Small Businesses Leverage TikTok: Should You?

Keeping up with social media can seem impossible. Just as you build a profile on one platform, another site becomes the new “hottest” trend. After you finally post your first Instagram photo, you hear about the latest site, where everyone in the know posts, chats, and spends.

Trying to keep up is dizzying.

It’s best for most businesses to stick with well-established social media sites. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are obvious. Instagram is still a popular choice.

But what about TikTok?

As of 2020, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform. While it certainly has its challenges and controversies, businesses can leverage TikTok to increase brand awareness, engage with potential customers, and drive sales.

Every platform is different, so if you’re going to use TikTok, you need to know how to approach this site. But first, businesses need to understand why they should adopt TikTok in the first place…

Why use TikTok?

TikTok is a social media site for watching and sharing short videos. Users can only share and watch videos; there is no written content and all videos are short. The exact time limit has varied, but videos and clips are currently limited to ten minutes. The content is light and entertaining, generally focusing on humor. Dancing, pranks and “watch me do this” videos are common on TikTok.

The site is useful for various reasons. Currently, it’s seen as something of a haven for young social media users who feel that Facebook and Twitter are overloaded with serious, adult-centric content. This makes it a prime location for fashion, retail, or food and beverage businesses that want to target this demographic.

TikTok has a high level of engagement, with users spending around 11 minutes per session on the site according to Statista. This exceeds Pinterest (just over 5 minutes), Facebook (less than 5 minutes), Twitter (3.5) and Instagram (less than 3).

It can even boost sales. 67% of users say TikTok content made them buy a product or service, even if they had no intention of doing so. In other words, they had no intention of buying anything, but they did.

How to use TikTok?

Every platform is different, but some general rules apply to all social media, including TikTok. First, you need to keep social media posts light and engaging. There is a time and a place for tough pitches on TikTok, but most users just want to be entertained. (The trick, of course, is to entertain while advertising, but that’s another conversation!)

Try to create good content that is not too sales oriented. TikTok users don’t want to shop, they want to watch. Create entertaining videos and remember that video quality (graphics, video clarity, etc.) is not important on the site. Users know they are watching home videos, not a clean Hollywood blockbuster.

If the video is funny, even if it’s grainy or flimsy, users will respond positively. Use it as an opportunity to show the light side of your brand and you’ll get better results.

Tom Quinn is Head of Growth Marketing at Snagajob.

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