What do Chipotle and Pretty Little Thing have in common with Lil Nas X? All of them are trailblazers on TikTok. Many companies now see the value in creating a profile on the site, but none wants to be the first to do so.

Chipotle Is the Tops!

Chipotle may very well be the poster child for a successful brand presence on TikTok. Their videos show that they have an in-depth familiarity with the platform of TikTok and an instinctive facility in communicating with the target audience of Generation Z.

They share material that is timely and culturally significant, they use popular hashtags, and most crucially, they are not pushy or overtly branded. Chipotle nails the all-important and financially rewarding goal of reflecting the values and interests of its target demographic.

Buzzfeed, the Underachiever

Buzzfeed may be a frontrunner in content production on other platforms like YouTube and Instagram, but its attempts to get into the TikTok market have, shall we say, fallen flat. As their like count was consistently around 500 and their follower growth was stagnant, we decided to investigate more to figure out where they went wrong.

Repurposing material from other platforms, such as Instagram, is a common mistake we see marketers make on TikTok. What works on TikTok is different from what works on Instagram, and vice versa. It seems like Buzzfeed missed the boat on this one. They use an editing approach that is at odds with TikTok’s native editing standards and rehash content that fails to inspire or impress.

They also made some more blunders than this one. Consider their least successful video, in which an employee uses a voice changer to address the camera and solicit viewers’ opinions on whether New Year’s Eve 2019 or 2020 is more appropriate. The first mistake they made was not appealing to Generation Z’s visual-first mentality by employing transitions or effects. The second was focusing on an interesting subject for the TikTok community. They were unable to communicate with other users and integrate into the platform culture since there was no connection to contemporary events or popular culture.

Check that you avoid making the exact same mistakes.

Do you doubt that these tips and tricks are crucial to making a splash on TikTok? So, we decided to test it out. These tricks were used in a recent campaign we did for Benny Blanco’s song “Graduation,” and they proved to be significant in shaping the course of that effort.

Using the #schoolyears hashtag and traditional TikTok transitions, we got people thinking about and talking about their own school days. Using our gold-standard platform Fanbytes by Brainlabs, we combed through more than 3 million accounts and 200 data points to find the most active and suitable influencer.

The feedback was tremendously favorable, and it was important in getting the music in front of millions of listeners. Six million or more people saw material with the hashtag, one million or more people liked it, and 80,000 or more people participated in the challenge by creating their own content. Not only that, but the influencer films had an insanely large participation rate and were seen for a total of 15,000 hours.

However, it wasn’t the end of it. What followed stunned us even more. A 208% rise in user-generated material was seen, and it continued to expand long after the campaign had concluded. After 4 months of steady expansion, we were able to supply more than 250,000 videos from our fan base.