With over one billion users worldwide, TikTok has become the preferred platform for nearly five million businesses seeking expansion and success. However, promotion on TikTok is a double-edged sword.
While the app’s viral nature can drive brand success, there is also the risk of negative backlash. A single misstep or one piece of controversial content can quickly escalate and result in reputational damage.
Businesses must be cautious and ensure their content is sensitive, inclusive and aligned with their target audience’s values.
Find out how to manage your corporate reputation and learn TikTok best practices for brands in this blog.
The Rise of TikTok Marketing
TikTok began as a platform for sharing short, user-generated videos showcasing dancing, singing and lip-syncing. Over time, it has evolved into a powerhouse for marketing and shaping corporate reputation.
While it was initially known for its popularity among Gen Z, TikTok now caters to diverse content and communities. No wonder brands capitalize on the app’s immense potential for driving sales and cultivating a loyal customer base.
Here’s what TikTok for brands looks like:
- Branded Hashtag Challenges: Allow brands to host challenges using unique hashtags. Users can participate by sharing their content under the brand’s specific hashtag.
- In-Feed Ads: TikTok’s version of native ads; blend seamlessly with organic content and offer brands a non-disruptive way of reaching users.
- TopView Ads: 60-second video advertisements that appear at the top of a user’s feed; offer ample opportunities for captivating consumers and amplifying brand awareness.
- Brand Takeover Ads: Living up to their name, brand takeover ads are a form of promotion on TikTok that has a 100% share of voice, enabling users to see just your ads for a day.
- Branded Effects: By integrating this into TikTok strategy for brands, businesses can deliver one-of-a-kind immersive experiences to users using filters, stickers and augmented reality.
- eCommerce Integration: This form of promotion on TikTok streamlines the buying process. It allows ‘live selling’ where companies use video streaming to engage with the audience in real time.
While TikTok for brands provides excellent opportunities for promotion and reputation building, addressing the potential risks is crucial. What happens when your company becomes the center of public backlash?
Many businesses are caught off guard, unaware of how to navigate a reputation crisis. Worry not; you can avoid becoming a cautionary tale with a solid corporate reputation management plan.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss the importance of managing corporate reputation and the challenges of keeping a stellar corporate reputation online.
Why Managing Corporate Reputation Is Important on TikTok (and Other Social Media Channels)
Building a solid reputation requires years of effort and resources, yet it can be shattered in seconds, especially in the age of social media.
This does not have to be the case for your brand. To assist marketing leaders in effectively managing corporate reputation, here are some key statistics to live by:
- 70% of surveyed consumers avoid purchasing products or services from a company with a bad corporate reputation (Weber Shandwick, 2020)
- 81% of consumers need to trust a brand before making a purchase (Edelman, 2019)
- 77% of consumers choose to shop from brands they follow on social media (SproutSocial)
- Consumers are over two times more likely to purchase from, stay loyal and promote brands they trust (Edelman, 2019)
- Americans are more likely to talk about poor service than about good experiences (Hiver, 2023)
- Reputation accounts for 63% of a company’s market value (Weber Shandwick, 2020)
It is clear that social media platforms play a significant role in shaping consumer perceptions, making effective corporate reputation management more crucial than ever for businesses to succeed online.
However, managing reputation on platforms such as TikTok presents its own set of challenges. Your best bet is to work with an online reputation management company or use an online reputation management software.
In the meantime, let us explore some TikTok marketing roadblocks and discuss the best TikTok strategy for brands to overcome them.
Challenges of Corporate Reputation Management in the Age of TikTok
TikTok’s unique algorithm poses specific challenges that require careful attention and proactive reputation repair strategies.
Below are three key aspects companies should consider when planning for a reputation crisis and creating an effective reputation repair plan for the platform:
Unpredictable Lifespan of Issues
Time is a huge factor for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter since the algorithm prioritizes recent content. TikTok, however, is a different story.
User interaction and relevancy determine the lifespan of an issue or trend on TikTok. As long as users engage with a piece of content, it will continue showing up on feeds.
Additionally, TikTok omits timestamps on videos, allowing months-old content to resurface and gain traction over long engagement periods.
Simply put, the fate of your content lies in the hands of users.
Misinformation Is Prevalent
Misinformation can be prevalent on TikTok, covering various topics from celebrities to health, politics and sports. While the platform lacks formal mechanisms to curb false information, community members actively challenge and verify content in the comments section.
