3 Reasons Your Small Business Should Be on TikTok

The TikTok trend isn't letting up, and more small business owners are incorporating or looking at the social media platform as part of their branding and marketing strategy.  

So, what about your business?

Without investing lots of money in advertising, TikTok gives small business owners the chance to tap into the material that their target audience actually wants to see, says a post by the University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network.

The Numbers

The power of TikTok is in the numbers ‒ the platform reports more than a billion monthly active users worldwide and about 138 million monthly active users in the U.S.

Ninety percent of all TikTok users access the app daily, as of the July 2022 statistics released by Hootsuite and We Are Social. Sixty-eight percent of TikTok users watch someone else's video. 

Most users are female, and 60 percent of all users are between the ages of 16-24, and 26 percent are between the ages 25-44, says a post by Wallaroo Media.

"TikTok users love the app," writes Brandon Doyle, CEO, and co-founder of Utah-based Wallaroo Media, in the company's TikTok mid-August statistics blog. 

They spend a remarkable 95 minutes per day (more than 1.5 hours) on the platform on average, the blog adds.

The Potential

Although Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top 3 social media networks in terms of active users, TikTok has the advantage of having a higher probability of material going viral.

And, says Wallaroo's Doyle, engagement on TikTok keeps going up. "TikTok screen time per user is crushing its competitors – it's currently at 26 hours per month."

If you can create exciting content consistently, the TikTok algorithm will display your content to more and more people, just like on Instagram, explains the southeast Texas-based SBDC.

"What I like about TikTok is the potential for content to go viral regardless of how many followers you have," writes pastry chef and former investment banker Candace Nelson in a Wall Street Journal article.

"And when a video first goes live, it's usually shown to other users in the same geolocation to start, which is valuable for local brand awareness.

"That said, video views can vary widely even among creators with big followings, so you need to be willing to try, fail and try again."

More than Dancing

Although dance videos are still popular, TikTok content has grown, making it possible for more small businesses to participate.

The key to producing good TikTok content is to be authentic, creative, and mindful of the themes that are pertinent to your industry, audience, and target niche, says the SBDC post.

For example, a cake decorator could create short videos showing behind-the-scenes in their kitchen or tips for making the perfect icing.

By adding TikTok into your marketing tactics, you can strengthen brand awareness and messaging, emphasize product and service offers, and engage a growing and influential audience that could become lifetime customers, says the SBDC.

According to the 'We Are Social and Hootsuite' analysis, 87.3 percent of videos feature at least one hashtag. Therefore, using trending hashtags related to your business' products, services, or sector is a smart approach to draw in new clients.

Not a Sure Thing

Typically users on the discovery-based TikTok are scrolling their "For You" pages in search of entertainment.

"That means your videos will be competing for attention with other videos on that page," points out Nelson, co-founder of the cupcake bakery chain Sprinkles and co-founder of CN2 Ventures, in the WSJ article.

Overall, she says, TikTok has the potential to inject some fun and authenticity into your brand. But like any other content strategy on social media, it's certainly not a sure thing. 

"Think of it as a trip to Vegas: Don't spend more than you can lose, but have fun while you’re there."

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