src=”https://buffer.com/resources/content/images/2023/06/rubaitul-azad-I8NZGV9aJwE-unsplash–1-.jpg” alt=”How to Grow a Brand to Nearly 60k TikTok Followers”>
When was the last time you watched a generic brand’s video for no other reason than research? You may be like me and have so much online competing for your attention that you are very selective in what you watch. These videos don’t usually make the cut.
As many social media users have my opinion, brands often struggle to create content in popular formats such as short-form videos that engages their audience. What is the most likely reason? People are more interested in people than brands or advertisements.
Fashivly’s social media strategy isn’t a struggle, however, thanks to Ashlyn Greer, CEO. Fashivly, instead of following the traditional playbook for social media, which focuses on curated, polished content, has taken a more agile and spontaneous approach to content creation, putting authenticity and spontaneity first.
The bold decision to move away from highly edited content on Instagram and other platforms paid off. TikTok has seen the personal styling brand grow to over 60k followers. What is their secret sauce? Authenticity, spontaneity.
Fashivly’s social media presence was given a new lease of life by flipping the script and re-curating their Pinterest and Instagram. This showed that brands could adapt to and thrive within evolving digital landscapes. Ashlyn offers tips on how to maximize the potential of TikTok, based on Fashivly’s experience.
Your brand vision and identity can be distilled for your audience.
The majority of brands have an internal vision that they follow, but this corporate-speak vision statement does not translate well to the TikTok audience. Both brands and creators who are aiming for social media success must articulate their vision in a cohesive way.
What is this vision? What sets you apart from your competitors is the unique perspective that you offer your audience. Take Fashivly, for example. Their content is based on a desire to make fashion fun, accessible, and engaging. It’s a way to provide value as a brand, and also a fun account for TikTok.
A well-defined point of view will help you create content and serve as a powerful elevator pitch to hook someone within the first five seconds of your video, or when you are negotiating with brands as a creator.
Fashivly’s unique approach is to combine the worlds of creators and brands. Ashlyn gave her perspective on the approach: “I am the face and voice of our brand but our strategy differs from that of typical brands on TikTok. “I’m not a complete creator, but a lot of our content comes from that perspective.”
What ties it all together? What you offer your audience is the value. Brands that are resonant with their audience solve problems and address needs. Fashivly achieves this by focusing its content on three pillars.
- fashion education
- Fashion trends explained
- Practical Style Advice
In a surprising turn of events you may want to broaden your view on the entire industry, instead of limiting your brand to a niche. As a company that focuses on a particular part of your business, you have different expertise all under one roof. So embrace your unique perspective. This allows you to expand your brand’s canvas while still staying true to its core values.
If you already have a strong brand identity, and a clear focus on your content, then you’re well on your way to a better strategy. What is your brand and what are the key messages you want to convey to your audience.
Fashivly’s content is a perfect blend of topics that are relevant to the brand, its industry and its audience. Ashlyn says that Fashivly content is centered around brand-focused topics.
She says, “We start [content development] by deciding what, as a company, we want to talk about. It could be relevant — such as the spring onset and fashion trends that we would like to inform our audience about. It could also be styling guides that show how to match trending items.
Fashivly’s team would need to perform these analyses regardless, as they are brand-relevant. However, they go one step further and share their findings with their audience. This builds trust in their audience.
Use your brand identity to guide the creation of content which supports your brand’s identity and resonates well with your target audience.
Your brand’s digital content reflects your brand identity. Make sure that brand-focused content is a major part of your content strategy.
Your perspective and expertise will help you to address the audience’s pain points
Understanding your audience’s struggles and addressing them is a critical component of building a relationship with them. Ashlyn experienced this with Fashivly’s first viral video.
“Our first video, which gained popularity, was simply me expressing my frustration with sizing discrepancies within the fashion industry. “Discussing the size difference of the same jeans over a 10-year period led us to explore such topics as changing beauty ideals and sizing charts,” she explains.
This connection was not about Fashivly’s personal styling service; it was a shared frustration between Ashlyn and the audience. This shared frustration created an emotional bond that allowed the audience to invest in Fashivly content. Ashlyn explains that customers come to Fashivly because they are frustrated by the size of their clothes.
Fashivly created a special bond with its audience by highlighting their frustrations. Ashlyn continues to focus on this in her approach for creating content, saying, “We have continued to create inclusive material based upon these insights.” We have created content based on these insights and stayed as inclusive as we could because we knew this approach resonated with our audience.
When planning your content strategy, you should focus less on what you think the audience wants. Instead,
- Listen to them
- Identify their common frustrations
- Speak to the pain points.
It can be powerful to put them in the spotlight and create content that resonates with your target audience. This will allow your brand to grow naturally.
Simple your industry by providing relevant insights to your audience
Ashlyn Greer, her team and Fashivly are experts at adapting their content to the latest trends in a fast-paced world of fashion and social media. How do they do this? Ashlyn explained her process step-by-step:
- Engage in regular industry research. Being aware of market trends and patterns is one of the first steps of the Fashivly content creation process. Greer says that because part of their daily tasks include shopping online, they are able to spot trends and recurring patterns.
