How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide (2024)


TikTok for business is a whole social marketing discipline unto itself. Learn our top steps to get started now.

Stacey McLachlan May 29, 2023

How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide (1)

TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users. It’s the place to see and be seen, which means ample opportunity for businesses to engage with audiences in a whole new way by tapping into trending topics and hashtag challenges, experimenting with TikTok live streams, and creating compelling content with dynamic editing tools and trending sounds.

Read on to learn how to use TikTok for business — from setting up an account from scratch to measuring your success.

(To be clear, this article is about using TikTok to market your business in organic and paid ways and not exclusively about the “TikTok for Business” platform. If you’re looking for intel on TikTok for Business specifically, head here!)

How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide (2)

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How to use TikTok for business

Step 1: Get a TikTok Business Account

If you’ve already got a personal TikTok account, it’s easy to switch over to a Business Account: just skip right to step 3.

A business account on TikTok is free. TikTok’s business accounts give you access to insights about your video performance and followers and allow you to access Business Suite tools like advertising, auto-messaging, and more. You’ll also be limited to the music you can use, but it’s actually a good thing: TikTok prevents businesses from using copyrighted music, so you don’t accidentally set an ad to Harry Styles’ latest bop.

1. Download and open the TikTok app.

2. Create a new personal account. You can use your email or log in with your Google, Twitter, or Facebook account.

3. Tap Profile in the lower right corner, then hit the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner.

4. Tap Settings and Privacy.

5. Tap Account.

6. Tap Switch to Business Account.

7. Now, pick the category that best describes your brand and tap Next.

8. Add an email address to your profile.

And that’s it! Congrats on your new TikTok Business Account!

Step 2: Create a winning TikTok strategy

Even if you’re a whiz at Instagram or Facebook marketing, it’s important to remember that TikTok is its own beautiful, chaotic beast that requires a specific game plan. And building that game plan starts with gathering information.

Get to know TikTok

Before you build a TikTok strategy, you need to get to know the platform inside and out. Get familiar with TikTok: spend time browsing through the videos on the For You page. Play around with the editing features, filters, and effects. Spend a few hours losing yourself in the infinite variations of whatever the latest dance craze is.


PARTY ANIMAL🎉Dancetutorial‼️Dc:? #partyanimal #charlyblack #luisfonsi #dancetutorial #GenshinImpact33

♬ Gyal You a Party Animal – Sped Up – Charly Black

Understand the TikTok algorithm

The TikTok algorithm is constantly evolving, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Read up on how TikTok ranks and distributes videos and just what trending videos have in common.

This quick video about TikTok hashtag strategy is going to be helpful viewing, too:

Brush up on your TikTok vocab

TikTokers speak a different language—one that’s constantly evolving. Words and emojis have different meanings. (e.g., 💀=😂). Trying too hard to emulate this digital slang reeks of “hello, fellow kids” energy (and may not be a fit for your specific brand voice!), but understanding common phrases, tropes, and usage can help you avoid looking too out of touch.

For starters, learn about how certain emojis are used on TikTok.

Learn about the key players

At this point, TikTok stars have parlayed their fame into not just lucrative sponsorships but also reality shows, movie roles, and business ventures. These are the characters around which the TikTok world revolves, but your industry or niche likely has its own power players. Keep your eye on those rising stars… like Sengalese-Italian content creator Khaby Lame, with his 153 million followers.


Let’s see if you guys can DUET with me!! I love the new Pixel7! I will repost all duets with me on my iG Stories🤯 @googlepixel #BroughttoyoubyGoogle #teampixel

♬ suono originale – Khabane lame

Identify your target audience

Before you dive into making your first video, know your audience. While TikTok is extremely popular with teenagers and Gen Z, a wide range of demographics have fallen in love with the app.

Where does your target market overlap with TikTok users? Or is there a new or unexpected audience to reach here? Once you’ve got a good grasp on who you’re talking to, the content planning can begin.

