What is Tik Tok and How Can you Use it to Build your Food Business?

You may be wondering, what exactly are those 15-second videos appearing all over the Internet, with trending music and dances? How do those videos relate to my food business? Then this article is for you!

In this article, we will examine TikTok’s content features, look at how businesses can utilize trends on the platform and discuss the benefits of influencer marketing.

What is Tiktok?

As a social media platform that utilizes videos, we can think of TikTok as a micro-vlogging channel. The video format is generally 15-seconds or less, and content creators can add music and filters to these videos. Almost 50% of TikTok users are 29 years old and younger.

Primary Features

There are many features on TikTok and all of them can be used to enhance video contents. Below are the primary features and functions:

  1. Video editing: every user can crop, flip, or rotate their videos and experiment with playback speed.
  2. Filters and effects: filters and effects serve to enrich the content, and include stickers and animation. These filters can be used to create shopping lists, cooking tutorials and even the manufacturing process.
  3. Music: content creators have access to an extensive music library for video editing. Music can be incorporated into customer testimonials and cooking tutorials.
  4. Social sharing: users can share content on other social media platforms like Instagram for cross promotion in building your audience.
  5. Likes and commenting: like all social media platforms, the audience engages with the content by liking and commenting on posts. This is a great way to engage your core consumer.

How can food businesses use TikTok?

Food businesses can utilize TikTok’s video format to bring their products to life. Examples of content include the manufacturing process and videos of consuming the product by you and influencers.


IImage Courtesy of Snacklins

As of 2021, there is an estimated total of 78.7 million users in the United States. The goal of utilizing Tiktok is to acquire a portion of that market share to grow your audience and establish your brand authority. There are two main ways to achieve this: trends and influencer marketing.


TikTok is a trend-based platform. This is why it attracts a high user-base within the younger demographic. By utilizing trends and adapting to them as they arise, food businesses will gain a competitive edge.

One example of a trend that has gained a following on TikTok is ASMR. Businesses can utilize this trend by highlighting the sound of the product and creating a video series around ASMR. If you are a chip brand, like Snacklins, you can do a series on consumers biting into the chips and recording the crunch.

Trends can also be utilized during holidays. There is no shortage of holidays (Valentine’s, National Donut Day, National Snack Day), so food businesses should find a way to relate the products to these holidays. It can be a limited-time flavor, a catchy-slogan or a new hashtag. The food business can then capture consumers saying these slogans and market the products on the platform during that holiday.


Image Courtesy of Snacklins

Influencer Marketing

An influencer is anyone with a following on social media and influences the habits of their following. Influencer marketing is when a business reaches out to an influencer to promote their product.

Influencers will put content on Tiktok that will serve as testimonials of the product. Depending on the influencer, videos tend to have their personal styles. Influencer marketing should be viewed as a partnership to reach an audience outside of the business’s direct following. 

How to choose influencers?

While influencers have the power to increase a brand’s awareness to consumers, there are two factors to consider before choosing an influencer for marketing:

  1. Size of the influencer’s following
  2. How do they relate to the brand?

Size of the influencer’s following
Micro-influencers are influencers who have a comparatively smaller number of following to someone with millions. Micro-influencers can have a following of 1,000 or 10,000. Generally, they have built their following from a niche, and they operate within that niche, be it locale or industry.

It is best to start with micro-influencers and build on that. Influencers with millions of followers may be hard to connect with, but influencers with a few thousand are usually easier.

How do they relate to the brand?

When choosing influencers, businesses should consider how the influencer relates to the brand. If you are a start-up coffee roastery, you wouldn’t partner with an influencer who does not drink coffee. Food businesses should consider whether the influencer works within the same industry (food, catering, etc.), is known to love this particular food item (potato chips, coffee, sparkling water, etc.), or if the influencer aligns with your company mission and core values.

Another question is whether the influencer is from the same locale (Washington DC, New York, east coast, etc.), and what is their following reach? Only within the locale or also without? If your coffee roastery is operating within Washington DC, and you want to market initially to customers from the same city, then you would choose an influencer from Washington, DC.

Influencer marketing and trends are two powerful methods to grow a brand’s following on TikTok. If brands take advantage of trends and execute influencer marketing efficiently, the food business will see their product sales soar. The company will effectively position themself on growth.

Tiktok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with an eight percent increase in users year-over-year. It is estimated that in 2022, Tiktok will reach 84.9 million users within the US. This is a significant number of users. By creating an account today, brands will gain access to a market share that will only increase in the future. And by establishing a footprint on Tiktok, food businesses will only gain a competitive edge within their industry, providing another opportunity to connect with consumers and build brand awareness.