How Hootsuite Grew Our TikTok Following to 11.8K in Solely 10 Months


For a social media firm, you could possibly argue we have been a bit late to the TikTok recreation. However whereas we solely launched our official TikTok technique in July 2021, we have been lurking on TikTok for years previous to that.

We watched, we adopted, we realized the language, after which we took the plunge into probably the most thrilling factor to occur to social media because the invention of the selfie. We’re only some months into our TikTok journey however what an beautiful journey it’s been thus far—and one which’s introduced us all the way in which to 11,800 followers lower than a yr later.

We’ve laughed, cried, danced, gone viral, flopped spectacularly, and dueled with fellow owl-forward manufacturers (we’re you, Duolingo). Above all, we’ve realized a TON of classes that we wish to share with you to assist make utilizing TikTok for your enterprise rather less scary.

How we developed our TikTok technique

Find it irresistible or hate it, TikTok is more and more laborious to disregard. With over 2 billion downloads in whole, it’s rising at a fast tempo. It was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads (over 100 million greater than its closest rival, Instagram).

TikTok isn’t going anyplace so we knew we wanted a presence there. However like most manufacturers, we have been apprehensive in regards to the function TikTok would play in our broader social media technique. We didn’t simply wish to leap on the bandwagon for the sake of it, so we did our analysis.

  • We checked out what different manufacturers have been doing on TikTok and the way the profitable ones interact with their audiences.
  • We browsed the feedback and realized that TikTokers communicate a special language. Phrases and emojis have completely different meanings. (e.g., 💀=😂)
  • We realized that developments come and go at a dizzying velocity and for those who wait too lengthy to react, you’ll be thought of ‘cheugy’ (that’s TikTok communicate for off-trend or dated).
  • We realized that TikTok is a singular and terrifying platform. But it surely presents an unbelievable alternative to attempt one thing enjoyable and be genuine.

We created a TikTok account for our model in February 2021, secured our @Hootsuite deal with, and drafted our preliminary technique. We included a content material plan with 5 key pillars aligned to our total advertising goals and agreed to take a test-and-learn method.

We launched our technique in July 2021. We went viral; we have been an in a single day success; Owly was topped king and queen of TikTok; the top.

Simply kidding. It was crickets.

@hootsuite Don’t fear, we’re nonetheless attempting to wrap our heads on this one as effectively 🙃 #socialmedia #instagram #reels ♬ unique sound – Hootsuite

Why we threw our technique out the window

One in all our largest learnings within the early days was that the content material we have been utilizing on different social media channels had no place on TikTok.

Whereas our aim was to ensure our content material was hyper-focused on social entrepreneurs, we realized that isn’t the one factor folks wish to speak about on TikTok.

We realized that there was a chance to achieve new audiences, construct extra model love, and humanize our group by bringing our mascot Owly to the forefront. We switched our bio from, “our pleasant social media specialists 👋” to “simply an owl on the TikTok asking the web to like me” to replicate this shift.

What didn’t work for us

We made the traditional mistake of making professionally produced video content material for our early TikTok movies. They carried out okay, but it surely rapidly turned clear that type was misplaced on TikTok.

TikTok analysis validated this—65% of TikTok customers agree that professional-looking movies from manufacturers really feel misplaced or odd on TikTok, in line with analysis (Advertising Science International Group and Self-expression Examine 2021).

So we threw our technique out the window and began once more.

We shifted away from our unique content material pillars and launched revamped content material pillars that leaned into TikTok developments, embracing a extra versatile, short-term technique higher suited to the quick tempo of the platform.

To generate extra genuine content material on a funds, we reached out to some TikTok influencers to create user-generated content material (UGC) to share. The UGC carried out very well and stuffed a spot in our content material, nevertheless, with our feed that includes so many alternative folks, we began to lose our model voice a bit of.

That’s once we realized we wanted our personal in-house TikTok content material creators.

What did work for us on TikTok—spectacularly

Battle of the manufacturers

Once we first launched our mascot Owly to TikTok, we found they weren’t the one owl on the town.

They have been rapidly dubbed the “Walmart model” of language studying app Duolingo’s in style owl mascot Duo. We might have taken this to coronary heart and despatched Owly to their nest.

As a substitute, we noticed a chance to have some enjoyable.

@hootsuite Reply to @duolingo ♬ Monkeyshine-JP – Lt FitzGibbons Males

We instigated a ‘battle of the manufacturers’—a rising pattern on TikTok—and poked a bit of enjoyable at Duolingo’s TikTok video type. Individuals liked our spicy tone and started creating their very own narratives round Owly versus Duolingo—some wished us to combat one another; others wished us to fall in love.

Our ‘battle of the manufacturers’ method resulted in a 5,205% improve in followers. One video even went viral with 647,000 views in a single week!

screenshot of viral Hootsuite TikTok video

The 7-second problem

At the start of 2022, TikTok creators began reporting unbelievable engagement, just by posting text-heavy, seven-second movies that includes trending audio clips to beat the TikTok algorithm.

