In less than two years, TikTok has transformed from a teen-fueled app centered around trending dance routines and comedic skits into a powerful marketing tool with more than 1 billion monthly active users. For Multifamily, TikTok is an untapped market with potential that’s practically limitless.
Consider this: About 47 percent of active TikTok users are 29 or younger. These user demographics align with that of American apartment renters—about 50 percent of renters are 29 or younger. This makes utilizing TikTok as a marketing strategy to reach the people who are most likely to be searching for an apartment.
So, it’s worth investing some time into learning how TikTok works and exploring its potential. This guide will show you everything you need to know to get started with TikTok and use it to grow your apartment community.
In this Ultimate Guide to TikTok, you will learn:
- What TikTok is and how it works
- Benefits of using TikTok for apartment marketing
- How to create a TikTok business account for your apartment community
- Making your apartment community stand out on TikTok
- How TikTok advertising works
- Understanding TikTok content metrics
- Working with influencers
- TikTok marketing ideas for apartments
- A TikTok apartment marketing strategy to help you get started
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a mobile app and social media platform for creating, watching and sharing videos that can be up to 15 seconds, one minute, or three minutes in length. It was launched in 2016 by the Chinese startup company Bytedance, but its explosive growth in usage really began in late 2017 when it acquired a rival app called Musical.ly. This resulted in the creation of TikTok as we know it today.
TikTok usage surged during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was known primarily as a Gen Z platform for dance challenges. Since then, it’s grown to encompass every kind of content and community. With the start of in-app shopping in 2021, it’s become even more important to brands looking to connect directly with customers.
How does TikTok work?
As we mentioned above, TikTok is a social network centered around the creation of short videos. Let’s explore its main features:
- Users share videos in which they record themselves or others, usually with background music or sounds that accompany their actions and movements.
- TikTok videos can be easily edited within the app. It offers many options for filters that can be added to the videos.
- Users can follow their favorite creators, similar to Instagram and Twitter. They can also leave comments on videos, and the creators can reply with either a comment or a video response.
- Users can interact with videos in two ways. A “duet” allows you to have your video playing split-screen or green-screened next to another user’s video. A “stitch” lets you incorporate up to five seconds of another user’s content into your own TikTok video.
- The Discover function allows you to find the most popular videos of the moment, similar to Instagram, and they’re sorted using hashtags. You can do searches of hashtags, topics or users from the Discover tab as well.
- Users have two video feeds. The Following feed displays the videos made by the creators you’re following, and the For You Page (or FYP) that recommends videos to you based on the content you interact with.
- Videos play in full screen with a set of icons that offer different interactions: follow the user, like the video, comment on the video, or share it.
- To create content, tap the Record button, located in the bottom center of your screen. From there, you have the option of taking a photo or recording a video. You can also create sliding videos made up of photos stored on your mobile device.
Benefits of using TikTok for apartment marketing
TikTok isn’t just a place to consume and create content, it’s also a great way for apartment marketers to promote their communities and get prospects excited about the possibility of living there.
Here are some benefits you can expect from using TikTok for apartment marketing:
- Increased brand awareness. This is a metric that all brands want, but it isn’t always easy to measure. Social media is one of the best places to get your apartment community in front of your target audience, and TikTok is no exception. It gives you the opportunity to build relationships with prospects, and because Multifamily has been slow to embrace TikTok, you have a great shot at outshining your competition.
- Greater organic reach. TikTok’s algorithm is what really makes it unique. One simple video can get thousands of views. TikTok’s endless scroll format helps videos get more exposure because it’s easy to consume a lot of content in a short amount of time. Further, the content you upload doesn’t only appear to your followers, it also appears on the For You Page of thousands or even millions of users.
- It elevates video marketing. Social media video content is more fun and engaging than the posts and images you see on Facebook and Instagram. TikTok videos allow for sounds, effects and music that can tap into viewers’ emotions, which is a powerful way to connect to your target audience.
- It’s great for user-generated content. User-generated content, or UGC, can be extremely beneficial to apartment communities. TikTok allows users to repurpose your content by clicking “duet” or “stitch,” as we mentioned earlier, so they can react to your content. This means you can create content entirely out of videos that users have made about your apartment community.
