We have all heard of the most recent baby on the social media block, TikTok. The app came into the market in 2016 and is known for its fun content such as dances, lip-sync, and comedy but has a lot of informative content too. You might have used the app yourself or interacted with its content on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, you name it.
But, apart from having fun and laughter on the app, have you ever thought of what it would do for your small business? Well, if you have not, you need to think about it, and here is why. According to data, TikTok is the fastest growing social media app in the market right now. The app has over 2.6 Billion downloads with 1 billion active users every month.
The app is mostly used by Generation Z but is rapidly spreading to the rest of the population and you can only imagine how big the app would get with time.
More and more businesses, from big to small are finding their way to TikTok and taking advantage of the marketing opportunity.
Using TikTok for business
If you are considering using TikTok to promote your business, opening an account for your business is the first thing you need to do. With TikTok, people want authenticity and fun, and anything that looks like a hard-selling advert does not do well on TikTok.
The best way is to check what other businesses are doing on TikTok and how they are ‘selling’ their brand. You can do that by simply searching for businesses you know for example from Instagram and seeing what they do.
What content are they creating? How are they interacting with people on the platform?
Promoting your small business
With TikTok, you can create or upload and edit short videos in the app accompanied by music.
TikTok allows you to create either a personal account or a business account. The business account is a little more limiting in terms of the music you can use in your video.
In the Bio, tell people what your business is all about and share your contacts – Email, phone number, Instagram Business page, or any other means they can use to find you or your products.
Unlike Instagram, TikTok does not have a shop option but you can do the following on the app to push your brand, your goods, or services.
1.Create and Share Fun and Engaging Content
As you create your content, be authentic, creative and make sure it’s fun and engaging.
Show yourself (the face behind the business), if you have a team, show your team. Bring people to experience your business by showing your business process in a fun, humorous way. This could be a video showing how you create your products, how you package your products or just daily fun activities in your ‘office’.
If you have a nail salon, for example, show the process of getting someone’s nails done with fun music in the background. Another idea would be, nail inspiration – showing types of nail work one can get done, etc.
If you are a clothes business, you could choose to create outfit inspiration content using your pieces.
Creating your own original content for your channel is a great way to grow your channel and reach your target audience without spending.
This is among the surest ways of promoting your business. Share videos of people using your products or experiencing your services. If someone is using your product, ask them to tag you in any video they share that has your products in it.
Another great USG content would be resharing those videos to your page.
This is a no-brainer, we all know social media goes hand in hand with hashtags. On TikTok, come up with a hashtag for your business and use it in all your videos. For example, if your bakery is Nel Bakes, you could come up with a simple hashtag that identifies with your business such as #NelBakes. You can use other hashtags related to your brand and your business industry. Disclaimer, don’t use too many hashtags.
Use popular and general hashtags that way, your content has a higher chance to be seen by a larger audience. However, make sure you balance between popular and general hashtags and specific and less popular hashtags. Specific and less popular hashtags help you reach your target audience but the potential number of people you will reach is smaller. Just make sure you combine and balance the hashtags.
Back to User Generated Content, ask your customers to use your hashtag when they are sharing a video displaying your products.
Hashtags are a great way to build your audience on TikTok.
4.Jump into trends
TikTok has a discovery page feature that shows you all the trending sounds, hashtags and challenges. This will give you inspiration for videos that you can adapt for your business. Jumping on these trends as early as possible will make it easy for you to reach people.
Importantly, do not jump into all trends, only adapt to trends that can help reflect what your small business is all about.
5.Collaborate with TikTok Infuencers
In the business world we are in right now, influencer marketing has become a great deal. Big brands recognize that and are using influencers, both macro, and micro to push their brands and their products. Think of it this way, how many times have you bought a product or used a service you were introduced to by an influencer? If it is more than once, that shows that influencer marketing works.
When looking for influencers, consider the numbers these TikTok content creators have. They do not have to be crazy numbers but how is their engagement with their audience? Their engagement is what sells.
Consider getting influencers who are in line with your business. Can they actually use and love your products or services? Can they speak and sell your products or services? For example, if you are a beauty business, look for people or someone who is passionate about promoting beauty products. In this scenario, it would be a great fit to use someone who creates beauty content and people can trust them with whatever they have to say about a beauty product or a beauty service.
Advertising on TikTok?
Instagram has Instagram Ads, Facebook has Facebook Ads and Google has Google Ads. Does TikTok have TikTok Ads? It does have TikTok Ads but the TikTok Ads Manager feature is not available in Africa yet apart from South Africa.
TikTok Ads Manager in the other regions operates just like Facebook Ads Manager. You can easily choose your goal, select your audience, set your budget, design your Ad and easily measure your ads performance.
Remember, the TikTok platform is not a platform for hard sales. Do not make the audience feel like you are selling to them hard. Create and share fun, authentic content that shows people that your business exists. Let them experience your business through your original content, User-generated content, and partnering with influencers.