Scroll to read more

TikTok has shared some new advice on how brands can maximize their messaging by linking into both related and unrelated communities, helping to maximize brand recognition among users in new ways.

The idea is that by aligning your marketing messaging with each community, you can establish relevant connections with members – but you shouldn’t only restrict your brand to the groupings most directly aligned with your business.

eBay, for example, has connected with sneakerheads via TikTok, by creating specifically targeted content intended for this community.

TikTok communities

As you can see in this example, eBay conducted a #SneakerShowdown campaign during March Madness, which leveraged voting stickers to help expand its reach among the sneakerhead community.

Of course, collectors are fairly closely aligned with eBay to begin with, so this isn’t a huge departure from its most obvious brand community. But the idea is that businesses can expand their reach by linking into a broader range of groups in the app, and creating content that specifically appeals to each.

So how do you do it?

TikTok says that brands first need to identify subcultures in the app and familiarize themselves with those that may be relevant.

TikTok communities

As per TikTok:

Embrace communities and their subcultures—that’s where true inspiration lives. 76% of users say they like it when brands are a part of special interest groups on TikTok.”

TikTok says that brands can use its Keyword Insights Tool to identify relevant crossover communities, by digging into the top keywords in your industry, and exploring where else they might apply.

TikTok communities

By scanning through the examples, you’ll be able to find expanded topics of interest, which could help in guiding you towards relevant communities that you hadn’t previously considered, providing more direction for your outreach.

TikTok says that brands should consider the ‘Stay and Play’ framework for these unconnected communities.

TikTok communities

Brands would ‘Stay’ in the most obvious communities for their brand, but ‘Play’ in the less obvious ones, experimenting with new ways to reach and connect with these groups.

TikTok provides this example of the framework for a luxury retail brand.

TikTok communities

By leveraging different aspects and presentation styles, this approach can help to showcase your brand and offerings to a wider audience in the app.

Once you’ve identified these secondary communities, you can then research what resonates within each, and build content that aligns with their interests.

TikTok also advises that brands should employ these tips when creating in the app – for all communities.

  • Go lo-fi (avoid glossiness)
  • Shoot vertical and hi-res
  • Feature real people (creators, employees, customers)
  • Use sound
  • Use TikTok-specific editing techniques
  • Have a narrative
  • Adopt category and vertical norms

From there, you can create content for these extended interest groups.

Experiment with new content formats that TikTok users embrace and are familiar with, like Photo Mode or street interviews. Some communities favor certain content formats: K-pop stans are familiar with the fan edit, while #beautytok loves “get ready with me” (#grwm) vlogs and storytimes. You can also explore templates in CapCut.”

These are some handy notes, which could help to expand your TikTok marketing horizons, by linking into relevant, and tangentially-related communities.

The key is understanding what resonates in each, and considering that from your brand perspective. It could be a good way to boost your band messaging – you can read TikTok’s full overview on linking into alternate communities here.