Scope out your competitors

Is your business nemesis already on TikTok? Watch what they’re doing to get a sneak peek of what’s working and what’s not with your shared audiences.

TikTok influencers or creators may fall into the category of “competition” here on the app, too, so don’t rule them out as sources of inspiration or information, either.

Set goals and objectives

Once you’ve compiled all this intel, it’s time to set some goals. Your TikTok strategy should establish what you hope to achieve on the platform.

A good place to start is with your business objectives: how can TikTok help you accomplish them? Try applying the SMART framework to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide (10)

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Plan out a loose content calendar

There’s certainly something special about a spur-of-the-moment when inspiration strikes post (especially on fast-paced TikTok), but plotting out content in advance is typically a good idea for a busy social media marketing pro.

A social media content calendar ensures you don’t miss important dates and allows you enough time for creative production. A social media scheduler like Hootsuite can even help you pre-load important content so it goes up on TikTok at the optimum time. (More on that later!)

Look for opportunities to capitalize on holidays or events or develop themes or series that can guide your creativity. Creating content pillars—topics or themes—can help focus your brainstorming and make sure your posts align with your overall brand goals.

That being said, trends come and go fast on TikTok. What’s cool one day is cheugy the next, so it’s important to also plan for the unplannable. When you see a trend that’s a good fit for your brand on TikTok, jump on it and never look back.

Keep the aesthetic authentic

For brands with limited resources, TikTok offers a very low barrier to entry. You don’t need to invest in a video production team or equipment to make a splash here — in fact, creating polished content may actually hurt your success on the platform.

According to a 2021 study by Marketing Science, 65% of TikTok users agree that professional-looking videos from brands feel out of place or odd on TikTok.

Of course, having clear audio and decent lighting makes a video more enjoyable for the viewer, but using your phone in a bright and quiet space will do the trick just fine and fit with the authentic TikTok aesthetic. Even Taylor Swift shoots her TikToks fast-’n’-loose… and you know she’s got access to audio equipment.


Tonight we mayhem til the morning! AND release vinyls with pics I signed in them on my site! Gonna be a wild ride 😜 #TSmidnighTS #SwiftTok #MidnightsMayhemWithMe

♬ Midnights Mayhem episode 9 – Taylor Swift

Step 3: Optimize your TikTok profile

You’ve only got a few lines and one opportunity to share a link, but your TikTok profile is basically your digital storefront, so do it up right.

Be particular about your profile photo

Make sure your profile photo looks good and represents your brand. Ideally, it should connect your TikTok account visually to your other digital platforms, using the same logo or colors to make it clear this is part of the same family as your website, Instagram, and Facebook.

Keep your bio short and sweet

With only 80 characters to work with, your TikTok bio needs to cut to the chase and include a CTA. Use an emoji if it’s appropriate for your brand voice: it can add personality and save on the character count. Win-win.

Here are 130 TikTok bio ideas to inspire.

Pick your URL wisely

Should it direct users to your ecommerce site, a specific landing page, your other social accounts, or a current blog post? That all depends on your strategic goals.

Get verified

Verified TikTok accounts benefit from increased exposure and a certain amount of cred. A verification badge is basically a stamp of approval from the TikTok overlords, one that can help give your brand an aura of authority and confirm its authenticity.

You don’t have to be super famous to get one, and lots of businesses (even paint companies) have them. You can request to be verified through the Settings and Privacy menu, but many sources believe there are other actions you can take to speed up the process and earn that beautiful blue check.

Read more about how to get verified on TikTok here, or watch the video recap (you’re busy, we get it!):

Step 4: Create content that people will want to watch

There’s no secret recipe for making a successful TikTok video, but there are some good rules of thumb to follow.

Make sure your video looks good

It may seem obvious, but the better your sound and video quality, the more enjoyable your content will be to watch. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in pricey equipment, as mentioned above, but be conscious about filming in well-lit spaces where the audio is going to be clean… like at a holiday light display, for instance.


