Brands Killing it on TikTok and what you can learn from them, with examples [Bonus: TikTok strategy cheatsheet]

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We all have watched that one TikTok video that we didn’t want to or we didn’t intend to. Right? I know I have. It might not be on TikTok but something that someone shared on Twitter because the video was gold. 

TikTok videos are everywhere not just on TikTok but on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, in short, EVERYWHERE. 

And no matter how hard you try to avoid it, it’s here to stay.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a Social Media platform where you can create and share short videos. It is available on Android and iOS

So, who is on TikTok?

60% of TikTok users are Gen Zers. If you’re targetting the next-gen, then you need to hang out right where they are. 

Not just this, 83% of TikTok users have posted a video. That’s a lot of creators and they’re spending 52 minutes per day in the platform. That’s a lot of time!

And if that wasn’t enough, Gary Vee wants you to stop ignoring TikTok because it has great potential.

In terms of a marketing platform, TikTok can be a game-changer. It’s free, it’s visual, and with more than 500 million active users worldwide, more than 1.5 billion downloads, its potential to reach the right audience is huge. 

That’s why I decided to dive a little deeper into TikTok-verse to see how brands are using it and what we can learn from them. That’s how I created a list of brands who are killing it on TikTok. I’ve learnt that they’ve built their loyalty and following, with experimenting and by being the early adopters. Also listed, are the social media strategies that you can learn from them ⭐️

While writing this post, I got a little lost into the TikTok-verse because the content is very catchy. You might just want to check it out for research but next thing you know 3 hours later you might also find yourself watching the news about comfort pig that comforts people who’re afraid of flight turbulence. Yep, that’s a thing.


Comfort Pig by StayTunedNBC

Before you get into it you need to know a few things

  1. TikTok is a creative and quirky platform. You need to show your lighter side here.
  2. This is a place where you can connect and engage with your audience.
  3. What works on Instagram might not work here. You will have to create content specially designed for TikTok.

Here are 5 brands that are killing it on TikTok 👇


Chipotle, a famous Mexican restaurant chain has over 220.6k followers on TikTok. 

What you can learn from Chipotle 👇

Catchy bio – Less tok, more guac. Now that’s witty. And you indeed get to see a lot of guac 🥑

Great original native content – If you go through the video posts by Chipotle, you’ll see an interesting use of music, hashtags, native TikTok filters and stickers and a lot of creativity. 

Captions – Short and simple. There’s nothing profound to be found in these captions. They’re what they are and they speak to gen Z.

Here are some examples from Chipotle’s TikTok account


Chipotle Fan

If you’re a chipotle fan, you will relate to this video. Though it is a little dramatic but that’s the fun right. 

Mama Penny’s burritos are unmatched

A skit especially shot for TikTok! Creating content exclusively for a Social network has its perks. It sounds right for the network, looks good on that particular network and utilises the native tools so it is easier to make. That’s what this video is all about. 

There are more videos on their channel that you’ll find inspiring. Videos that have guacamole, tacos and subtly talk about their food while connecting with their audience. 

They also took advantage of some hashtag challenges


Chipotle #BottleCapChallenge

And they started a trend with #Guacdance

The world followed


  1. Use humour and relatable content.
  2. Use native content, i.e., filters and music.
  3. Keep your captions simple

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary & conservation org with projects on 6 continents. 

They have amassed 55.1k followers and have established their presence on TikTok as a fun-loving zoo. 

What’s working for San Diego Zoo👇

Perfect music for each video – On TikTok, music matters. San Diego Zoo’s use of the right music for the videos makes them fun and enjoyable. The videos are simple but combining them with the music gives these videos a personality.

Cute animals + fun music = Magic!

Posting consistently – It’s not enough to post just once and then stop. Posting regularly has got them consistent inflow of new followers.

Here are some examples from San Diego Zoo’s TikTok

Baby elephant

Sound on 📢 Baby elephant doing its thing and the song which wasn’t available on TikTok but San Diego Zoo recorded it and made this story inviting and interesting. 

We make beautiful music together

The video and the music together are enough for you to get interested in what San Diego Zoo has to offer. 


  1. Raw content can be made interesting with the right music.
  2. Posting regularly helps you gain loyal followers.


StayTuned is produced by NBC and it was originally a show on Snapchat. But when they saw a massive opportunity on TikTok, they jumped in headfirst. 

They are 393.7k followers strong and have amassed 10.1m likes with their content.

What’s working for StayTunednbc👇

Fun quality content – Each video is a short news clip which is a perfect combination of information and fun. These are usually fast-paced and very well made. The content is exclusive and is not repurposed on Snapchat. 

Natively edited videos – These videos are edited on TikTok and have a very gen Z feel to it. It’s NBC’s way of attracting a completely different set of audience. After all, these are the folks they will be catering to in the long term.

Here are some examples from StayTunednbc’s TikTok account


This CCTV footage went viral right after it was posted. Why? Because it’s the holidays time and the story is sweet, heartwarming as well as fun! 

Who let the dogs out

That video with that music = content everyone needs on their timeline. Also, read that caption will ‘ya?


  1. Don’t compromise on the quality of your videos.
  2. Create content natively and try to connect with your audience.
  3. Keep experimenting.


They are a newspaper. 

If you follow Washingtonpost on any other Social network, you may know how they’re really serious when it comes to their stories, branding, tone etc. However, on TikTok, they’ve taken the more scenic route. 

