Is TikTok Right for My Small Business?
By Andrew Hall, Copywriting Intern
In the history of advertising, brands have marketed their business in a variety of mediums such as…
- Television commercials
- Product placement
- Social media
Depending on the era, brands would have the most “eyeballs” and attention on certain platforms. In the early pre-digital age (1700s-1900), brands could only advertise exclusively in print and outdoor ads. The first newspaper advertisement was released in 1704 in the Boston News-Letter for a piece of real estate on Long Island while the first billboard advertisement was in 1830 for a circus. At the time, newspapers and billboards were pretty much where all the attention was. It was the optimal way to capture the attention of new customers.
Nowadays, consumers spend the vast majority of their attention on social media. Over the past decade-plus, the rise of social media has changed the landscape of marketing. Social media allows brands to…
- Digitally market to their niche community
- Discover new customers
- Create unique content
Most brands are already aware of the power and potency of social media marketing. According to Hubspot, roughly 75% of companies have an Instagram account while 93% of businesses have a Facebook page. But now, a new social media platform has entered the room … introducing TikTok.
You’re probably already familiar with TikTok and how it’s taken the social media world by storm over the past couple of years. Initially, the platform was mostly just a dancing app for 13-year- olds. But now, TikTok is revolutionizing the digital marketing space and how brands communicate with their customers. With over 138 million active users in the United States alone, the power of short-form video cannot be underestimated.
To understand its impact, let’s flashback to 2012. Originally created in 2004 and opened to the public in 2006, Facebook was a Silicon Valley Unicorn. In 2012, Facebook just went public on the stock market, and brands were trying to figure out what to do with the platform. Check out this list from Business Insider of the top 20 businesses on Facebook.
Now, it may just be a coincidence, but almost all of the brands on that list are still titans in their respective industries. But with platforms like Facebook and Instagram becoming
oversaturated, it’s much harder to build a loyal and large following on those platforms than it was in the early days.
Across the digital media landscape, the competition for attention is fierce, and it is much tougher to get eyeballs on your brand than it used to be. That’s why it’s important for brands to pounce on new platforms where new marketing opportunities arise … such as TikTok.
If you’re still not convinced about using Tiktok for your small business, here’s some data to back it up…
- 62% of Gen Z and 41% of millennials use TikTok
- Users spend an average of 1.5 hours per day on TikTok
- Short-form video has the highest ROI of all digital media platforms
- Small businesses are easily discoverable on Tiktok because of its easy-to-use search bar\
- For example, if you search “restaurants in Madison”, there is a very high likelihood you might show up since not many restaurants in Madison are using TikTok (yet)
What You Should Post on TikTok
Now that you know why you should be posting on TikTok, let’s cover what you should be posting.
Promote Company Culture
One underrated aspect of brand building is emphasizing your company’s culture. Customers absolutely love to see the behind-of-the-scenes of how companies work, and it’s one of the easiest ways to interact with your audience. Suggestions include…
- A tour of your officeAsk one question to each employee and splice their answers together
- A unique part of your company culture
- Example: At Tingalls, we team build through fun things like playing Spoons. Or, once a year we host a Vision Board Board Workshop, where community members create a poster with magazine cut-outs about their goals, values, and things they want to do.
Promoting your company culture may also appeal to young talent who could potentially work for your company. Short-form videos can be used as a recruiting tool as well!
Showcase your work
Whether it’s a landscaping crew that finished a cool project or a restaurant that wants to
showcase the daily special, the world deserves to see your beauty, hard work, and all the cool things you’re building.
One of the best ways to attract new customers is to provide value to your customers. When your brand provides free value, customers become attracted to your brand because you’re helping them on their journey. For example… if you’re a landscape company, create a video titled, “3 products to help grow thicker, fuller grass”
Promote the Fun Stuff
Show your customers your “brand personality” with how-to videos, day in the life, behind the scenes of an event, and interview customers.
How to be Successful on TikTok
First, to ensure success, you not only have to engage your audience, you need to also reply when they comment as well. Just like all other social media platforms, it’s all about listening and reacting. Second, the key to strong brands on social channels is authenticity. Don’t change your brand’s personality just because of a new social media platform … instead, expand and iterate from other marketing efforts and campaigns. Don’t be afraid to be a trendsetter. Take risks and be creative – that’s the only way your brand will differentiate itself. Have your videos be unique, fun, and different. Above all, TikTok is just another way to tell the story of your brand. And storytelling is what marketing is all about.