The nerve of these Wholligans, challenging me to the sturdy! Is that all you got?! Is that all you got!!!! #getsturdy #grinch #grinchtiktok #foryou #fyp Lets see Santa do that! HA!

♬ original sound – IRON GAINS

If clean audio is impossible, add a trending track to your video instead of the original sound. Here’s how to find business-friendly sounds to use on your TikTok.

How-to videos and tutorials are always popular

Whether it’s a fitness video or a cooking demo, audiences tend to like a little bit of education in their TikTok feed. Create videos that show off your expertise or reveal some behind-the-scenes intel to keep them watching.


Johnny K’s Painting is sharing his #protip when cutting in tight edges. Share your pro tip in the comments! #benjaminmoore #paint #painttok #cuttingin #paintingcontractor #experttips #protip

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

Team up with other creators

Try out the Duets feature to engage with other videos or commission an influencer for a partnership.


#duet with @Amaury Guichon 🍋 perfection #chef #fyp #chefreactions

♬ Up – Movie Theme – Giampaolo Pasquile

Dive deeper into our guide to getting more TikTok views here and explore ideas for creative, engaging TikTok videos here.

Go live

Like going live on any social media channel, doing a livestream on TikTok is a chance to connect in real time with your audience. Followers can engage with you in the moment, asking questions or sharing feedback: it’s spontaneous and authentic, and downright exciting (not to mention a great way to drive social commerce.)

Anything could happen when you’re broadcasting live… for better or for worse. Try sharing a live tutorial, putting on a performance, or broadcasting a conversation or interview. Whatever you’re putting out into the world, it’s a hyper-engaging way to spotlight your brand’s voice and values.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to going live on TikTok.

Use hashtags

TikTok hashtags will help your content get discovered via search and help the TikTok algorithm identify what kind of topics you’re covering.

Learn more about the best TikTok hashtags to use to grow your reach and view counts.

Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

Step 5: Master the art of SEO

Hashtags, as mentioned above, are a vital part of getting your content discovered. But TikTok has leveled up its keyword and caption search ability in recent months (no wonder that Gen Z uses TikTok as a search engine more frequently than Google!).

Savvy brands can take advantage of TikTok’s growing search capability by applying good old-fashioned SEO rules to get over to the For You Page. Do your keyword research, think strategically about how your target audience would use search, and share your TikTok in a microblog that is also jam-packed with your sweet, sweet keywords.

Learn more about TikTok SEO strategy and general social media SEO strategy over on the blog.

Step 6: Post at the right time

To get your content in front of people, it doesn’t just have to be good: it has to go up at the right time.

Of course, the “right time” varies by audience and day of the week, and how the stars are aligned, but broadly speaking, you’ll see positive results if you post on Thursday at 7 p.m. (Check out our full explanation of the best time to post on TikTok for the full data breakdown.)

But what happens if you’re busy on Thursdays at 7 p.m.? That’s where a scheduling tool steps in to save the day.

You can schedule your TikToks right in the TikTok app… however, the platform has a few limitations. You can only schedule up to 10 days in advance, and only on a desktop computer. What if you’re on vacation without your desk?!

Luckily, Hootsuite offers workarounds to both of those issues. With Hootsuite, you can schedule your TikToks weeks and months in advance, on your computer or on your phone. Plus, after you’ve used it a few times, Hootsuite will automatically calculate the best times to post for your unique audience.

Check out our detailed walk-through of how to schedule a TikTok post:

Step 7: Engage your audience and grow your following

First off: Don’t buy followers! We tried, and it’s a very bad idea! Stop it! Put that credit card down.

Ultimately, creating great content (see above!) is the #1 way to get those sweet, sweet views and follows. To keep those followers interested and engaged once they’re on board, the same rules of thumb apply as to any other social media platform:

  • Try out interactive live streams.
  • Experiment with polls and questions.
  • Respond to comments and questions.
  • Comment and like content on other TikTok accounts.
  • Practice social listening to make sure you’re on top of trending topics in your TikTok community.

