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What is Lemon8? TikTok’s Sister App Explained

What is Lemon8? Learn everything there is to know about TikTok’s lifestyle sister app and how your brand can get started.

Chloe West August 30, 2023
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You heard that right — there’s another social media app in town. Lemon8, TikTok’s sister app, launched globally in early 2023, giving social media marketers yet another platform to learn about.

This article will teach you all about what the app is, if it’s worth investing any time into, and how you can start using it for business.

Let’s get started.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

What is Lemon8?

Lemon8 is a new social media app created by ByteDance, the creators of the wildly popular TikTok app.

Designed to be a lifestyle app, Lemon8 is like a mixture of Instagram and Pinterest. It’s photo-heavy but allows users to share recipes, outfits, travel guides, and more.

Popular categories on Lemon8 include:

  • Fashion
  • Makeup
  • Skincare
  • Travel
  • Health & wellness
  • Fitness
  • Food

This means Lemon8 could be a go-to spot for visual brands in these industries.

But is it here to stay?

While Lemon8 had an extremely successful start, its momentum has slowed. In its first few months, Lemon8 was one of the most downloaded lifestyle apps in the United States, generating 4.1 million users in just a few months. Having launched in 2020 in Japan first, the app had over 17 million users by mid-2023.

These days, it looks like that activity has dropped off. Data shows that the app’s daily active users have nearly halved, going from nearly 12,000 to just over 6,000 in mere months.

Regardless, it looks like Lemon8 initially gained popularity with many of TikTok’s creators — a young user base consisting mostly of Gen Zers.

And since it can be smart for brands to solidify their place on a platform before it becomes oversaturated, any visual brands that cater to Gen Z should consider adding Lemon8 to their social media strategy.

How can you use Lemon8 for business?

If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve, it’s a good idea to start considering if Lemon8 is right for your business and how to use it strategically. Here are a few tips based on popular content we’re seeing that can give you a head start on your Lemon8 marketing strategy.

Create photo carousels

A photo carousel — just like on other platforms — is a post that includes multiple swipeable photos. Here’s an example of what this looks like on Lemon8:

this week's dinner menu by Catherine GreySpinach and Ricotta Stuffed ShellsChicken TacosChipotle Turkey Burger BowlsHoney Chipotle Chicken Bowls

Photo carousels are one of the most popular post types on Lemon8, so if you want to see success on the platform, it should be one of the key elements of your strategy.

Come up with a topic for your photo carousel. The one above focuses on meal planning, with the creator sharing her planned menu for the week along with recipes and photos of each dish.

Other options include:

  • Weekly outfit inspiration
  • Nail art
  • New product releases
  • Top 5-10 listicles
  • Life hacks
  • Skincare/beauty tips
  • Workout routines

Since Lemon8 is so heavily lifestyle-focused, you’ll want to mention your brand/products in a way that seems like life advice over a promotion.

Take advantage of Lemon8’s editing tools

Make your cover photo stand out. This is one of the best ways to grab attention and get users to click on your post to view more. This Lemon8 post shares a few great tips for editing your cover photos.

But let’s look at a few well-designed examples that can help you catch your audience’s eyes.

I hated this popular book on Kindle Unlimited with design and editing text featuresInspo pics for summer nails smiley facesHow I plan out my 2023 vision board

Different types of text, shapes, arrows, and doodles can help draw attention to parts of your cover photo and create a design that stands out. There are even templates to help you find a starting point for your cover photo design.

Plus, similar to TikTok, using Lemon8’s built-in editing tools likely makes the algorithm want to boost your content. It makes your content seem native, like it belongs on the platform.

Editing tools available on the platform include:

  • Templates
  • Image retouching
  • Product tagging
  • Text overlays
  • Stickers
  • Cutout tool

Be relatable

Develop a relatable voice for your Lemon8 posts. You’ll see a lot of emojis, creators calling each other “girlies,” exclamation marks, and more.