- Customize the trends for their audience. Once the trends have been identified, the next step will be to customize the trends according to the audience’s requirements. Ashlyn says, “At each new season, we dig deeper and research what fashion journalists or trend forecasters are saying.” This information is then filtered through our knowledge of our customers and audience – what trends are most suitable for them?
- Keep an organized system to track content ideas. This will ensure that their content strategy is executed smoothly. Ashlyn says, “We use a document that is shared amongst team members to track all of our content ideas.” This document includes brainstorming ideas, links for potential trending content or sounds, and other creative concepts.
- Be flexible when planning and executing content:Different platform often requires different approaches. Fashivly has a fluid strategy when it comes to platforms that are fast-paced, like TikTok. Other channels like Instagram or Pinterest have a more planned approach.
- Include audience participation Ashlyn encourages brand to allow audience input for content direction. She says, “We created a series of vacation guides recently.” We asked our audience about their summer destination and created looks for them.
Ashlyn and her team at Fashivly have created engaging and timely content for their audience that sets them apart from the crowd in the digital world.
Fashivly will share any information about the fashion industry in order to maximize its value to its audience. What if they just follow your personal style advice? Ashlyn dismisses these concerns, stating that the goal is to spread as much knowledge as possible within their capacity.
Ashlyn says that they are “focused on sharing as much educational content, tips, and information as we can”, to increase their potential clientele and reach. It is important to make their audience aware of them so that they can gradually convert into clients.
Wherever possible, keep your content flexible and spontaneous
Fashivly’s content creation process has been a great success because it prioritizes authenticity. Ashlyn says, “On platforms such as TikTok users are able to detect inauthenticity.” Being genuine has been a key factor in our success.
This authenticity is reflected in the content creation process at Fashivly. Ashlyn prefers to be spontaneous rather than scripting every line in a video. When we choose a topic for a video, I do not write down what I will say. All of it is spontaneous. “I just grab my phone, and start talking.”
They let the strategy flow from there. The videos are never over-produced and product-focused.
This creates a space where people can discover Fashivly in a natural way. Ashlyn says, “Our goal to let people discover our brand and know us behind-the-scenes. The discovery of our products should be a secondary outcome.
This could be a challenge for brands used to polished content on Instagram and other platforms. Ashlyn acknowledges this and explains why such content may not perform well on TikTok. Audiences gravitate towards real, raw content.
She says, “Users prefer content that looks like someone casually talking about a topic on their phone for a few minutes.” We’ve designed our approach so that it’s agile and spontaneous. We’ve also placed a high emphasis on authenticity.
Active involvement is key to building trust and loyalty
Ashyln concurs that building trust is a key part of winning your audience over. Fashivly’s CEO, who also serves as “the face of the brand”, has done a great job in this regard. She says, “I believe that my role has helped foster trust with our audiences.”
Brands should strive to create strong relationships with their audiences by focusing on the importance of authenticity and consistency.
Even after the initial contact, maintain a relationship of trust with your customers and be active in their journey.
Being the face of a brand is not just about being in the content. Ashlyn continues to be involved in the brand’s processes even after the client has signed up for the services. Here, she offers an important piece of advice. She says that it is essential to build trust and remain active in the journey of the client even after first contact.
She says: “I feel that my involvement helps people to realize that I am not just a face behind the content. I’m active in the process, even after they have booked a guide.” Brands must demonstrate to customers that they are not only there to make a sale, but also invested in their entire customer experience.
This constant involvement extends even to situations when things may not go according to plan. Ashlyn says, “If there is an issue like a customer not being completely satisfied with our services, I am the one that steps in to resolve it.” Ashlyn elaborates, “If there’s an issue, like a client not being completely satisfied with our service I’m the one who steps in to address it.”
Your creators should, wherever possible be as invested in your brand as you.
TL;DR? Follow these tips to succeed with organic content on TikTok
Ashlyn’s and Fashivly’s approach to TikTok is a great example for both brands and creators. Your focus should be on establishing a deeper understanding of your customers, and tailoring content to their interests and needs.
Ashlyn says, “Only a tiny fraction of our videos mentions our business and services.” This is no accident. As Ashlyn’s experience shows, the formula can be broken down into:
- Know your customers. Start by understanding who they are, and what they value. This understanding is often gained through trial and errors.
- Provide value and not just sell. Ashlyn suggests that organic growth channels shouldn’t prioritize sales. Sales should be an after-product of value. It is important to earn the audience’s confidence by providing quality content before promoting your product or service.
- Identify Value: Determine which aspects of your product or service are important to your customers and how you can tailor content around them.
- Avoid generic pitches. Generic sales content is often ineffective because it lacks personal touch. Ashlyn says, “Audiences are more likely to connect with real people than faceless brands.” Make your brand relatable and personal.
- Be authentic in your approach. Your brand’s credibility is crucial to its growth. If you don’t align yourself with your brand or creator, it may not be the best way to achieve success. Be sure that your content reflects your brand and you. Authenticity is what customers respond to and builds trust.
Ashlyn’s formula can be adapted to your needs in order to reach and engage with your audience. This will help you achieve success through organic channels.
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