These ‘scientific vigilantes’ as they call it, fact-check and debunk information often in support of their favorite brands. However, if these individuals uncover a brand’s dirty laundry, it can quickly circulate on the platform and trigger negative publicity.
TikTok has implemented a warning system for “unverified” content to combat misinformation. This additional step aims to promote critical thinking and responsible sharing.
TikTok’s Ripple Effect
The influence of TikTok’s community extends far beyond the platform. Content shared on the platform quickly spreads to other platforms like Instagram, Twitter and even news headlines!
Dismissing TikTok as an app for kids or for producing silly viral trends can be detrimental to your brand. As such, considering online reputation management services may be an excellent investment for brands interested in TikTok marketing.
Example of TikTok Online Reputation Management Gone Wrong
One wrong decision can quickly snowball into a full-blown reputation crisis. Take the case of the ‘Not That Cute’ TikTok video that went viral in 2021.
A recent college graduate, Grace Lorincz, applied for a brand representative position at Ava Lane Boutique, a Michigan-based online boutique. She was taken aback when she received a dismissive internal email from the boutique’s VP of operations, Chuck DeGrendel, who called her “not that cute” and questioned the decision to interview her.
The 21-year-old shared her negative experience in a TikTok video, which unsurprisingly garnered 2.3 million views. Within hours, the highly acclaimed Ava Lane Boutique saw a severe decline in its reputation.
Despite the company’s subsequent apologies, the damage had already been done. Their Google Play reviews plummeted from nearly five stars to 1.5 stars and comment sections flooded with mocking remarks about the brand’s products being ‘not that cute.’
This incident is a stark reminder to learn TikTok best practices for brands and proactively manage their presence on the platform. You can never go wrong with investing in online reputation management companies or reputation repair services.
How To Effectively Manage Corporate Reputation on TikTok for Brands
Don’t be another case of Ava Lane Boutique. Follow these TikTok best practices for brands to build a five-star reputation for your company:
Audit Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Comprehensive audits allow you to gauge what aspects are working well and what requires improvement. Start by searching your brand’s name on TikTok and monitoring brand mentions.
Track key metrics using online reputation management software. Share the data with your team to reinforce the importance of customer satisfaction and maintaining a positive reputation.
Use Social Listening Tools
Social listening allows brands to monitor online conversations about their brand or industry. By actively listening to online discussions, brands can gain important insights into public perception, pain points and overall customer experience.
With social listening, an online reputation management company can uncover:
- Customer sentiment and feedback
- Engagement and popularity of brand-related conversations
- Positive and negative trends about the brand
- Types of content shared about the brand
This information allows reputation leaders or online reputation management companies to understand their client’s audience better and adjust their TikTok strategy for brands.
Leverage Social Media Analytics Tools
Social media analytics tools offer key insights into the social sphere, allowing you to track essential data influencing your brand’s reputation. This includes the voice of consumer data, consumer feedback, trends, engagement rates and comment volume.
By leveraging these tools, you can make data-driven decisions and optimize your social strategy to enhance your brand’s reputation.
Manage Direct Messages and Inboxes
Direct messages (DMs) and inbox management are crucial for maintaining strong customer relationships on social media. Promptly respond to customer messages and provide personalized replies to show your brand’s commitment to excellent customer service.
Organizing messages, setting up automated responses and assigning dedicated team members to handle DMs are effective strategies to ensure efficient inbox management. These practices contribute to positive customer interactions, increased customer loyalty and a favorable online reputation.
Be the Brand To Follow Online
Being brand-conscious means understanding a platform’s culture, trends and audience preferences. It involves striking the right balance between promoting your brand and addressing user needs.
By achieving this balance, you can enhance your brand’s reputation, foster positive engagement and receive valuable feedback, all while demonstrating the value your brand brings to the online community.
Online reputation management companies offer a range of solutions to help brands nurture a positive image online. Rize Reviews, a top-rated online reputation management company, helps businesses of all sizes maintain a pristine reputation on social media platforms.
Online reputation management services we offer include:
- Reputation repair services to mitigate the impact of harmful content and restore brand trust.
- Social media follower growth service to boost customer engagement and reduce churn rates.
- Review generation to encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences with a brand.
- Review monitoring to track brand-related mentions, comments and discussions.
- Review responses to assist in crafting professional responses to customer reviews.
Schedule your free demo with Rize to see our reputation management services in action.