Keep reading this blog to learn:
- What TikTok is and why it’s popular
- The types of people that are using TikTok
- How to use TikTok to promote your small business
- Examples of how businesses have found success on TikTok
- Whether TikTok ads are worth it for small businesses
Learn How to Promote Your Small Business on TikTok from Our Social Media Expert!
One thing we at Frontier Marketing love about small business owners is their tenacity. We are constantly amazed by their seemingly unending determination to make their companies more successful. It’s hard not to appreciate that pioneer spirit.
On the other hand, we also empathize with small business owners in their struggles. After all, it’s one thing to want to take your business to the next frontier, but it’s another thing entirely to know how to do that, especially in this complicated digital age.
Take social media, for example. Everyone uses it, so there’s certainly a lot of potential for drawing in customers there. But the best way to do that is not always clear. This is especially true for new social channels like TikTok.
If you’re reading this, you’re obviously curious but hesitant about promoting your small business on TikTok. We totally get that and are here to help!
We recently sat down with our resident social media expert, Isabella Trikolas, to get to the bottom of this whole TikTok thing. What we found is that TikTok for small business is not only worthwhile, but it’s also an unprecedented opportunity to gain customers in ways you may have never even imagined!
We have transcribed our full conversation with Isabella below and hope you find it helpful for growing your business!
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a new and emerging social media platform that is gaining popularity every day. The platform allows people to share 15-60 second videos of literally anything. Those videos show up in people’s feeds, where they can view them or swipe through them to find the content they enjoy.
Why is TikTok So Popular?
People love TikTok because it’s so convenient. You can consume information and so many different things in such a short amount of time. Plus, their algorithm caters to the user. I’m not sure how they do it, but I see exactly the videos I want to see whenever I go on the app. Rarely do I use it and not find something that interests me. So, TikTok directly targets people very well.
What Types of People Use TikTok?
Obviously, the biggest demographic is younger users. But I would also say they’ve done an excellent job of targeting older audiences, especially during the pandemic when everybody was at home. They knew younger people were already there, so they were trying to get older people to use it.
You would be surprised by how many different types of people are using it—my mom, my uncle—people I wouldn’t expect. So, I would say you could reach anybody on there, especially a lot of stay-at-home moms and older people who are at home a lot.
What Types of TikTok Videos Appeal to That Older Demographic?
The older demographic is mainly drawn to how-to videos and cooking videos. Of course, there are also a lot of funny videos and pet videos that appeal to that group.
Having said that, there’s really no limit to the topics older people might gravitate toward on TikTok. As long as you have specific interests and spend more time on certain types of videos, the TikTok algorithm will consistently send you similar content.
So, let’s say there’s someone who’s 60 and works in finance. TikTok will figure that out by his or her viewing habits. Then it’s going to show that person video content related to the finance field.
Is TikTok Good for Small Business?
I would say yes for two reasons. First, it takes little time to create videos for TikTok. Since the videos can only be at most a minute long, you don’t have to spend much time filming them. And because TikTok users value authenticity, you don’t need to worry too much about editing. Plus, the app makes it super easy to add any special effects you want to include, like text or music, before publishing.
The other reason is it’s super easy to get your video in front of your audience right away. It doesn’t matter if you just made your account. Your videos will get in front of people right away when you publish them. So, it’s totally worth it to create a business account and see where it goes because anybody can see what you put out there.
It’s also possible to target locally. I see a lot of videos about things happening at the mall near me or other nearby businesses. So, the TikTok algorithm does take location into account, which is great for local businesses.
TikTok also takes the pressure off camera-shy small business owners because you don’t have to be rehearsed and perfect. You can overlay text on your videos, so you don’t even need to talk or get in front of the camera. Many people don’t show their faces, and I’m able to understand what they’re communicating.
How Does TikTok Compare to Other Social Channels for Businesses?
There’s something about TikTok that creates a level of trust unparalleled on other social media sites. Personally, if I see a video of a product on TikTok, I am much more likely to purchase that product than if I were to see that product promoted on another social site.
The problem with other social sites is there’s a level of disconnect. On Instagram, everyone is trying to beautify their profiles. But on TikTok, it feels a lot more raw and real. And you can tell if people aren’t sincere in their videos.
Whereas your feed may get washed out with celebrities and top influencers on channels like Facebook or Instagram. You can still find real genuine people on TikTok. You can still see your friends and local businesses even if you follow other popular accounts.
How Can You Use TikTok to Promote Your Business?