We experimented with the seven-second problem pattern and it labored! We posted our video on February 2, 2022 and it went viral, clocking up 700,000 views.

@hootsuitedo that hack your self 🙌💯♬ unique sound – materials growl 😘💅

Capitalizing on trending audio

We seen that individuals who have been commenting on our posts fell into two buckets: individuals who knew and liked Hootsuite and individuals who had completely no thought what Hootsuite was.

To showcase extra content material about what Hootsuite does, we launched product-centric posts, together with a sequence of ‘product hacks’ demonstrating Hootsuite’s most-loved (and infrequently underrated) options and little-known methods.

One put up demonstrating our new planner view within the Hootsuite dashboard used some trending audio and was an enormous success, leading to a number of constructive sentiment from our followers.

@hootsuitescheduling on social simply obtained lots higher 😉♬ unique sound – Barstool Sports activities

Dance problem (we needed to!)

Then, in March 2022, we labored with Brian Esperon—the choreographer behind Cardi B’s WAP dance—to create a singular dance problem for Hootsuite as a part of our marketing campaign at SXSW, a significant tech and leisure convention.

Owly and Brian hit the streets of Austin, Texas with their sick strikes and obtained tons of various folks concerned. Total the marketing campaign’s movies clocked over 56,000 views on TikTok.

Whereas the dance movies have been successful, the way in which we executed this marketing campaign didn’t align with how folks eat content material on TikTok. Within the run-up to the occasion, we launched a multi-part teaser video sequence that was created to be consumed consecutively. We realized that self-contained movies work higher on TikTok.

Why? Along with being tremendous fast-paced, TikTok isn’t a very chronological platform, so that you don’t know what is going to land in your viewers’s #fyp and when. Individuals would possibly see movies in your sequence out of order or solely see one among them, lacking out on vital particulars from the opposite entries. Holding your whole story in a single video provides you the very best likelihood of making certain your viewers sees the entire story—particularly for those who preserve that one video as quick as attainable.

@hootsuite 🚨NEW TREND ALERT🚨 get able to shake your tail feathers with these strikes 🤪 dc: @besperon & Owly #WheresOwly ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

Key takeaways for TikTok newbies

The function of the social media supervisor is evolving

Previously, social media managers might sit behind the scenes, writing copy, creating graphics, and crunching numbers. With the arrival of TikTok (and related options like Instagram Reels), there’s a chance for our roles to grow to be extra well-rounded as we flex our inventive muscle tissues.

Understanding the intricacies of video creation could be daunting at first. Not everyone seems to be comfy recording themselves or being on digital camera, however with apply, it will get simpler.

Should you can, rent content material creators or discover folks in your crew who’re genuinely enthusiastic about TikTok and revel in being in entrance of the digital camera.

Our Social Advertising Coordinator and in-house TikTok aficionada Eileen Kwok is crushing it. Comply with us on TikTok to see her strike the right stability between capitalizing on TikTok developments and offering useful evergreen recommendation and help to our core viewers of social media managers.

@hootsuitehootsuite all the time saving me time 😍♬ unique sound – Hootsuite

Genuine works greatest

When entrepreneurs consider video creation, we sometimes consider pricey or time-consuming manufacturing that eats up a TON of funds and sources.

TikTok doesn’t want that high-production content material. In reality, genuine, unpolished low-production movies resonate significantly better with TikTok customers.

Be taught to talk TikTok

TikTok has its personal language and elegance. You possibly can present your viewers that you just perceive the platform by studying how greatest to speak on it. Watch how different manufacturers do it by studying the feedback sections or learn our TikTok Tradition Information for ideas.

Touch upon different model accounts

The remark part of TikTok movies is an thrilling (and surprisingly constructive) place. Many customers really go on to the feedback earlier than watching the total video to see what others are saying about it. (The feedback are additionally an awesome place to learn to communicate TikTok.)

We began proactively commenting on different manufacturers’ accounts and a few of our feedback acquired hundreds of likes, which introduced tons of site visitors to our account.

TikTok developments don’t wait

Leaning into completely different TikTok developments is the best technique to construct your followers. So for those who discover a pattern that fits your model, don’t waste time over-thinking content material manufacturing.

Act quick or the pattern would possibly cross you by. (Tip: Should you’re too late for a pattern on TikTok, don’t fear: You would possibly nonetheless be early on Instagram.)

Be selective with the developments you leap on

Quite a lot of TikTok humor is darkish and NSFW (not secure for work). Watch out which developments you hop on (and which songs you select for backing tracks).

Hold your viewers in thoughts always by asking your self if they’d relate to or recognize your humor.

collage of two screenshot images showing Hootsuite interacting with comments on TikTok

TikTok developments transfer FAST. Keep up-to-date with our TikTok Developments E-newsletter. Signal as much as get the newest updates, our suggestions on whether or not your enterprise ought to hop on them, inspo from manufacturers doing cool issues on TikTok, and scorching ideas.

Ship Me the Developments


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here