- It makes it easy to repurpose content. TikTok’s short videos means you can repurpose the content across your other social media channels. You could even enhance your email marketing by adding TikToks to your messages to prospects and residents.
How to create a TikTok business account for your apartment community
If you’re ready to jump in, follow these steps to set up a business account so you can start creating content.
- Download TikTok. On your cell phone, navigate to the Apple App Store or Android’s Google Play, find TikTok, and download it.
- Sign up. Create an account using your phone number, email address, your Facebook login, Apple ID, Google account, or Twitter handle. Follow the setup prompts.
- Switch to a business account. You will have a personal account by default. By switching to a business account, you’ll gain access to creative tools, audience insights and performance metrics. Follow these steps:
- Click “Profile” on the bottom menu bar.
- Click the three vertical lines in the top right corner (also known as a hamburger menu)
- Go to “Settings and privacy”
- Choose “Manage account.”
- Select “Switch to Business Account.”
- Follow the prompts.
Next, you’ll want to add your profile image, bio and links. Once all of that is complete, you can start creating on TikTok!
Making your apartment community stand out on TikTok
You have four options for connecting with your audience: creating organic content, investing in paid advertising, working with influencers, or all of the above. No matter what approach you choose, keep in mind that TikTok is all about storytelling. Also, like with any new platform, the key is to constantly experiment and test to find out what works and what doesn’t.
For your apartment community to gain traction on TikTok, you need to create organic content unique to the app rather than repurposing video content used on other platforms.
Here are a few tips for promoting your community using original content:
- Do your research. Take some time getting to know the platform. Start following other apartment communities for inspiration with the goal of making your content even more engaging than theirs.
- Explore trending hashtags. TikTok is centered around hashtags, which enable you to search through and find what’s currently hot. Hashtags can be placed in TikTok video descriptions and in comments. Clicking on a hashtag allows you to find all content related to it.
- Make it fun. TikTok is all about fun, informal content that uses popular songs and sounds. Brainstorm how you could integrate your apartment community’s brand into this type of content.
How TikTok Advertising Works
TikTok advertising can be a great way to drive traffic to your apartment community website or rental application landing page. The platform offers several different advertising options.
These ads appear in users’ video feeds. You can create the following types of ads yourself through the TikTok Ad Manager interface:
- Video ads: Ranging from five to 60 seconds, video ads run full-screen and appear in users’ feeds.
- Spark ads: These offer the best of best worlds, allowing you to create ads from either your own organic TikToks or ones made by other creators while keeping the native feel and functionality of organic posts.
- TikTok Promote: Similar to Spark Ads, TikTok Promote allows you to transform organic TikTok content into ads. Unlike Spark Ads, you can only use your own original videos for this.
- Carousel ads: These show up in users’ feeds, displaying up to 10 images with short captions.
- Pangle ads: This type of advertising appears across the TikTok Audience Network, meaning your ads will show on other applications beyond TikTok.
Ads for managed brands
Managed brands are ones that work with a TikTok sales representative and have higher budgets. They have access to additional ad formats, including:
- TopView ads: These appear when users open the TikTok app. They appear as full-screen takeovers and last five to 60 seconds.
- Branded hashtag challenges: These are ad campaigns that encourage users to create videos showing themselves doing a certain action, then that user-generated content appears on the hashtag challenge page.
- Branded effects: These are filters that allow users to interact with brands in all kinds of ways. For example, a hair color brand that allows users to test out a new shade, or a car brand that lets users make head movements to steer their new vehicle model.
Understanding TikTok content analytics
It’s crucial to measure your TikTok performance in order to know what works for you and what doesn’t. TikTok analytics are divided into three categories: overview, content, and followers. Each displays metrics that help you gauge your engagement on TikTok.
To access your TikTok analytics, you need a business account. Here’s how to find your analytics on the app:
- Navigate to your profile and select the hamburger menu (three vertical lines in the top right corner)
- Tap “Creator Tools”
- Tap “Analytics”
TikTok Overview Metrics
The Overview section of your TikTok analytics gives you a summary of your overall engagement metrics:
- Likes. The total number of likes your video has received within a specified date range.
