You don’t need to be an ‘unhinged’ brand to succeed on TikTok

Notion is the perfect example of a brand that has mastered the balance of tasteful virality and product-focus on TikTok

Here are 3 pieces of their short-form video playbook that every brand should steal:
Over the past year, @NotionHQ has built up an engaged community of 101K people over on TikTok

Pulling in 9.3M+ organic views for their brand in the past year

Even better, the community on the platform raves about the product (see below)

How do they do it?
1) Live at the intersection of education and entertainment

Rookie marketers go on TikTok and try to make everything 'go viral,' going super heavy on entertainment with zero product or education

This is doing your brand more harm than good.

The problem?
The product gets left in the dust chasing empty views

The BEST brands on TikTok are able to find the balance between viral, entertaining content that has mass appeal, and education that is more relevant to the end customer

How does Notion do this in practice?
They use trending sounds and formats to maximize views when it makes sense

But they aren't afraid to mix in product demos and videos that won't 'pop off' as much

And sometimes... they land on a unicorn like this one (1.1M views 🔥), which is a trend + product-focused combo:

2) Product demos are platform-native

Most SaaS companies overdo their product demos and it comes off as super 'corporate' feeling

This doesn't work on TikTok (if you like views and engagement)...
Notion does a fantastic job of making feature 'explainers' and demos, but in a format that TikTok users love.

This ex. pulled 202K views. What stands out?

→ Native text
→ Shot handheld on iPhone
→ Broad topic ('habit tracking') that is appealing to a wider audience


Contrast this to the type of product demo that does well here on Twitter

This isn't 'corporate' either, but it is a more highly produced screen recording of the product

And this wouldn't do well on TikTok in most cases

So Notion's team makes everything platform specific

Also, brands shouldn’t be afraid of highlighting other use cases of their product

For example, most people think of Notion's use-case as a productivity or project management tool for business...
But their TikTok highlights use-cases like:

→ Planning vacations
→ Tracking fitness goals
→ Making holiday gift guides

This is also smart re: TikTok performance, since these alt. use-cases apply to a larger audience, making it more likely for a video to catch momentum
3) Using TikTok to strengthen community

They do this in a few different ways:

→ Their social team is front-facing, building a direct relationship w/ the audience
→ They are super active in the comments and engage regularly
→ They use TikTok to highlight community meetups
BONUS) Replying to FAQs as separate videos

Okay, this is more of a 'tactic,' than a 'strategy,' but it's smart and more brands should do this

Here's an example of a comment reply where the original video only got 17K views, but the reply got 338K views 👇


1) Perfect the balance of education + entertainment

2) Still use platform-specific nuances and trends to make educational content engaging

3) Strong community engagement

BONUS) Try replying to comments as separate videos
If you enjoyed this thread, make sure to follow me @_simmy_

I'll be posting more deep dives on short-form video secrets that drive billions of views

And if you’re a B2B company that wants to crush it on TikTok and short-form channels, shoot me a DM, and let's make it happen.

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