Whether through influencers or your own page, chances are consumers are finding you on TikTok. But how do you beat the algorithm to build loyalty?
TikTok has our attention nowadays—all of it. And its growth isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In 2021, it was the most-downloaded app for the third time in a row.
It’s also the most engaging of all social media apps by a long shot. We all know that feeling of looking up from TikTok and realizing an hour has gone by. An average session lasts more than double that of the second most engaging app (Pinterest), and more than three times the average Instagram session.
For Gen Z, TikTok usage is quickly surpassing Instagram and Snapchat usage. And for adults in general, it’s overtaking the number one spot from Youtube.
TikTok’s popularity has made it a major growth lever for brands. But while the algorithm delivers super-personalized experiences for consumers, it’s unreliable for brands. You can constantly reach new users through your own videos or partnerships with influencers. But there’s no guarantee you’ll come across their For You pages (FYPs) a second or third time.
The solution? Pair your brand awareness powerhouse with a loyalty-building channel. Text message marketing is a natural extension of consumers’ experience on TikTok. It’s personalized, mobile, and conversational. And because SMS conversations feel authentic and relevant, users feel heard and like they’re getting something of value.
When you’re strapped for time and resources, it can be hard to think up and roll out a new strategy. That’s why we pulled together three plans for using TikTok and SMS that you can implement in 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
[30 minutes] Trigger custom sign-up units when a user comes to your website from TikTok
After experimenting with video content across TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube, tech reporter Alex Kantrowitz recently called TikTok a “traffic cannon.”
Whether consumers are finding you through content from individual creators, influencers, or your brand’s account, chances are they’re clicking through to your website to learn more. That’s your opportunity to create a 1:1 relationship with them before they return to their FYPs. Here’s how:
- Convert browsers into subscribers right away: Display a sign-up unit when a user first hits your site.
- Trigger personalized sign-up units when a visitor comes from TikTok: Using display rules, show visitors coming from URLs containing “TikTok” (or even LikeToKnowIt pages) sign-up units related to their in-app experience.
- Tailor your messaging to users’ mindset: Shoppers coming from TikTok probably want to get to know you, or are interested in a specific product they spotted in a video. Lean into your brand voice, highlight educational content (like personalized recommendations and style guides), and even offer incentives they can redeem on their first purchase.
- Enrich new subscribers’ profiles to target future messages. Using sign-up source data, preference collection, and custom attributes, you can nurture these subscribers with targeted journeys and campaign messages. Plus, you’ll have a better understanding of where your audience is engaging with you, meaning you can better orchestrate across platforms.
SMS Pro Tip: When items go viral on TikTok, you can sell out quickly. Create sign-up units incentivizing subscribers with the chance to be the first to know when popular items are back in stock.
[60 minutes] Create personalized sign-up landing pages for your influencers
TikTok is speeding up the shift towards “niche culture.” Consumers don’t want to fit in with a large crowd—they want to find smaller communities that get them. TikTok users don’t need to go looking for these micro communities, like they do on Instagram or Reddit. Instead, the app’s algorithm brings people to them.
Those “that’s so me” moments are driving commerce. Because TikTok content is so personalized to users’ interests, product discovery feels effortless. Plus, because recommendations are coming from consumers in their micro communities, there’s a layer of trust baked in that makes it easy to convert.
Tap into these conversations to grow your list (and amplify your influencer efforts) by partnering with creators to promote your SMS channel. Here’s how:
- Highlight what makes your SMS program special: Have creators share what they love about texting your brand (and even a screenshot or two of their conversations). Whether your subscribers enjoy VIP perks like first access to new products or offers, or getting access to support and recommendations through LiveSMS, it’s a natural way to build excitement.
- Create a branded sign-up landing page: Have influencers link to a custom landing page in their bio where users can sign up for texts. Highlight the offer or perk the influencer mentioned, and consider adding preference collection fields to learn more about your new subscribers.
- Build a personalized welcome journey acknowledging where they came from: Deliver the perk or exclusive content promised in the influencers video. You can even write the message in the influencer’s voice, introducing subscribers to your brand.
- Add custom attributes to your welcome journey: Track where a subscriber is discovering and engaging with you by enriching their profile with first- and zero-party data. You can note the channel (TikTok), content type (video vs. a static Instagram post), and the influencers they engage with to target future messages.
SMS Pro Tip: Duplication is your friend. Simply create copies of your sign-up landing pages and welcome journeys. Then make small tweaks to keep a consistent brand experience across your influencer initiatives (and save you a lot of work).
[90 minutes] Start conversations with subscribers you gain through influencers
Once you’ve set up custom landing pages and welcome journeys for your influencer initiatives, you can take personalization to the next level with segmentation and conversational messaging.
Because TikTok’s FYP is so personalized, you can probably infer a lot about someone based on the creator they found you through. Let’s use J. Crew as an example of a brand that reaches several audiences on TikTok.
The brand’s VP of Women’s Design, Olympia Gayot, has recently emerged as a style star. Creators on the editorial side of fashion TikTok are celebrating and breaking down her looks. J. Crew can infer the consumers engaging with these influencers and posts are probably looking to stay ahead of seasonal trends and styling advice.
Chances are, they’re looking for something similar from SMS. They might be most interested in lookbooks and styling guides, sneak peeks at new collections, and “behind the scenes” content.
J. Crew also works closely with influencers who are driving the recent “coastal grandmother” trend, like @SimplyElsa. The creator specializes in preppy New England fashion and plus- and mid-size styling.
The brand can guess that consumers who engage with her content are interested in classic pieces, fit, and knowing that products will last. These SMS subscribers would probably be interested in archival content, lookbooks, and customer testimonials on fit and quality.
From two-way welcome journeys to offering recommendations through Attentive Concierge™, conversational text messaging lets you take these personalization strategies a step further.
Here’s how that could play out in our J. Crew examples:
- If a shopper signs up for texts through an editorial fashion creator, add a conversational step to your welcome journey. Ask them, “Who’s your style icon?” and enrich their profile with custom attributes associated with their personal style (e.g., “New England classic,” “California cool,” or “New York chic”).
- If a shopper signs up for texts through a New England lifestyle influencer, add a conversational step to their welcome journey asking if they’re shopping for a certain occasion (e.g., a work event, a wedding, seasonal looks, wardrobe staples, etc.) to get a better idea of what their goals are.
- If a shopper signs up for texts through a mid-size or plus-sized styling influencer, consider using Attentive Concierge to ask new subscribers if they have any questions regarding products’ fit or styling. It’ll help them make educated buying decisions, and you’ll learn more about their needs.
Whether you have 30 minutes between meetings or a whole afternoon, investing a bit of time in pairing your SMS and TikTok strategies will fuel your next phase of growth.
Using the two channels in tandem will help you get in front of your audience and build 1:1 connections with shoppers. Plus, since these are set-it-and-forget-it strategies, you’re setting the foundation for long-term, low-lift success.