTok is new and unfamiliar territory for marketers. Many companies are still afraid to step on unstable soil. But for brands who are targeting Chinese users, especially the young, the return on investment might be high for the months to come. We suggest approaching the platform with a Personal Branding Strategy that leads to a clear Corporate Branding Focus. Step by step. Don’t be boring in Douyin.

TikTok has the potential of being a major platform like Instagram and Snapchat and shouldn’t be easily dismissed.

The app is still in its infancy, but the number of users joining is impressive. It’s still too early to tell the future of the app, as it may continue to rise in popularity or it could plummet.

If you are looking for your way to reach the Chinese market, an easy way to understand it and gain some interest from it TikTok is for you.

Hero photo by Yoel Peterson on Unsplash

TikTok for Personal Branding: The Definitive Guide
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Brizzo is an expert on Chinese Social Media and Personal Branding. He is the Co-Founder of AICY Create, a leading marketing agency based in China, with expertise in Personal Branding and China Digital Marketing. https://www.aicy-create.com/blog/
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