Using TikTok Videos to Promote Your Restaurant

From share-worthy photos on Instagram to restaurant reviews on Facebook, social media platforms determine how the restaurants engage with the masses. 

When we have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, do brands need another? Yes, not all videos and media platforms are the same – this is a lesson worth knowing. Plus, in this time of COVID-19 crisis, when people’s moral and economy is down, restaurants need to step up their video marketing game and engage with their customers more than ever.

TikTok: For the Digital-Savvy Younger Generation

The latest tool to make a splash on the social media scene is TikTok. It’s simple, authentic, and innovative. It has millions of internet users – particularly Gen Z – in its palms. 

The users have given a huge thumbs-up to TikTok. The social media app has more than 700 million users and the company that created TikTok is now valued at more than $100 billion. 

The app allows users to create videos that are 15 seconds or less, add filters and special effects, and share with others to gain instant fame. TikTok has introduced a new trend of brand marketing, which is good news for businesses, especially for restaurants. 

On TikTok, the users are not mere consumers of video content. Every user is a potential ambassador for the brand. In response to brand campaigns, users create videos that further spread the message of the restaurants. 

Here is how restaurants can promote their brand on TikTok.

The TikTok Lingo: When in Rome …

Businesses new on the platform might not completely understand some of the words used on TikTok. Do not worry; these are neither Klingon nor Elvish. The slang used in the app is popular among young users. Stay long enough on the platform, you’ll get used to the TikTok lingo. 

For example, a ‘Karen’ refers to a demanding person. More particularly, a middle-aged person who feels entitled and creates ruckus and demands to see the manager after the slightest inconvenience or for no apparent reason at all. Another common term used on the platform is ‘Check’. The term denotes a show-off who boasts about his or her lifestyle. 

Many restaurants have already started using the TikTok slang to their advantage. Chipotle has led the way with its ‘Less Tok, More Guac’ campaign. In its promotional campaign during Halloween, Chipotle encouraged users to create videos with the hashtag #Boorito. Five videos with the most views and likes were awarded free Chipotle for 12 months. 

Entertain the Viewers to Create Brand Awareness

Creating brand awareness is the first step to gain more business and building a lasting relationship with customers. For restaurants, getting on TikTok is one of the best ways to gain exposure and create awareness.

Bear in mind that TikTok is about fun, entertainment, and lighthearted content. Restaurants can use authentic videos – content that shows the lighter side of the brand – to engage Gen Z. A clever hashtag campaign that encourages users to create funny and quirky videos will persuade the large TikTok community to get involved. 

Another initiative of Chipotle is the #GuacDance for the National Avocado Day. The hashtag challenge asked TikTok users to make videos of their avocado-inspired moves and pair with Dr. Jean’s The Guacamole Song. With nearly half-a-million submissions and over a billion views, GuacDance is the highest-performing branded hashtag challenge in the United States. 

Campaigns that combine the twin goals of brand awareness and user participation will help restaurants engage with customers during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Team Up with Social Media Influencers

Chipotle is one of the earliest adopters of TikTok. It had to take the plunge because more than half of its customer base is young folks. It made good business sense; the food brand had to be where its customers spend their time. 

The food brand not only relied on user-generated content. To gain acceptance of its young target audience, Chipotle teamed up with TikTok influencers. To promote its #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, the brand worked with David Dobrik. To participate in the challenge, users were asked to flip the Chipotle lid and catch it just above the container. The #ChipotleLidFlip was a huge success with over 100,000 submissions and 300 million views. 

As restrictions are gradually lifted by several countries, the world is limping back to normalcy. The restaurant industry is looking at a long and hard road to recovery. Video marketing would help restaurants garner more eyeballs and better brand exposure, which may eventually lead to more customers.