What’s working for Washingtonpost👇

Behind the scenes and skits – Yes, they are known for serious news on all the other platforms but here on TikTok, they show the company culture, what goes behind the scenes and all the fun things. This adds to their personality and you know what they say about authentic content – It shows people that you’re as real as they are and that’s how you connect.

Use of native effects – This goes to show how important native content is. When you create content specifically for a platform, it attracts more audience, it makes them feel that this content was made for them and hence creates a feeling of exclusivity. 

Here are some examples from Washingtonpost’s TikTok account

Trust me when I say it wasn’t easy to pick these posts because I wanted to share ALL OF THEM! But, I’ll leave that up to you 😎


What makes this TikTok so amazing is the perfect choice of the song and the timing of the video. I mean, they saw an opportunity to shoot something like this and did it right away. 

Best time to finish a presentation

With relatable content, progressive background music, use of native text and on-point expressions, this TikTok was shot to be viral.


It’s not just a behind the scene video. It’s a behind the scene video with the right music, the right hashtag which makes it catchy and impressive at the same time. 


  1. People love behind the scenes but make them interesting.
  2. Always be mindful and look for the right opportunities to create videos.
  3. Keep experimenting with native editing options.
  4. Create relatable content.

Create the kind of content that not only makes your audience relate but also makes them share it with their friends, family, the networks and their moms. Shareable content is the key.


As I write this, the NBA has 6.3M Followers on TikTok. 

NBA’s Instagram channel focuses on games and highlights. However, they decided to use TikTok a little differently. You see, that’s the beauty of content strategy. You can have one for each Social Media channel and you can ace all of them differently. 

What’s working for NBA👇

A content strategy that showcases the lighter side of NBA – 

  1. Focusing on the mascot and their tricks.
  2. Adding inspirational content and connecting with their audience.
  3. Unpolished content.

This has worked out beautifully for NBA.

Including the audience in the posts – Being featured on the brand’s Social account makes you feel awesome, right?! NBA adds clips of the audience having fun, celebrating or just being there. They add more fun element by taking clips of the audience with the mascots as well. This leads to higher Social sharing and they know it. 

Here are some examples from NBA’s TikTok account

LeBron with the helping hand

This wholesome moment was not only caught on the camera but the right music just made it 1000X better.

Baby shark

What happens when you make a video with two toddlers and add baby shark as the background music? Everyone loves it! Also, just imagine these toddlers on the court at half-time. Now that’s some viral material right there.

Mascots holding popcorn

Here NBA captured a moment and showed how this is something that happens all the time. Sounds fair 😉

What James Harden looks like today probably

Mixing the moments perfectly and adding the right music does the trick. What music to add and which moments to choose, now that’s creativity.


  1. Inspire your audience.
  2. Show your audience the lighter moments.

Summing up the top tips for TikTok marketing strategy

  • Create a different strategy for TikTok. Publish exclusive content.
  • Use content native to the app. Stickers, effects, filters on TikTok make this platform unique. Use them.
  • Take advantage of trending music and remember that sound bites and music you use can make or break your TikTok. Be mindful about it.
  • Keep your content light and use mild humour.
  • Don’t repurpose content that’s created for the other Social networks. 
  • Use short catchy captions and hashtags.

Real talk about TikTok

Now, if you tell me that these are famous, big brands and they have the advantage of their name which you don’t, how can you attain the same amount of success as them?!

You may not be as famous but you have the potential to be the next big thing and being an early adopter can do it for you! Combining the lessons you can learn from these brands with your brand’s personality and the perfect timing (that’s now) you can move mountains. 

So if you’re still living under the rock, it’s time you move it. 

Fitting TikTok in your brand’s marketing strategy

If you’re thinking of making TikTok a part of your Social Media strategy, the very first thing you need to do is –

  1. Download the app.
  2. Understand how creating videos on TikTok works.
  3. How you can leverage the native stickers, filters and editing tools to make your videos look like they belong there.

Things to explore on TikTok

  1. Trending music and stickers.
  2. Hashtag challenges

Note: Spending money on TikTok advertising is a whole different ballgame than adding TikTok to your Social media strategy. You can use TikTok influencer marketing or promote your hashtag, however, it’s too soon to talk about the impact of these campaigns. I’ll update you on this soon!

TikTok X Crowdfire 

Yes, you can now add TikTok to Crowdfire and plan your content to make sure you’re consistent.

Here’s how you can add TikTok to Crowdfire

  1. Click on Accounts.
  2. Click on the TikTok tile.
  3. Click on Connect your account.
  4. Add your TikTok profile name in the text box.

How posting on TikTok from Crowdfire works

When it’s time to post, Crowdfire will send you a notification. Tap on the notification and you’ll be taken to TikTok. Your caption and hashtags will be copied to the clipboard and all you need to do is paste. Make sure you have the latest version of TikTok and Crowdfire installed on your phone. 

You will be able to edit your video clip on TikTok before posting it.

Why use Crowdfire for TikTok?

  1. To stay ahead in the game with organised and consistent content.
  2. To make sure you have a proper content strategy planned.

So what are you waiting for? Connect your TikTok to Crowdfire 🔥

Over to you

Are there any other brands that you follow on TikTok who are doing an amazing job at utilizing the platform to engage with their audience and expanding their reach? Tell us about them in the comment section. Got questions? I’m all ears 👂


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