How to use TikTok for Your Small Business

Consumer scrolling on Instagram and making purchases

Want to grow your online presence by connecting with audiences on TikTok? This handy guide will help you get started and inspired to share engaging content.

TikTok is one of the most rapidly expanding social media apps in the world. Here, we’ll explore how the video-sharing app can be used to help your small businesses connect with its customers in new and unique ways, expressing its creativity and reaching out to a vast and ever-growing audience.

What is TikTok?

The TikTok app is a relatively new phenomenon. Founded in China and launched in 2016 as Duoyen, TikTok went international in 2017 and has been making great leaps in popularity ever since. As of January 2021, TikTok boasts 689 million global active users and it’s the 7th most popular social media app in the world, only beaten in popularity by big hitters such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram.

In the UK alone, more than 3.7 million people actively use TikTok and the app is downloaded approximately one million times each month. The typical TikTok demographic is Generation Z, with the highest user base the 16 to 24 age-bracket. However, as more people hear about TikTok, the user base is expanding to encompass many older generations, creating multiple opportunities for small businesses to connect.

What are the benefits of using TikTok for my small business?

The rise of social media popularity has created a whole new marketplace where businesses of all shapes and sizes can advertise their products and engage with audiences. Connecting through social media is an effective way of engaging with customers and learning more about your target demographic.

TikTok small business marketing provides unique opportunities to let customers know who the face behind the brand is. Through making and posting short videos, brands can personalise their products and connect with the younger generations on a whole new level.

TikTok’s use of augmented reality appeals to a wide audience and creates a sense of escapism and humour that other social media video sharing platforms cannot match. Through facilitating the creation of “micro-moments”, TikTok taps into the zeitgeist and allows brands to broaden their reach by making personal connections.

How do I get started on TikTok as a small business?

Signing up and using TikTok for business marketing is a fast and simple process. Once the app has been downloaded from either Google Play or the App Store, users can access instant sign-up using their Gmail, Twitter or Facebook accounts, or they can add a new standard username if they prefer not to connect accounts. Once in, the option to edit profile allows business owners to share important information about their company, including bio information and a short profile video.

One of the main benefits of TikTok for users is the wealth of tools available for creating and editing videos, including stickers, augmented reality, emojis, filters, GIFs and other editing tools.

Taking some time to practice using these tools and getting to know the app before publishing posts is essential. The Discovery tab lets you see what other people are doing, including competitors.

Posting simple guide style videos, behind the scenes footage of your business and generating buzz through humour can help you reach new customers on TikTok. It’s important to decide on a topic and strategy before posting. This will help you decide the message and style of content that you want to share. Remember, authenticity is important for TikTok users, and the content you share will reflect your brand personality – so have fun with it.

Video Ideas for Small Businesses on TikTok

Small business owners can embrace their creativity by posting across a range of styles, including:

Product Demonstrations

One of the simplest ways to let your audience know what you are selling is with product demonstrations. Audiences that can see a product in action are more likely to connect with the idea of using that product.

Tutorials

Quick tutorials or how-to videos can also help brands engage with audiences, such as a food brand demonstrating how to make a recipe using one of its products.

Song Parodies

Song parodies are at the heart of what helped TikTok become the rising star of social media. Brands could create their own song parodies by changing the lyrics of popular songs to talk about its products instead. The catchier, the better.

Team Introductions

The personal aspect is one of the reasons so many people love connecting on TikTok. Videos introducing each team member and sharing what they do on a daily basis can appeal to people personally.

Hashtag Challenges

The hashtag challenge concept is one that millions of TikTok users already know and love. Brands can get involved with existing challenges that are relevant to their products or start their own hashtag challenge to get more users involved.

Embrace an overall omni channel selling strategy for your small business

The concept of an omnichannel selling strategy is that businesses meet customers wherever they are. This might be offline or online, through email or social media, print advertising or viral video content.

A good omnichannel strategy connects customers with the store location or online store from where they already are. This might include adding checkout links to social media posts to make it easy for people to purchase the products they are connecting with online or creating shoppable posts on Instagram and TikTok.

Square Online Checkout makes it easy for businesses of all shapes and sizes to establish a strong online presence and link social media channels to an online checkout at the touch of a button.

The software package allows businesses to embed buy buttons on social media or other websites, print scannable QR codes or share payment links in emails. Reaching out to customers through multiple channels, including email and social media, helps to spread the reach of your brand and build awareness.

As one of the world’s fastest-growing social media apps, TikTok represents a new and exciting opportunity for businesses to truly connect with their audience, whether they’re part of a younger generation and already TikTok experts, or slightly older generations first discovering the delights of the app.

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