5 Ways to Make Your Franchise Go Viral on TikTok
Grow your brand by creating buzzworthy content.
In today’s fast-paced world, social media serves as a convenient and accessible source of both information and entertainment. People are captivated by the eye-grabbing content on their screens. In particular, TikTok has catapulted to global popularity in recent years as creative content condensed into short video clips has become appealing for purposes of self-expression, humor, education and even a sense of community.
Many franchises and entrepreneurs have recognized this powerful platform and taken advantage of its wide audience to advertise their own brand. From small businesses to large corporate franchises, TikTok is a melting pot of different brands seeking to expand their reach.
With more and more people joining the TikTok community, businesses, including franchises, must learn to leverage their PR campaigns and strive to get their videos to go viral by following these five strategies:
1. Participate in the latest trends
Whether it’s a popular song track, dance move, hashtag or filter, it is crucial to keep up with the latest viral trends. Once a viewer expresses interest in a certain type of video, the TikTok algorithm will intentionally display similar videos on that user’s “For You Page,” which is how trends gain traction. Therefore, by engaging in a trend that many people like, your video will be shown more frequently to more people.
To take this to the next level, put a creative spin on the trend in a way that is specific to your company. In other words, you will gain the initial viewers by simply participating in the trend, but your video will gain more viral attention by having a fresh and unique angle. But because people have short attention spans and easily get bored, trends quickly come and go. In order to stay relevant, your brand must be in sync with TikTok and stay up to date with the most popular videos. You therefore must be an avid TikTok user yourself, as watching other people’s content and learning from successful trends is a crucial aspect to producing your own videos.
2. Appeal to followers
Understand that TikTok can be strategically utilized for business purposes, but it was initially designed for enjoyment. Not only should you appeal to your followers’ entertainment by eliciting smiles and keeping your content lighthearted, you should also make sure each video remains brief and to the point. Instead of boring your viewers with informative messages, use quick video cuts to keep people on their toes.
It is also necessary to understand how your followers are responding to and engaging with your content. For instance, pay attention to the comments section and see what people like and dislike in order for you to act accordingly in future videos.
One example of a business that successfully engaged with its TikTok followers is Chick Fil-A’s Port Saint Lucie franchise. Their videos are fun and creative with the brand’s mascot dancing to trending tunes, workers creating humorous “POVs” and customers making appearances in heartwarming interactions. They have also pinned their most popular videos to the top of their page, which is a strategic approach to allow new viewers to immediately notice their most viral content.
3. Utilize comments and hashtags
In addition to creating individual content, a good way to market your brand is by actively engaging with other TikTok users. The comments section is a great place to do so as you can establish your presence by commenting on other user's videos, which allow their audiences to then become aware of your page. Furthermore, hashtags are essential as they help users find and share specific content. Because TikTok is such a far-reaching platform with people of many interests, hashtags allow users to easily navigate different topics and categories. Especially when marketing a brand, you want your page to be easily accessible to those interested in your products/services. In turn, you can scroll through hashtagged videos to understand how other users handle and produce similar content.
The Little Caesars Pizza TikTok is constantly interacting with their followers by responding directly in the comments section, making video clips addressing a specific comment, and encouraging viewers to comment with guessing games and other challenges. With hashtags such as #ExtraCheesyJokes, #BestThingSince, and #PieItForward, they successfully create ways for people to easily access and contribute to their content.
In addition, the hashtag #TruettsLuau, which is a Hawaiian-themed Chick Fil-A in Georgia, has gone viral and therefore serves as an incentive for tourists to film their visit and post with the hashtag, resulting in more users flocking to the franchise to capture their Hawaiian dining experience .
4. Establish partnerships
Consistent user engagement can also help establish connections with other brands and pave the way for future collaborations. Any sort of partnership, especially one with a TikTok account that has a large following, can be extremely advantageous to the growth of your own business as your brand can be promoted to their large audience.
Many brands have partnered with famous TikTokkers to advertise their brand to the star's fans. Even the Kardashians, who already have a global empire of fame, have successfully promoted themselves and their reality TV show by working with TikTok star Addison Rae. Getting a TikTokker or famous icon to appear in one of your posts will almost certainly help your videos “blow up,” or in other words, go viral. For instance, McDonald’s partnered with Travis Scott, creating the “Travis Scott Meal,” as well as a line of merchandise representing the rapper. This partnership allowed the franchise to gain viral fame, with the hashtag #travisscottmeal receiving 76.1 million views on TikTok.
5. Provide giveaways
When it comes to freebies, it’s a sure way to win the hearts of your consumers. Any sort of give-away or prize will stimulate desire and competition, attracting customers to your page. Not only will people watch your content over and over again to maximize their chances of winning, they will also send your videos to friends and therefore increase your number of views. Even if some viewers do not end up actually participating in the give-away, these kinds of eye-grabbing incentives will still bring people to your page and allow them to become familiar with your overall content.
It is easy to become lost in the web of already-viral videos, but by following these five steps and incorporating your own creative content, you have the potential to achieve viral fame for your own franchise brand using TikTok.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor