Rules and Regulations for Tiktok Shop Content 

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You’re probably wondering how you can make your first Tiktok video for your shop a successful piece of marketing content. You might also have tons of gimmicks and promotional activities in mind to build your customer and viewer base, and of course keep them engaged until you turn these engagements into real, solid sales. 

When you sign up for a Tiktok for Business account and begin managing your Tiktok shop, your Tiktok content is of prime importance and should take a considerable chunk of your time and effort. Some sellers might already be Tiktok natives before they decided to open a Tiktok shop and sell products, but that’s not always the case. In this article, we guide you, our newly-recruited Tiktok shopowner-slash-content creator, in your journey to create the best Tiktok content for your business.

Most of the tips we are giving you here are from the policy center for Creator and Content at Tiktok’s homegrown Tiktok Shop Seller University. There, you can get a bunch of guides, tutorials, and policy briefers that will help manage your Tiktok Shop in many ways, such as in product listings, content creation, order management, and more.

Tiktok Shop Content Prohibitions

As Tiktok strives to create positive shopping experiences for its customers and avoids any activities by creators and sellers that would constitute unlawful activities, it clarifies in its content policies some prohibited content categories. Violating these can result in platform-level penalties and may even force Tiktok to report you to the proper authorities for prosecution. So look closely, and be mindful not to fall into the trap of publishing prohibited content in your Feed.

Underage Promotional Content

The Tiktok Shop Content Guidelines classify underage promotional content as any content created and/or uploaded having an underage person or minor promoting or representing a product without an accompanying adult. As defined, minors are persons below 15 years of age. Some scenarios that fall into the category of underage promotional content include a minor promoting or introducing the product and a minor presenting the product, such as using or displaying the products. 

Some examples of products that are allowed to be displayed or used by minors include toys and musical instruments, kids’ clothing and shoes, baby clothing and shoes, baby toys, and mukena (Indonesian prayer hijab or clothing) and prayer equipment. Slideshows of images of minors compiled into a video also do not constitute a violation.

Sellers and creators must also remember that portrayal of children must always be appropriate. For example, they must always be fully clothed and never seen with any adult-related items such as alcohol and cigarettes. They must also ensure that no physical, mental or moral harm comes to them during the making of the video or livestream. When addressing children, no statement must be construed as a direct call for children to buy or to encourage them to persuade an adult to buy the product for them. And lastly, no content must encourage child viewers to undermine parental authority. 

Gambling

Tiktok defines gambling-related behavior as selling through games or other forms such as lucky draw or lucky dip wherein the customer does not know the quality, quantity, value, and category of products in question before they place their orders. The scope of the prohibition includes shop windows, video content, and even live streams.

Traditional gambling methods employed in selling such as lottery numbers, straw pulling, auctioning, and card gambling are prohibited. These also include activities such as a surprise egg or mystery box, which will be shipped to customers without them having any knowledge of what it contains. Another no-no will be selling tickets or stubs as entries to a chance or luck-based game.

Animal Cruelty

In line with creating an overall positive shopping experience, Tiktok bans all forms of cruelty to animals, wildlife, and plants. This includes acts that are deemed gratuitously shocking, graphic, sadistic, or gruesome. Be wary that any aspect of your content, be it in speech or imagery, does not promote, normalize and glorify extreme violence and suffering.

Some scenarios include but are not limited to the slaughter and other non-natural death of animals, consumption of live animals (excluding seafood such as clams or oysters), the dismemberment, mutilation, charring or burning of animal remains, any animal cruelty or gore, torture or ill-treatment of animals, use of equipment that can harm animals, among others.

Particular guidelines are set in every country/region where Tiktok operates. Check the policy here.

Reproduced Content

Producing live and original content for your live streams is generally better for engagement, but doing otherwise, that is, posting pre-recorded and reproduced content constitutes an offense to the Tiktok Shop content policies. Posting reproduced content will have your live streams taken down, and can get you to receive penalties, and to the full extent, prosecution by authorities.

Tiktok identifies reproduced content as recognizable popular videos, videos by other creators, pre-recorded videos by creators themselves, recorded screens of other devices and other reproduced media or videos. So before you begin live streaming, make sure you have a dedicated space and equipment. And to be honest, nothing beats organic, live engagement with your most loyal customers. 

Note: As defined by the Tiktok policies, content can be in various formats, such as videos, live streams, cover pages, titles, hyperlinks, anchor links, descriptions, and other features. 

Any violation of the aforementioned content policies could incur the seller/content creator any, or a combination of the following enforcement actions. This list is non-exhaustive, and penalties can differ on a case-to-case basis.

  • Removing the product from the platform 
  • Removing or blocking content 
  • Formal warning messages 
  • Suspension of creator/seller privileges 
  • Temporary or permanent withdrawal of creator/seller benefits 
  • Reporting the creator/seller to the relevant regulatory authorities for prosecution 

What to Avoid in Tiktok Shop Content

Aside from the prohibitions stated above, there are some acts or methods that will not earn you penalties from Tiktok right away but are nevertheless bad practices for Tiktok Shop content creation that might impact your viewership, conversion rate, and sales revenue.

Irrelevant Product Promotion

With the features of the Tiktok Shop, you can create “anchor” videos of your products, which then can be linked to “anchor” landing pages where you can redirect viewers and allow them to purchase the product. In case your anchor videos and landing pages do not correspond, this is categorized as irrelevant product promotion. Product promotion is also considered irrelevant when the anchor landing page does not exist in your Tiktok shop. You must also make sure that your products also have their respective anchor videos.

Several reported instances of this, especially when it leads to customer dissatisfaction and distrust, can be subject to Tiktok penalties. To avoid being tagged as a seller who engages in irrelevant product promotion, 1) make sure the product featured in the anchor video appears on the anchor landing page; 2) ensure that the content and descriptions accurately represent your product and that they are correctly shown, and are available for purchase. 

False Promises

While Tiktok allows giveaways and cashbacks to generate customer interest, making false promises on your anchor landing and product listing pages may also lead to customer confusion and distrust, and may affect your seller rights, among other penalties. 

To prevent making false promises, always make sure that all giveaways and prizes are accurately stated on your product listing’s terms and conditions. In such cases that some of your prizes or promotions are limited-time offers, clearly state the terms and conditions. 

What is Considered High-Quality Tiktok Shop Content?

Now that we have listed down some of the prohibitions and the clear no-no’s in terms of creating your Tiktok shop content, it is probably beneficial if we discuss some guidelines on how to create engaging and high-quality content for your Tiktok shop. Ensuring great content means generating steady traffic to your profile and shop, which means a flowing stream of product sales.

Informative

In creating your product listing, there are some things that you have to make sure are present: the product name, the price (including shipping fees), the function of the product (which is best if you demonstrate it in the video), your brand/store name and any relevant product specifications. In creating content and product listings, be mindful not to overload your viewers and distract them. Just make it short and sweet. Information that is accurate, reliable, and comprehensive is a key factor in helping your viewers decide to buy your product.

Professional

Your content must look professional. You are a marketer, as much as a seller. And in marketing your products, you must present them in a well-organized and professional manner. The rule of thumb will be to know your product well, make it a point that you look credible and knowledgeable in your manner of speaking and presenting, and create your videos with high-quality standards.

Relatable

Customers will not purchase or buy a product that they deem useless or would not add value to their lives. Also, they like to see the product that you’re selling in real-life situations, and in action. As such, in your content, you have to show your viewers how your products can aid them and improve their daily lives.

Personable

Content that gives the customers a feeling that you are friendly and approachable tends to gather more sales. The tone of your voice, your background, and your interactions with other people or objects on screen all contribute to the overall welcoming environment that you should strive to achieve. Seeing these, especially the interactions, will most likely bring your viewers to engage and interact with your content.

Engaging

It’s all about catching and maintaining attention. Engaging content is something that will capture your audience and keep them tuned in until you are sure they’re going to buy the product. Some tips in creating engagement content include responding to comments especially during live streams, looking at the camera (this is your approximation of eye contact!), and using relatable and popular trends in your content. 

Authentic

Make it look natural. Hard selling can hurt you more than it can help you. Users generally prefer seeing how the product can be useful, add convenience, or just generally improve their lives. Your marketing must be authentic, accurate, and genuine to avoid false promises. Avoid at all costs exaggerated claims and untrue statements about your product. Instead, demonstrate their use realistically and explore within the content the many aspects wherein your product stands out.

Livestreaming on Tiktok Shop

Livestreaming is opening up new opportunities for sellers that can potentially shape the future of online selling. With that in mind, you have to be ready with your know-how in creating appealing and engaging content during live streams for you to gain a solid customer base and improve customer loyalty. Here are some tips we can share:

Clear language. Make sure that in your live stream you are speaking clearly in the language that can be understood by your target customer base. Your speech should be coherent, and easy to understand. Inappropriate language such as cursing or slurs must be avoided at all times.

Plan out your Livestream. Nobody goes to battle unprepared. Before you start your live stream, be ready with a few talking points (probably around 20 sentences will be good), and have a selection of the best products that you will feature during your streaming session.

Engage. When doing live streams, speak in a language that can be understood by many. Of course, you have to introduce yourself, your store, and your Tiktok ID. During the stream, respond to comments and ask your audience to follow your Tiktok account. Do not use inappropriate language. Also, avoid going in circles and repeating what you’ve already said when it’s not important. And make sure your visual aids are written correctly, with no spelling mistakes.

How to Assess Your Tiktok Shop Content 

Now that we know some of the do’s and don’ts in Tiktok Shop content creation, the remaining question might be: how do we know for sure that the content we put out is effective?

To assess the performance of your Tiktok content, be sure to check the analytics section of your Tiktok shop, where you can find relevant metrics about your viewership, orders, and sales. Allotting a portion of your time regularly will help you analyze your strategies, and carry out troubleshooting measures and improvements when you create your future Tiktok Shop content.

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