• Cheryl Teo

How to use TikTok for Restaurant Marketing



What is TikTok and how does it work?


Like all social media channels, TikTok is a social network for sharing user-generated content, in the form of videos. Users can create and upload their own videos where they lip-sync, sing, dance, or just talk, etc. One can also browse and interact with other users' content, which covers a wide range of topics, songs, and styles. These videos can be grouped by hashtags, which often correspond to challenges or memes.


If you’re already using other social media platforms and have a decent following on those, it’s always good to reuse the content from your TikTok and post them on these channels.



How can Restaurant Brands use TikTok to market themselves?

  1. Create their own channel and upload funny and viral content in the form of videos

  2. Work with influencers, to spread content to a wider audience

  3. Pay to advertise on TikTok




Create their own channel


For restaurants, creating brand awareness is the first leap to gain more business and building a lasting relationship with customers. Getting on TikTok is probably one of the best and ideal way to gain the exposure they need and to create awareness.


The entire concept of TikTok is about having fun, entertaining, and lighthearted content that can easily turn viral. Restaurants can use original videos and content to actively engage their potential diners. A hashtag campaign that encourages users to create quirky and memorable videos will increase the chances of persuading the larger community to participate. Another strategy is to make use of the current trending song challenges and incorporate their menu into the video, a quick and fast way to introduce their food items and offerings.





Work with Social Media Influencers

If the younger generation takes up more than half of your customer base, it makes great sense to invest your time into building brand awareness through TikTok.


Not just relying on user-generated content to gain an even greater outreach, restaurants can also look at teaming up with TikTok influencers. Sometimes it just takes someone with relatively greater influence to kickstart viral content like hashtag challenges. Such content could include a short skit that includes a new menu item, lip-sync challenge of a particular product, or a dance challenge like the famous #guacchallenge.


Video marketing would help restaurants garner more eyeballs and better brand exposure, which may eventually lead to more customers.


Advertise on TikTok

TikTok ads are another possibility in which your restaurant can utilise TikTok for marketing your restaurant business. The ad platform currently offers five types of ads, namely:

  1. Infeed ads – Similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories ads, they appear between user videos. This type of ad supports objectives like website clicks and conversions with a very clear CTA button. However, infeed ads tend to be scrolled past rather quickly, hence the ads should capture the attention of users with enticing graphics, text, etc.

  2. Brand takeovers – These ads appear right when you open up the app. This allows brands to take over TikTok for the day by creating images, GIFs, and videos with embedded links to landing pages or hashtag challenges.

  3. Branded hashtag challenges – Instead of trying to make an organic challenge go viral, you can promote them to get more engagement.

  4. Branded effects – Like Snapchat, you can create branded custom 2D and 3D effects for faces and photos. A great way to encourage direct engagement with customers.

  5. Topview – Latest addition to the ads on TikTok. The first infeed ads after 3 seconds, which shows up at the top of the For You page with up to 60 seconds of auto-play and sound.

While TikTok is a relatively new platform, it has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent months and this trend will likely stick around for longer. If you do have additional resources to spare on marketing efforts, TikTok might be one of the choices to go for right now.


Here’s more on how to create an account to start advertising on TikTok.


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