- Comments. How many comments a video has received within a specified date range.
- Followers. The number of TikTok users that follow your account.
TikTok Content Metrics
If you want to go deeper into your engagement metrics, go to the Content tab. Metrics include:
- Total views. The total number of views of a specific TikTok video.
- Total likes. The total number of likes that a video has received.
- Average watch time. How long the average person has spent watching your video. This can tell you how engaging your videos are.
- Watched full video. The percentage of users who viewed your video in full.
- Traffic source type. Where your views come from. This can help you understand how users find your content, whether it’s from their For You Page, your profile, sounds or hashtags.
Using TikTok Follower metrics to understand your marketing audience
To learn more about who follows your account, head back to your analytics and select Followers from the top menu. You will be able to access:
- Audience demographics, including gender and location.
- The time of day that your followers are most active, which can help you plan when you post your content to maximize reach
- Follower insights like other videos they’ve viewed or interacted with. This can help you figure out what type of content works for your followers and give you inspiration for your own content.
Working with Tik Tok influencers to create marketing strategies
Growing your account on TikTok can take some time and effort, but it’s not the only way to find success on the platform. Influencer marketing can be a very effective way of exposing your apartment community to your target market.
What is a TikTok influencer?
An influencer is someone who has built their TikTok presence to the point where companies pay them to promote their products or services. Generally, TikTok influencers have charisma and promote a lifestyle that others are drawn to.
An influencer’s audience respects and listens to their recommendations, so working with an influencer could introduce prospects to your apartment community and get them excited about the idea of living there.
Influencers are defined by two main criteria:
- Niche. Companies look for influencers based on their niche that defines their target audience. Apartment marketers should look for influencers who are in the lifestyle niche and live in the same city as the apartment community you’re trying to promote. The ideal apartment influencer posts content around lifestyle topics like decorating, exploring their neighborhood and city, and apartment living hacks.
- Follower count and engagement. Influencers generally have followings of 10,000 or more, and those followers tend to be more engaged than on any other social media platform. So when an influencer with a large following promotes your apartment community, their followers will notice that.
Note: Not all influencers need a huge following to successfully market your apartment property. User generated content is growing exponentially, and you may have a budding micro influencer in your community!
How can apartment communities work with influencers?
TikTok influencers can be a huge driver of growth for your community, but it’s important to understand how to work with them effectively. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of collaborating with influencers.
- Identify your goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, send traffic to your apartment website or increase your number of leases? Do you want to target people living in your current city, state or region? Ensure that you and your influencer are clear on what you’re trying to achieve with this collaboration.
- Provide clear instructions and feedback. Discuss your vision with your influencer and give guidelines for what you’d like them to create. Doing so will ensure that the final result matches your apartment community’s goals.
- Build a relationship with your influencer. In general, influencers want to establish relationships with companies and brands in order to gain long-term partnerships. Treat your influencers well, be responsive to them and make your apartment company a joy to work with and your reputation will soar.
How can apartment communities find influencers?
The key is to find TikTok influencers who align with your apartment community’s brand image and live in your geographic region.
Here are five of the top ways to find relevant TikTok influencers for your community:
1. Use the Discover page. Navigate to the Discovery page and conduct a search for “[your city] apartments.” This will show you location-specific videos of things like apartment tours, apartment decorating hacks, people seeing their apartments for the very first time, people saying goodbye to their apartments, and so on. Spend some time exploring and identifying influencers who might fit your brand.
2. Conduct a Google search. This can help you round out your search for influencers. Try TikTok + apartment influencer + [city]. This could uncover articles written about influencers in your city and other intel that wouldn’t come up by just searching within the app.
3. Use the TikTok Creator Marketplace. This is a place within the platform for influencers and brands to connect. Once you establish your account on the TikTok Creator Marketplace, you can start browsing to find creators that fit your target audience and messaging ones that spark your interest. The Marketplace gives a detailed overview of each creator’s statistics, including audience demographics and video performance trends.
Note: You must apply for Creator Next to gain access to the Creator Marketplace. Once you have access you can unlock creator tools, including brand partnerships.