There are many ways to show off your small business on TikTok. If you’re selling a product or a service, you can make a quick video explaining how the product or service works. You can also create videos that:
- Show off your product in action
- Give a tour of the inside of your store
- Provide a behind the scenes peek at how you do what you do
- Announce a special deal you’re offering
- Offer quick tips or tricks related to your industry
I would recommend trying a video for each of these if you can because the more you post, the more TikTok will favor your videos. If you’re consistently posting on TikTok, people will see it, and people will engage with it for sure.
If you’re not sure what to post on TikTok, keep in mind that TikTok users love transparency. So, you don’t have to overcomplicate your videos. Just post something honest that shows who you are as a business, and people will appreciate it.
You can also look at what similar businesses are posting to gain some inspiration. Take what they’re doing and do it even better!
What Are Some Best Practices to Follow When Creating TikTok Videos?
First, you should record videos vertically on your phone because it’s difficult to take a horizontal video and make it work for TikTok’s desired format. The best way to make sure you’re recording in an optimal format is to record your videos directly in the app.
However, if you upload videos that you made outside the app, make sure the length is limited because the length must be between 15-60 seconds.
It’s also crucial to start your video with something that grabs people’s attention immediately. TikTok users have very little patience. So, if you don’t capture their attention within the first few seconds, they will scroll right past you to find another video.
Some ways to capture attention include starting the video with an intriguing question or a bold statement. It also never hurts to raise your voice. If you have a visually striking product, be sure to display that prominently right away.
Adding a popular background sound is also a good idea. You can easily add background music to your video in the app. People can discover videos by listening to a sound on the app. So, it never hurts to try to capitalize on the popularity of a hit song.
Finally, you want to make sure your video includes a clear call to action. If people made it to the end of your video, they’re clearly interested in your business. So, tell them what you would like them to do next, whether it’s to visit your website or give you a call.
What About Optimizing Video Captions or Hashtags?
I wouldn’t worry too much about the caption for your video. Captions aren’t very important because people generally don’t pay much attention to them. So, focus on putting all the important information in the video itself.
On the other hand, hashtags are extremely valuable on TikTok. People can favorite hashtags and look for ones that are relevant to them. And there’s no limit to how many hashtags you can use. So, use as many hashtags that make sense for your video as you can and be on the lookout for popular hashtags that would make sense for your business.
What Are Some Examples of the Best TikTok Small Businesses?
There are already countless examples of people achieving fame and notoriety from posting on TikTok. The same goes for small businesses on TikTok! TikTok users love to peek behind the curtain and see what small business owners do every day. And they appreciate businesses that are willing to provide value with simple tips.
One awesome example of this I saw recently was a beekeeper who got almost 60 million views on a video of her scooping bees with her hands. She just thought of it as something she did every day for her job. But TikTok users were amazed by it because it’s not something you see every day!
Think about what tasks you could show off at your own business. You never know what could go viral!
Another great example is a dentist who posts quick tip videos about oral hygiene. You wouldn’t think a dentist would go viral on TikTok, but she does by using the text overlay and music features to make fun educational clips that people love.
How Do You Create a TikTok Account for Your Business?
The process to create a TikTok business account couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
- Download the TikTok app to your mobile device.
- Set up a free business account.
- Choose the category that best fits your business.
- Create a video and get discovered.
TikTok guides you through these steps and makes the process extremely easy. You can get it done in seconds.
What About TikTok Ads? Should Small Businesses Be Using Them?
TikTok ads are worth the cost and effort because of the large and engaged audience on the app. TikTok has more than 600 billion active users, 90% of which use the app on a daily basis!
And it’s easy to speak directly to your target portion of that audience with the precise targeting TikTok provides. You can target by location, age, gender, languages, interests and more. You can also choose up to 20 keywords to target so that your ad will show up for people interested in those topics.
How Much Does TikTok Advertising Cost?
One drawback of TikTok ads is that they tend to be more expensive than ads for other social channels like Facebook or Instagram. Pricing begins at $10 per 1,000 views, and the platform requires that you spend at least $500 on a campaign.
While this may seem a bit pricey, you also get what you pay for as the targeting is much more precise than other platforms. You may also be able to take advantage of a discount on your first ad.
What One Piece of Advice Would You Give a Small Business on TikTok?
Don’t be afraid to post a lot because as long as you’re posting consistently, you’re almost guaranteed to start amassing a following. So, put yourself out there because you never know what could happen!
There’s also no penalty for playing around and trying different things. They’re not going to shadowban your account.
The energy is shifting toward platforms like this. So, put your energy there!
Thanks for Those Insights, Isabella!
We hope our interview with Isabella has opened your eyes to exciting new possibilities for your business on TikTok!
If you have more questions about using TikTok or other social channels for your business, please send them our way! You can email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Facebook.