Step 6: Dig into analytics

Once you’ve been playing around with TikTok for a while, it’s important to look objectively at how things are going. How are your reach and engagement metrics doing? Are those tutorial videos actually hitting? Who is actually watching and following your content?

Analytics take the guesswork out of content strategy: they prove what’s working — and what’s not. TikTok’s in-platform analytics tool can show you some really interesting metrics to help inform your next steps.

Learn more about TikTok analytics.

Step 7: Explore TikTok’s advertising options

Some hot numbers for you: TikTok ads can now reach an estimated adult (18+) audience of 825 million people worldwide.

Advertising isn’t a fit for everyone’s social strategy, but if paid reach is something you’re interested in, check out our guide to TikTok ads here.

And if you’re marketing to a younger audience, especially women, you’ve got even more of a reason to get in there — 36% of TikTok users are aged 18 to 24, and women in that age group make up almost 20% of TikTok’s advertising audience.

TikTok’s commercial influence is huge. TikTok reports that 67% of users have been inspired to shop by the app, while 66% say that TikTok helped them decide what to buy. And if that’s not enough to convince you, there’s always the #tiktokmademebuyit hashtag.

On TikTok, you can promote your posts (spend some money to boost content you’ve made) or find creators to partner with via TikTok’s Branded Content portal.

Those are just the more organic ad options. There are also traditional ad placement formats accessible via the TikTok ad manager: place your ads in-stream, on the For You Page, invest in a paid branded hashtag challenge, and more. Find more details about all your options here, in our ultimate guide to TikTok ads.


Put your business on the #FYP in time for the year’s biggest shopping season. 🛍 Hit the link in bio to download our 2022 #Holiday Playbook!

♬ original sound – TikTok for Business

Okay, there you have it: TikTok for Business 101! Get your account up and running and start exploring all the opportunities this wild and wonderful platform has to offer and explore the rest of our expert TikTok guides to deepen your knowledge even further.

Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, and measure performance — all from one easy-to-use dashboard. Try it free today.

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By Stacey McLachlan

Stacey McLachlan is an award-winning writer and editor from Vancouver with more than a decade of experience working for print and digital publications.

She is editor-at-large for Western Living and Vancouver Magazine, author of the National Magazine Award-nominated 'City Informer' column, and a regular contributor to Dwell. Her previous work covers a wide range of topics, from SEO-focused thought-leadership to profiles of mushroom foragers, but her specialties include design, people, social media strategy, and humor.

You can usually find her at the beach, or cleaning sand out of her bag.

Read more by Stacey McLachlan

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How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide (2024)


How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide? ›

TikTok for business marketing offers several features that can be used to increase brand awareness and drive sales. For example, you could use TikTok ads to reach a wider audience, create sponsored ads or sponsored challenges in collaboration with other brands, or go live create to encourage user participation.

How is TikTok being used by businesses? ›

TikTok for business marketing offers several features that can be used to increase brand awareness and drive sales. For example, you could use TikTok ads to reach a wider audience, create sponsored ads or sponsored challenges in collaboration with other brands, or go live create to encourage user participation.

How does TikTok work for beginners? ›

To create a new video:
  1. Tap + at bottom of the screen.
  2. Upload content from your device Library or use the TikTok camera.
  3. Add Sounds, Effects, Filters, or other camera tools.
  4. Start your video by pressing the Record button.
  5. Record your content.
  6. Tap the check mark.
  7. Make additional edits on the post page.
  8. Post your video!

How do I turn my TikTok into a business? ›

On Mobile
  1. Open the TikTok app and log in to your account.
  2. Tap Profile to go to your profile homepage.
  3. On the top right corner, tap the hamburger menu icon to open your Settings and privacy page.
  4. Tap Account.
  5. Under the Account control options, tap Switch to Business Account.

