TikTok for Your Small Business: What It Is and How to Get Started

Learn how to market your small business on TikTok, the fastest growing social media platform

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TikTok

TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform. It allows users to create and share short and looping videos, and it’s becoming a must-post platform for businesses that use social media to spread brand awareness.

On June 25, 2020, the social media company announcedTikTok For Business.” The site allows businesses to display ads when the app is first launched, brand takeovers, in-feed videos, hashtag challenges, and branded effects.

But for small businesses that don’t have the money to purchase TikTok ads, there are ways to capitalize on the platform.

There’s 2 reasons why this platform so unique in comparison to other platforms:

  • It is extremely mobile first
  • It’s meant to focus on authenticity and creativity, rather than a curated experience. Rather than focusing on a curated brand, it focuses on interesting content created for its audience.

While the majority of videos focus on skits, memes, and remixing catchy choreography and songs, there are many brands out there using TikTok to build brand awareness and connect with their younger audiences in a lighter and more engaging way.

With over 800 million users and over 1.5 billion downloads of the app, this is an opportunity not to be ignored. Let’s discuss more about what small businesses can learn from the brands currently crushing their TikTok game.

Should I invest in TikTok for my business?

If you’re a small business thinking about your limited resources, you may be asking yourself if you should be investing time and money into a TikTok strategy.

“Small businesses can still get in front of an audience that is relevant and find ways to remix content from their other platforms in order to get in front of people again and reach new viewers.”

“Every business should be allocating marketing resources to where their audience is as this will result in the ROI they are looking for,” says Mike Ruffolo, a marketing consultant.

Thus, it’s important to understand your targeted market and audience before rolling out a TikTok strategy.

“TikTok fits well into a cascading content strategy,” Ruffolo says. “It’s also really inexpensive to put money into TikTok ads as it’s still a nascent and developing platform. The cost of getting your brand in front of your audience is cheap. Small businesses can still get in front of an audience that is relevant and find ways to remix content from their other platforms in order to get in front of people again and reach new viewers.”

What are some unique ways people are using TikTok?

@washingtonpostTaking Monday off to spend more time with my TV ##SkillBuilding ##SelfImprovement♬ original sound – monique.poa

While catchy dances and remixes dominate TikTok, there are people leveraging their niche to gain viewership.

For example, math teachers across the world have been taking advantage of this platform to reach students in a fun and new way, sharing important lessons through video for their students to consume, especially as they sit in quarantine. TikTok influencers are taking dense topics that are important but not as entertaining and adding catchy components to make them more fun.

When it comes to raising your employer’s brand awareness, Ruffolo says that TikTok can help by showcasing what the workplace and culture is like in your company.

One prime example Ruffolo points to is The Washington Post, which showcases what the newsroom culture is like and what it takes to be a journalist. By showing behind-the-scenes of the newsroom, they have been able to amass a following of 500,000-plus followers, many of whom are younger and may not have otherwise thought to follow this news outlet.

Brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, branded lenses, and posting quality content are just a few things small businesses can do to jumpstart their TikTok campaigns.

Ruffolo also points to doctors’ and dentists’ offices as having done well at creating their brand through TikTok, and sharing important health messages in a fun and creative way.

Brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, branded lenses, and posting quality content are just a few things small businesses can do to jumpstart their TikTok campaigns.

Chipotle, the NBA, and the United Nations IFAD are a few other brands gaining recognition for their unique and creative approach towards using TikTok.

TikTok during COVID-19

TikTok has provided users around the world a way to connect and entertain/be entertained as we continue our lives in quarantine. CNN reports “the app’s feed is filled with moms and dads, sisters and brothers, aunties and cousins, and even family dogs all joining together to make silly, creative, often downright wholesome quarantine content”.

Beyond family bonding, celebrities are making their splash in the TikTok world as they continue to look for ways to stay relevant during the COVID-19 outbreak.

TikTok is also using its influence to help people through this challenging and unique time through their nightly series called #HappyAtHome. This series features celebrities and top creators sharing advice, motivation and ideas. They have also been pledging millions of dollars towards various COVID-19 relief funds.

If you’re new to TikTok and interested in learning how your business can leverage this developing tool, take this unique time in your life to study and learn the platform. Create some fun and get in front of new eyes.

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