Read on to find out why Tik Tok and small businesses make good sense
Not another social media platform, you say. Small business owners have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, it’s a great way to spread the word about your business and build a following. On the other hand, those pesky algorithms can change without notice, and the audience you once reached is no longer there. Not to mention the all too real event where the platform goes down for several hours (which happened in October 2021), and you lose access to your followers, or worse, you get hacked (which has happened to some social accounts).
But social media has its place. It’s excellent for building identity and a complementary platform for your copy. As part of a clever marketing strategy, social media can showcase your personality and wow your audience with your products. Then your website copy comes in to persuade your audience to buy.
One app that rules them all is Tik Tok, the most popular social media app. Since 2018, Tik Tok has surpassed both Instagram and Facebook as the most downloaded social medial app. And as of 2021, it is hands down the most popular in the world with 656 million downloads – one million more than Instagram.
What sets Tik Tok apart is its short 1-minute reels which are highly entertaining and can create a loyal following faster than you would get from Instagram or Facebook. For a small business, this means you can showcase your personality as the face behind the brand with ease, create relationships and a loyal following, and maybe even go viral in a short amount of time.
The changing landscape for business
The pandemic has seen a growth in small businesses as many people were forced to find alternative sources of income. At the same time, social media took off during the pandemic, particularly Tik Tok. The platform, which allows users to create micro-videos on any topic lasting 15 to 30 seconds (up to 10 minutes), has created a new breed of influencers. And it was a boon for small businesses too.
You need to only look at the popular small business Tik Tok hashtags to understand the massive viewership it attracts:
#smallbusiness – 66.5 Billion views
#entrepreneur – 22.7 billion views
#supportsmallbusiness – 5 billion views
#sidehustle – 9.9 billion views
You’ll see that there is a massive audience of both small business owners, those wanting to start a small business, and those looking to support a small business to know that getting on the Tik Tok bandwagon may be one great way of opening up your business to new audiences.
“But I don’t want to dance”, you might say.
The good news is that Tik Tok is not just for dancing divas or the musically gifted. While it may be famous for showcasing viral dancing trends, it’s also a great soapbox where anyone can spruik ideas and products or tell funny jokes and stories.
Many businesses are already on Tik Tok, and some posts are cleverly written skits you wouldn’t even know it was an advertisement. And with Tik Tok’s features specifically designed to help small businesses, the platform is perfect for showcasing your brand and connecting with a vast audience.
Who are Tik Tok's competitors?
Although Instagram’s reels were created to take back the audience it lost to Tik Tok, the latter is seen as a superior platform and boasts 1 billion active users as of 2022.
Most users on Tik Tok go on the platform to discover new trends and ideas and, believe it or not, to shop! According to Tik Tok’s analytics:
• 66% of users say Tik Tok helped them decide what to buy
• 67% of users were inspired to shop even when they initially didn’t intend to when going on the platform
• 74% of users were inspired to look up a brand online after seeing them on Tik Tok
With these statistics, it’s a no-brainer that Tik Tok is a clever ad-free way of letting your potential audience know about your product or services.
Integration with Shopify
Tik Tok is connected to the Shopify e-commerce platform, and you can link your Tik Tok account with Shopify to make the shopping experience easier for your Tik Tok audience. Tik Tok also offers analytics so you can track your campaign performance and how well your posts perform against sales figures.
Tik Tok is also a great way to tell your brand story authentically and creatively. So there’s no need for polished and heavily edited ad-like posts, as the posts that resonate the most with users come directly from the face behind the brand – the business owner, talking to the camera and addressing the audience personally.
Collaboration made easy
Another great thing about Tik Tok is you can collaborate with other content creators who share your passion and values. Many up-and-coming micro-influencers are on Tik Tok who can help promote your brand, products, and services to their audiences. Many of these partnerships become successful and help small businesses grow.
Some tips for building your Tik Tok brand
Tik Tok can get addictive, so content creators (and consumers) beware! With the potential to go viral quite quickly, you can open a whole new audience for your business. There are many tutorials on YouTube on how to start a small business Tik Tok account and create posts, so I won’t cover that here. However, here are my tips for making the most of your business account:
- Learn about Tik Tok’s business features for ideas on how you can create posts that will resonate with your audience. You can attend webinars, and the app’s built-in analytics can help you see what types of posts get the most views and interaction and what time window is most advantageous.
- Find your niche and consistently produce content that serves that niche. This is a great way to be known and attract followers. When you are constantly posting and receiving regular interaction on your posts, you may even get the blue tick (the coveted Tik Tok verification) which can open more doors for you. It can get you on users’ For You page, which means more people will see your posts, leading to more followers and exposure for your business.
- Participate in challenges and viral trends. There are always viral sounds and challenges that are fun to “jump” on, and I suggest watching many other Tik Tok videos to get a sense of what’s trending. Use those trends to your advantage as they keep you relevant and can get you on the For You page and broaden your audience reach.
- Use the “stitching” function if you see a relevant trend. Stitching allows you to combine someone else’s video with your own. This makes collaboration with other users easy and exposes you to the other user’s audience (and them to your audience), broadening both of your reaches.
Contact me if you need help with refining your brand and your brand message.