To participate you must have:
- At least 1,000 followers
- At least 1,000 video views in the last 30 days
- Post at least 3 videos in the last 30 days
- Meet the age requirement
TikTok Marketing Ideas for Apartments
As we mentioned earlier, it’s smart to find lifestyle and real estate accounts that are creating content that you like so you can get a feel for how others in your niche are using the app. You can simply capture some compelling apartment video and photos, sync them up to upbeat music, add text or voiceover effects with the details of each unit, and include some relevant hashtags. Here are a few ideas for apartment videos that should be easy to execute:
- A tour of each amenity
- Tours of all available units
- A video highlighting dogs that live in your community
- Quick interviews of your team
TikTok Apartment Marketing Trends for 2022
In order to grow your apartment community’s TikTok presence, you need to stay on top of what’s currently trending on the app. We already talked about one of the biggest trends, TikTok influencer marketing. Read on to learn about other trends to be aware of this year so you can turn TikTok into a lead-generating channel for your apartment community.
Do a resident takeover
A resident takeover can be a fun way to add some personality to your TikTok presence. The way it works is you turn over your TikTok account to a resident of your apartment community who you trust and allow them to create and post videos for a certain period of time—24 hours, for example. If the resident doing the takeover has a large following of their own, you may get more views and followers as a result.
The difference between working with an influencer and having a resident do a takeover is creative control. During a takeover, you hand the reins over to the resident, while influencer marketing is more planned and intentional.
To find a resident to do a takeover, post about it on your social accounts and send an email to your residents explaining the process and offering something in return, like a gift card. If you have a bona fide influencer living in your community, you can propose a takeover in exchange for something more significant, such as a percentage off the following month’s rent.
Participate in current TikTok trends
The TikTok algorithm rewards videos that use certain trending sounds, effects, or filters. These videos have a greater chance of success because they’re shown to other users who also enjoy that trend. The Discover page makes it easy to find what’s currently trending.
When you find a trending element that you can adapt to apartment living, just tap the tagged sound, effect or filter to take a look at how other creators have used it in their videos. Then tap Try this Effect or Use this Sound and start filming.
TikTok moves quickly, so you must do so, too. Once a trend hits the Discover page, you only have 3-5 days to create content based on it. After that, the app becomes so saturated with that trend and it becomes difficult to stand out.
Check out the videos below for examples of how you can utilize TikTok trends to your apartment marketing strategy.
A Basic TikTok Apartment Marketing Strategy to Help You Get Started
We put together this quick step-by-step guide to help you get started with TikTok marketing for apartments.
- Identify your target audience. As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, TikTok is a valuable tool for apartment marketers because the demographics of TikTok users and apartment renters align. So, your ideal resident might be renters in their mid-20s and living in the city where your community is located.
- Define your objectives. Without a goal, you won’t know if your marketing campaign was successful or not. Do you want your campaign to increase brand awareness, send traffic to your website, increase the number of tours scheduled, or generate more leases?
- Create a content strategy. This is the meat of your plan where you’ll decide what types of videos to upload and how often, whether you’ll work with influencers, and so on. A tactic that usually generates great results is taking advantage of trends, as we mentioned earlier, as long as it makes sense for your apartment community brand. Research relevant hashtags, check out your competitors, and decide the day and time that you’ll post most of your content for maximum engagement.
- Track your results. To measure your success, you must track the results of your content strategy through TikTok’s analytics tab. So, if your objective is to raise awareness of your apartment community, then impressions, likes, comments, shares and engagement rates are the most important metrics to measure. You’ll also want to pay attention to whether your followers increase or decrease.
TikTok is a powerful marketing strategy tool that holds massive potential for apartment communities. The demographics of TikTok users and apartment renters overlap, making the platform a compelling way to reach prospects. In addition, you can use Multifamily’s historic hesitation to embrace new approaches to marketing to your advantage. There aren’t very many apartment communities using TikTok right now, which is why you should be. Experiment, track your progress and, most importantly, have fun!
And if you ever need help with the more established social channels for apartment communities, we have amazing specialists for Facebook and Instagram.