How do I use TikTok for business purpose? ›

If you have a registered social media account for your business, you can also use that to sign up on TikTok. From your “Me” page, click on the “…” button at the top and select “Manage Account.” Choose the option to “Switch to Business Account,” select the category that best matches your industry, and that's it.

How do businesses use TikTok to communicate with customers? ›

Content that is created on TikTok can also be reshared via other social channels like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. By sharing content across multiple channels, businesses can reach a wider audience and increase the likelihood of customers viewing content.

Is it worth using TikTok for business? ›

According to a recent survey 93% of marketers say that video is an essential part of their marketing strategy. And perhaps more importantly, 85% of users would like to see businesses produce more video content. TikTok is a great tool for creating video content.

How to do TikTok step by step? ›

Step 1: To start recording new content, visit the film screen by tapping on the plus Create icon at the bottom center of your screen. Step 2: Next, choose the front- or back-facing TikTok camera with the Flip button, and select any desired filters or special effects for your video. Choose your sounds too!

How do I use TikTok like a pro? ›

Here are some best practices you can follow to edit your TikTok video like a pro—and rack up more views and engagement.
  1. Apply filters and effects. ...
  2. Use popular sounds. ...
  3. Keep it short. ...
  4. Create a Duet. ...
  5. Shoot vertically. ...
  6. Light up your footage. ...
  7. Use the Timer to film multiple clips. ...
  8. Include a call to action.
Jun 21, 2023

How do I use TikTok to make money? ›

The most successful TikTok users make money through a combination of revenue streams that can include sponsorships, fundraising drives, product sales, and accepting tips. TikTok users can also promote products through an affiliate link to get paid directly from brands.

What documents do I need for TikTok business account? ›

What You'll Need for Registration
  • Your Business Registration number. If you're an LLC, this is your Employee Identification Number (EIN). If you're a sole proprietor, this is your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Confirmation of your Business Registration number. Confirmation must one of the following:
Sep 12, 2023

What is the difference between TikTok creator and business account? ›

TikTok creator accounts need 1,000 followers before they can add a website link to their profile, but businesses get access to this right away, so new followers can easily learn more about what they do.

What's the difference between a personal and business TikTok account? ›

Personal Accounts have access to a library of unlicensed, trending sounds and commercially licensed music. There is a risk of litigation if you're a business using unlicensed music on TikTok. Business Accounts have access to commercially licensed sounds.

Do business accounts get less views on TikTok? ›

There's no evidence that a Business account on TikTok receives more views than others. Views are mostly influenced by TikTok's algorithm, which prioritizes content quality, user engagement, and relevance.

What is the best time to post on TikTok? ›

Best times to post on TikTok in the US (in ET)
  • Monday: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 2 a.m., 4 a.m., 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m., 12 a.m., 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 5 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 4 p.m.

How has TikTok helped businesses grow? ›

Increase Conversion Rate

TikTok is popular because the platform's relatable and creative content appeals to users of all ages. TikTok for small businesses is can help you organically reach a larger audience and increase your conversion rate.

How has TikTok shop helped small businesses? ›

The growth of TikTok shopping represents a transformative shift in the way small businesses approach e-commerce and connect with customers. By embracing TikTok as a platform for creativity, storytelling, and commerce, small business owners can thrive in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.

How do businesses make money from TikTok? ›

Use TikTok ads to drive traffic back to your website, ecommerce store, or even your TikTok Shopping tab. You could run in-feed image ads promoting your products or get creative with TopView ads (fullscreen takeovers) to boost your TikTok following—both can help you make money on the platform.

Do big companies use TikTok? ›

Some brands on TikTok, such as WWE, Netflix, and Crocs, have thrived by fully embracing the platform's culture. Their success is built on engaging their audience with a mix of creative content that combines their products with popular trends and content created by TikTok users.


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