Create a persona that wants to see others succeed, supporting the people in your target audience and helping them find better solutions—ideally, through your business and products or services.

Combine your Instagram and Pinterest strategies

Lemon8 is essentially a combination of Instagram and Pinterest. Think Instagram’s photo carousels and captions with Pinterest’s content.

Combine these two strategies — or at the very least, the strategy you use for Instagram content creation and your Pinterest strategy for content calendar — to create the perfect content for Lemon8.

Use engaging captions

From what we can see at this time, there’s no character limit on Lemon8’s captions — but it looks like around 150 words seems to be the recommended amount. Which means you have a good bit of space to further expand on the content you’re sharing.

Here’s a great example of a Lemon8 caption used well:

How I use Notion as a life plannerlife goals meal planner work and reading list

The post includes images on how the creator uses Notion, and the caption further explains each one. It’s almost like a micro-blog — another great way to think about your Lemon8 strategy.

Be sure to take advantage of the space you have in your Lemon8 captions. Use them to really let your voice show, explain what your followers are seeing in each image, and more.

Lemon8 even offers a “caption ideas” popup to help you get started with your first few posts.

How to start using Lemon8

Ready to start using Lemon8 for your business? Follow along with our five-step guide to create your account, build out your strategy, and start engaging.

1. Create an account

Start by downloading the Lemon8 app from the app store onto your smartphone. Create an account by choosing your username and password.

Pro tip: Try to make sure your username matches your brand name and your username/handle on your other social media accounts.

Once you’ve completed that step, you’ll be prompted to select your interests from a list like the one below:

what are your interests outfits dining fitness makeup and wellness

Be sure to choose interests that are the most closely related to your business. That will help you find creators within your niche to follow and interact with.

2. Optimize your profile

Next, you’ll want to optimize your profile the same way you do on every social media platform you create an account on.

This means:

  • Again, ensure your username/handle matches your brand and other social accounts.
  • Create a bio that clearly and concisely states what your brand does — you only have 80 characters.
  • Add your logo as your profile photo.
  • Connect your other social media accounts—you can add info for your TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and website to your Lemon8 profile.

3. Follow relevant accounts

After you’ve selected your top interests, start browsing through the “For You” feed to see what’s out there. If you come across posts that are relevant to your business, be sure to give the creator a follow.

There are two main feeds: “For You” and “Following.” This means that if you build up your following list enough, you’ll be able to find inspiration and engage with all of the users under that specific feed.

Plus, the more people you follow when you first create your account, the more likely it is that people interested in your products will discover your account and start following you.

4. Create your first Lemon8 post

Shortly after you create your account and follow a good bit of users, you want to start creating content so they have a reason to follow you back. Create your first Lemon8 post by pinpointing your topic, creating imagery, editing them using Lemon8’s tools, and creating a helpful caption.

5. Engage with other users

Finally, start regularly engaging with other users on the platform. Comment on posts using that fun, relatable voice. Like and follow posts by users that are similar to your target audience. Set aside time throughout the day — every day, especially while you’re initially building your account — to open the app again and engage with as many users as you can.

Frequently asked questions about Lemon8

How is Lemon8 different from TikTok?

Lemon8 is owned by the same company as TikTok, but has a different aim. It’s more photo-heavy than video content, aimed at being a lifestyle app that’s similar to Instagram and Pinterest. Lemon8 users often share photo carousels with posts surrounding lifestyle topics like food, fitness, and fashion.

What is Lemon8 used for?

Lemon8 is used for sharing lifestyle content. Photos and videos that showcase how to do things like cook recipes, style homes and outfits, create DIY projects, and more.

How can you be successful on Lemon8?

To see success on Lemon8, choose a niche, create engaging and helpful content, interact with other users, and take advantage of the Lemon8 editing tools.

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By Chloe West

Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She's based in Charleston, SC, and when she's not working, you'll find her playing card games or watering her plants.

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