Marketing Your Pizzeria on TikTok

Posted by Miriam Robinson

Miriam was a Marketing Content Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions from 2019 to 2020, and was always on the hunt for great topics to share with restaurant entrepreneurs all over the world.

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What is TikTok?

If you don’t know about this popular video app yet, it’s worth looking into. TikTok calls itself the “destination for short-form mobile videos,” and can be compared to a bite-sized version of YouTube. It has only been on the scene for a few years, but has already taken social media by storm. With 1.5 billion monthly active users using the app worldwide, TikTok is quickly gaining ground on Instagram’s 2.35 billion monthly active users. This simple-to-use app offers a platform to spread awareness about your restaurant’s food and even create a community of fans. The key is using it correctly.


What can you do on TikTok?

Creators record vertical videos that are up to 60 seconds long, with a typical video only lasting 15 seconds before looping to restart. A user can connect short video clips together, incorporate music, add filters, green screens, effects, stickers, and more to make the clip more engaging. 

The following is a brief breakdown of your options when using the app:

  1. Watch and create videos: Record videos in-app, upload your own, or live stream.
  2. Add effects: Use visual filters, time effects, split screens, green screens, GIFS, etc.
  3. Add music: Choose from an extensive music library, then remix sounds and songs. 
  4. Interact: Follow accounts, give hearts, gifts, leave comments or share videos
  5. Discover: Search by keyword, users, videos, and sound effects.


What kinds of videos are typically found on TikTok?

TikTok is open to the imagination. Many videos include lip-syncing, dancing, comedy, pranks, art, food, and how-to’s, but there is no rule book. Videos can be whatever you want them to be, and taking a creative angle can sometimes go viral. 

A few formats to note are TikTok Challenges and TikTok Duets.

TikTok Challenges usually involve trending songs and hashtags, and act as prompts for users to attempt to copy dance moves or make their own theme variations.

TikTok Duets are a way to collaborate, where users add themselves to another person’s video. This can be in the form of a dance duet, recorded reaction, or even a way for celebrities to interact with fans.


How can I use TikTok as a marketing opportunity for my pizza place?

TikTok is exploding in growth, and is likely to continue to pick up speed throughout 2021. This means it’s a perfect time to get on board and start sharing videos to promote your pizzeria. Although there are unlimited ways to do this, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Share videos of your pizzas as they come fresh out of the oven, and show them being cut. This can be very satisfying for some users, and will get them hungry enough to start looking up your website. Upload these videos on a regular basis to stay top-of-mind. 
  2. Record video footage of a pizza being made from start to finish, spliced into segments that keep it short and fun. Users love to see a behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s favorite food’s being created by a professional. Unique pizzas? Even better. Let your creative juices flow.
  3. Research and follow TikTok trends, and apply them to your restaurant’s videos. If a member of your staff turns out to be a great dancer and knows a popular TikTok dance, record him in his uniform breaking it down. 
  4. Use TikTok music trends in the background of your video creations, and when uploading, use trending hashtags that apply. For example: #satisfying, #howto, and #foodrecipe would be a great place to start. Don’t forget to hashtag your own brand as well.
  5. Create fun experiences for your diners and encourage them to post about them on TikTok. Since Gen Z and younger millennials love to be involved, offer a build-your-own pizza in which they can film themselves creating a pizza in their own unique way.
  6. Use influencer marketing to your advantage. Work with local foodies and have them post about their experience at your pizzeria on TikTok.


Who will be watching my videos on TikTok?

Right now, TikTok is the sixth-largest social network in the world, and although it still has a long road ahead to catch up to Facebook and Instagram, it’s already surpassed LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest. In terms of time spent on the app in the U.S., American users spend an average of 46 minutes a day on the app, totaling 37 billion video views a month. Since Americans have been turning more and more to mobile to find “snackable” forms of entertainment, TikTok has found itself in the right place at the right time.

In January 2020, TikTok’s largest user group in the US was 18-24 year olds. By April 2020, this age group had decreased from 41% to 35%, while the share of 25- to 34-year-olds and the 35-44 demographic had grown. This means that TikTok is starting to entice older users as well, which is good news for your pizza business. The people viewing your content will have more purchasing power than before, and you’ll still be reaching the next generation of diners.

Even before this shift in age demographic, pizzeria owners have been able to take advantage of this app’s marketing power. Joe Brignoni of Joe's Rotisseria explains that “when you’re marketing on TikTok you are marketing toward younger kids. You’re marketing to that younger kid who is going to bring in their whole family.” His strategy has been to market to the young, and as a natural consequence he ends up getting both the younger and older crowd to visit his restaurant; two birds with one stone.


Why is TikTok such an opportunity for me in the pizza industry?

TikTok’s algorithm is unique in the way that it uses artificial intelligence to make personalized recommendations for users. The second the app is opened, the first video in the feed begins to play, immediately sucking the viewer in. Content discovery in the app is the main part of the TikTok experience and is central to why so many videos have the opportunity to blow up. As a viewer, you can see videos in your feed that have anywhere from no views to millions.

What does this mean for you as a pizzeria owner? You have an even playing field. Although you might have no followers in the beginning, your videos will still be shown to users that might like your content. Plus, unlike Instagram which encourages highly curated and aesthetically pleasing images, TikTok is all about having fun and being creative. Creating a TikTok can be taken on your phone on the go as you create mouthwatering pizzas, and has the potential to bring new customers in.

Remember: TikTok videos are quick, so think about capturing the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds. Gen Zers like to consume content as quickly as possible, and will move on if something is taking too long. Watch a few videos on TikTok first to get the right idea, and then go for it.


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Posted on Thu, Jul 02, 2020 @ 07:07 AM.
Updated on August 14, 2023 @ 3:53 PM PST.

Tags: Restaurant Marketing, TikTok

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