TikTok Business Success Stories

According to Zenith, by 2021, the average person will spend approximately 100 minutes every day watching videos. That’s equal to 25 consecutive days per year, and TikTok is especially primed to capitalize on our penchant for this.

TikTok combines the best features of YouTube and Instagram: scrollable video and content, respectively. It’s more popular than Instagram and Facebook, becoming the king of the three “Vs” (vertical viral video), a feature that every social platform has attempted to imitate after TikTok’s success. 

According to data from Q3 2020, TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is especially popular in the US, Pakistan, Russia, Mexico, and South America.

With established success for brands and over 800 million active global users, TikTok is on its road to becoming the most influential social platform yet. And with only 1 out of 10 video marketers capitalizing from it, businesses that do get on with TikTok’s user base have the opportunity to attract a portion of its $500 million advertising revenue. 

Here are examples of businesses that succeeded in conquering the video platform:

1. Chipotle

Chipotle has constantly boasted its authentic ingredients, and it utilizes TikTok to shows its business’ authentic side with viral-worthy challenges and humor. To date, the restaurant’s #GuacDance challenge takes the title of highest-performing branded TikTok challenge in the history of the platform. As a result, Chipotle sold more than 802,000 sides of guac — the most in the brand’s history.

The restaurant was an early user of TikTok. It utilizes the social media platform to bring its brand to life and promotes its digital efforts. On the fast-casual restaurant’s Q2 2020 earnings, Chipotle saw a digital sales lift of 216%, accounting for roughly 61% of sales. According to CEO Brian Niccol, the brand employs TikTok to encourage users to partake in its reward program, accounting for 70% of their current digital orders.

Chipotle’s VP of digital and off-premises, Tressie Lieberman, said in an article in QSR Magazine, “Chipotle’s goal for its presence on TikTok is to establish a genuine, real personality.” Lieberman appended that the restaurant’s TikTok strategy is regularly based on daily trends, remarking in an interview with Business Insider that you must be willing to tackle new ideas every day. Lieberman stated, “You just have to be really flexible to try new things, reach out to people, experiment because there’s not really a defined process here.”

2. Vessi

Vessi is a fantastic footwear brand that’s based in Canada. They only began recently and are already approaching 200,000 followers. The reason for their rapid growth was the giveaways. They’re using an unusual duet giveaway strategy to generate revenue, followers, and UGC.

3. Elf Cosmetics

The cosmetics brand has been doing a remarkable job on the social media platform thus far. Elf has commissioned a song, especially for its TikTok campaign. The song is called “Eyes Lips Face” after the cosmetic brand’s acronym and took inspiration from “Ice Me Out”— Kash Doll’s 2018 hit. The song is thought to be the pioneer for original song commissions for a campaign in TikTok. Elf cosmetics then worked with several influencers to kick it off, and the outcome from there has been exhilarating. 

speaker, wireless charger, phone, TikTok logo

4. Guess

So far, Guess had only posted seven videos, but they already off to a good start. The brand already amassed over 60,000 followers. They are also among the only fashion brands you can find on TikTok—a big miss by their adversaries. Guess’ TikTok content is good, and they even partnered with the video platform to create a challenge using the #InMyDenim hashtag, with exceptional success. Videos from the brand’s sponsored #InMyDenim challenge have amassed more than 38 million views. 

5. The Washington Post

The Washington Post employs TikTok to generate awareness and trust with a young, influential audience.

According to The Post’s video producer, Dave Jorgenson, the primary audience of the 142-year-old newspaper includes readers that are over 40 years old. And although its TikTok account has fewer followers compared to its Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, the audience it serves there addresses a new demographic: teens and 20-year-olds, which allocates for over 60% of TikTok’s user base. Don’t allow their age to deceive you—Gen Zs are already among the most powerful consumers in the world.

The Washington Post utilizes the video platform to provide viewers with a glimpse inside its newsroom. Jorgenson said in an interview with CNN that the Post’s humor flashes through its videos. He remarked, “I’ve always found our newsroom is filled with a lot of really funny people, even if they’re kind of dorky and sort of nerdy. That’s our humor. And so I sort of sought to reflect that humor on TikTok within all of our videos that we publish each day.”

6. Small businesses

Small businesses have utilized TikTok to reach audiences that are outside their pool of local customers. The Verge details that small businesses such as Erika Thompson’s beekeeping business and Danny Wang’s design-build firm saw a lift in engagement and sales on the social media platform. In Wang’s case, the platform has helped boost his business globally—”far beyond the 30-mile radius his company initially operated in.”