How to Tell if Using TikTok is Right for Your Small Business

You're likely getting used to posting on Facebook to promote your small business, but what about TikTok?

While YouTube and Facebook still rank as the top social media platform by the sheer number of users, more small businesses are starting to leverage the growing popularity of TikTok and the platform's algorithm to launch their success.

Keeping Up with Social Media Trends

YouTube and Facebook remain to be the most popular in terms of users, according to social media trackers, with 81 percent and 69 percent, respectively, saying that they've used these platforms.

"Even as other platforms do not nearly match the overall reach of YouTube or Facebook, there are certain sites or apps, most notably Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, that have an especially strong following among young adults," points out a 2021 social media report by the Pew Research Center.

"In fact, a majority of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok."

Further, the survey showed that 71 percent of Snapchat users ages 18 to 29 say they use the app daily, including six-in-ten who say they do this multiple times a day.

"The pattern is similar for Instagram: 73 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site every day, with roughly half (53%) reporting they do so several times per day."

As of the third quarter of 2021, photo and video sharing app Snapchat had 306 million daily active users worldwide, according to Statistica.

In May, Snap announced Snapchat had reached 500 million monthly active users, marking the first time it had shared monthly user statistics, writes Salvador Rodriguez in a post for CNBC.

The Unwavering Power of Social Media

Social media has become a marketing "equalizer" for small businesses, which have smaller budgets to promote their products, services, and brand than their corporate counterparts, says Analiese Ross, CEO, and founder of AMR Digital Marketing, in an Insider post.

Using social media as a marketing tool "can really level the playing field for all the businesses, specifically all different sizes and income levels," she said in the article by Lauren Frias.

"You see like the big players on there — Nike, Coca-Cola — and then you see small businesses that have a fraction of the budget, but are actually doing way better on social," Ross says. "And that's like one of the very, I think, unique things about [digital marketing]. That really doesn't happen in any other area of marketing."

Why TikTok?

As of September 2021, TikTok was reporting 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, according to Statistica, representing a 45 percent growth compared to the previously reported 689 million monthly users in July 2020.

And given its demographics and algorithm, TikTok, in particular, could prove to be an excellent marketing tool if you're a business looking to reach a younger audience.

Plus, it's projected that almost 40 percent of the population will use the social video app by 2024, reports data from Emarketer.

"So, no matter your intended audience's age, TikTok could be the missing link in your small business marketing plan," says a post by Zen Business about social media trends.

TikTok gives small businesses a chance to grow their brand at an unprecedented pace with viral videos, the Insider article by Frias points out.

In the story, Frias shares how a viral TikTok video launched the new LA-based hard seltzer business started by Jeremy Kim and John Dalsey in late 2020.

"Seven months ago, we had zero customers and followers," Kim said in the July 2021 article. "Today we are in 100 stores self-distributed across California. We ship direct across the entire state of New York. We did this with no distributor, no publicist, no marketing budget."

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