Just as people may not have understood the importance of registering a website domain in the early stages of the internet, there is often a similar reluctance to jump on the latest social platform. Learn why you should register a free account on TikTok with your DMO's name now before it is unavailable or becomes too costly. Read time: under 2 minutes
Remember in the ’90s when people talked about this new thing called the internet and websites? I can remember the seemingly hundreds of times I heard “dot com, I don’t really know how I would ever use the internet...why should I bother registering a domain?” Fast forward twenty...ish years and there are more than 145 million .com domains registered today and over 350 million domain names registered overall. That means getting the one you want today can be really hard—or costly.
During a recent conversation with Maghen Barranco, Stamp's Social Media Manager, she was sharing her enthusiasm for TikTok usernames. As we discussed further and I recounted how my .com experiences (that all took place before Maghen was even 10 years old) sounded parallel to her recent client conversations, we decided that social media usernames are the new domain names. And that we should share this declaration with the wider StampDestinations.com audience.
Specifically, we are going on record right here with our recommendation that clients should register a free account on TikTok with their desired username—before it’s too late to get the one they want, or it comes at a great cost at a later date. We get it—because many social media sites fail to get traction or fizzle over time (hello MySpace, Google+, and more) some might be hesitant to jump on this trend right now. It’s one more thing to do/learn and it uses an app with video that seems pretty intimidating. However, our recommendation is that even if you don’t plan to post anything on TikTok yet, just make sure to snag the username you want.
TikTok "domains" look like this: tiktok.com/@username (https://www.tiktok.com/@southcarolinaaquarium is one example). It just takes a few minutes to register a username on TikTok and they are free to register.
TIP: When you sign up, select “Creator” instead of “Business”. This lets you use music with your videos without needing a license.
Once you have your username, you can certainly just sit back and be done with TikTok for now. But when you’re ready to take it to the next level and take advantage of TikTok's amazing algorithm, consider these ways to use the platform:
- Get to know the app. The best way to do that is to spend time on it. Find and follow other tourism accounts to see what they are doing, what you like and don’t like. You’ll also pick up on some trends just by seeing some of the same things over and over again. One cool aspect of TikTok is that borrowing ideas from other accounts by using the same song or dance moves is OK. Just don’t completely plagiarize it or worse take their video and use it as your own. Look at trends and see if you’re able to relate them to your DMO somehow (in a non-cheesy or forced way). This is also a good time to look for niche audiences and creators that would be good for your DMO to partner with (think cool Airbnb tours, outdoor hikes, fun cocktails at local bars).
- Include music. As mentioned above, when you’re a creator account you can add music without needing a license, and music is almost a requirement for TikTok videos. If you have local artists or musical history you can certainly play this up with your account. Otherwise, using the trending songs to overlap your video might be all you need.
- Use existing video. Start with what you’ve got! In fact, all the engaging, educational content you and your attractions created at the start of the pandemic last year would be a great place to start mining for content to repurpose on TikTok.
- Add features. In addition to music, you can upload videos and then add TikTok features like captions, text overlay, filters, and more. Don’t pressure yourself to master and use them all at once. As you become more comfortable with the platform, you can add more. Be sure to use the app instead of making edits on video editing software so it’s more authentic to the platform. Use as many of the tools on the app as you can. For instance, utilizing subtitles and voiceovers is important to narrate your story and make it accessible for all users.
- Pay attention to time limits. Keep in mind that there is a time limit on TikTok videos. 15-30 second clips are best for your general content, so cut up existing longer videos into multiple TikToks. Some accounts in time are approved to post videos of up to 3 minutes. No matter what length, the short nature of the TikTok videos is great for attraction tours, best-of lists, top drivable itineraries, behind the scenes, etc.
- Partner up. Empower your local attractors to do it for you! You can get permission to post their content to your account (and vice versa), or even stitch or duet their content with fun graphics or text.
- Use hashtags. As with other social media platforms, the right hashtags will help others find you. Make sure to use a couple that really fit your area and what the video is about. #FYP is one of the most popular and it stands for For You Page which is sort of the “homepage” of TikTok that helps your video be seen.
- Increasingly, TikTokers will be finding out more about your destination (or not) on this app than on other social networks, much less Google. So if your DMO doesn’t have the manpower to create this content, start by just reserving the username today. If we’ve piqued your interest and you want to continue reading about this subject check out: