How to Succeed on TikTok | Tom Sweeney

Picture for category How to Succeed on TikTok | Tom Sweeney

TikTok has changed the Social Game.  

And it has the power to drive the whole customer journey. From Awareness and Engagement to Consideration and Conversion.  

That said, we must learn to walk before we can run. So, what are the key steps a brand should take before entering TikTok

We asked Tom Sweeney, the Head of Creative Strategy at Fanbytes, during Sherpa Society's recent exclusive masterclass titled "A Deep Dive into TikTok".  Here is what he replied: 

1. Work with your organization to get a buy-in into the concept: Help them understand that the concept is not always going to be super aligned to the brand. Sometimes, it has to be experimental and that's ok. There are so many great brands out there doing it right, so many great case studies to get inspired from, so it won't be that hard to convince your boss to say "yes".   

To get you started, here are a couple of brand accounts that have cracked the code on TikTok:

Ryanair ( & Duolingo (

 2. Get on the platform and make stuff: It doesn't even have to be from your brand account.  Use the platform yourself. Start creating as an individual, spend some time trying stuff and seeing what works.  TikTok is hard to do well, but it's also really hard to fail. Because the algorithm doesn't punish you. If you do a video that doesn't work, it just waits for the next one. So, don't be afraid to fail. It's just part of the process.


As to what is the formula that most successful brands on TikTok are applying,  here is what Tom had to say:

"My route to winning on TikTok is simple: it relies on your ability as a marketer to understand your customers, to be able to build a compelling strategy, to leverage the platform and to influence action in the real world. To be able to measure and report on the impact of your work."

"What the likes of Ryanair and Duolingo are doing on this platform is completely replicable for you and your brand. Not necessarily in terms of the specific content but in the way they are approaching it strategically. You can win, you can drive action and here is how":

1. Create: Think like a brand, act like a creator. Think of your ideal customer and create content specifically for them. If you manage to create meaningful content, TikTok will show it  to the right audience. 

2. Scale:  We need to become incredibly effective learners. Not only from our successes and failures, but also from the feedback that the platform gives us. We need to  find ways to replicate the things that work and eliminate the things that don't.  Gone are the days where you could take 12 months to plan a campaign. Trends happen in an instant and they are gone just as fast. We need to know the platform and be able to find the opportunities. Ok, align your TikTok to your Marketing calendar but don't rely on it for your messaging.  Blend  proactive and reactive content. Create quickly, create quality content and the platform will reward you. Fail fast,  make a mistake, see what happens, see what needs to be fixed and go again.

3. Influence: Even though you might forget the characters or the storylines, you'll never forget how it made you feel. Emotion triggers action. And TikTok audiences want to express themselves. So, be an enabler. And, most importantly, be human. Use TikTok in a more human way. Because, people like people. It's really that simple. 

4. Measure: Social used to be an after-thought for marketers, today TikTok has the power to drive the whole customer journey. We, as marketers, have this power. We can do it all on TikTok. From Awareness and Engagement to Consideration and Conversion. As the case of Ryanair below indicates.

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