Why Your Small Business Should Be Using Tik Tok Right Now

The TikTok social media platform now has 500 million users who are desperate for fun and exciting content, and this is a massive opportunity for you to promote your business.

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

The way I see it, Tik Tok is at the same stage that platforms like Facebook and Instagram were at 8 years ago. Before moving to a “pay to play” model, it was much easier to use those platforms to get the necessary traffic to your business.

To be successful with TikTok marketing you need to know how the platform works and how the users interact with each other.

TikTok appeals to a younger demographic and you really need to speak their language to be successful. This article will get you started with what you need to know about TikTok to create successful marketing campaigns.

Many businesses and organizations have already leveraged the TikTok
platform to get the word out.

What they have done isn’t rocket science and you can easily replicate their success.

Engagement with the TikTok user base is essential and this article will show you how to get started.

TikTok has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons. There was concern that the platform was not safe for youngsters to use.

The truth is that there was some dodgy content on TikTok but they’ve since cleaned up their act and removed a lot of videos that did not meet their community guidelines and terms of use.

This has not stopped TikTok experiencing incredible growth over the last two years. In the first half of 2018 it was the most downloaded free iOS app. TikTok was the most downloaded app on Google Play in October 2018 and overall it was the third most downloaded app in the world in November 2018.

In March of 2019 there had been over 1 billion installs of TikTok. There were 660 million downloads in 2018 and in the first quarter of 2019 there were 188 million. There are over 500 million active users of TikTok and 26.5 million of these are from the United States.

• There are more users of TikTok on Android than iOS
• At the moment the largest TikTok user base is in India, representing about 43%
• About 66% of TikTok users are younger than 30 years old
• The average time spent on the TikTok platform is 52 minutes
• There has been an increase of in-app purchases of 275% year over year
• 29% of the user base use TikTok every day
• Challenges work well — the #RaindropChallenge has more than 685 million views and the #TumbleweedChallenge created 8,000 videos and has more than 9 million views in a week
• For the #InMyFeelings challenge there are over 5 million videos on TikTok compared to 1.7 videos on Instagram

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is all about short videos. Users upload videos of around 15 seconds.

With the previous app Mucical.ly, users tended to upload videos of themselves lip-synching to popular music videos. The most talented of these people who uploaded videos turned into the biggest influencers of the Musical.ly platform.

It’s possible to upload videos of up to 60 seconds that share stories, but the majority of the videos on TikTok are 15 seconds or less.

The target audience for TikTok, and formally Musical.ly, are teenagers and those in their early twenties with an age range of 13 to 24 years old.

TikTok changed the variety of the videos uploaded on the platform since it has grown so much. Now you’ll find a lot more than lip-synced videos.

In fact there are many other videos on the platform than just music.

Now you can find comedians doing stand up, lots of prank videos, dancing videos, skateboarding videos, fashion and beauty videos and a lot more.

People with all kinds of talents are now uploading videos to TikTok. And now there are people uploading videos showing them using their favorite products.

Not all of the TikTok users create and upload videos of course. This is the same with YouTube and Instagram. A lot of users are just looking for entertaining content to make them happy.

There is no need for a TikTok user to follow anyone on the app. If they just want to find entertaining videos they can just use the Discover page and look for videos that they are interested in.

A TikTok user can search for videos using keywords or they can use specific hashtags.

A TikTok user can upload a video that they have shot of themselves or any other video that they have in their gallery. There are features in TikTok which can slow down or speed up videos and users can apply a number of different filters.

TikTok also has a “react” feature where users can shoot a video which includes their reaction to another video. A small window showing the user can be placed anywhere on the screen and this is a popular feature.

There is also a “duet” feature on TikTok where a user can create a video with one video next to another one. This feature was available in the previous Musical.ly app and was very popular so they decided to keep this — a smart move.

It is possible for users that upload videos to mark them as either “public”, “private” or “friends only”. TikTok provides a “for you” page which displays a feed of videos recommended for the user based on which videos the user has viewed before (similar to YouTube) using artificial intelligence.

Each TikTok user has a “saved” section in their profile which only they can see. Here they can add videos, sounds, filters and hashtags which they can refer back to any time that they want to do this.

Before we get started on registering a TikTok account and setting things up you should first conduct some research to see if TikTok is the right platform for your business.

• Are your target customers younger than 35 years old?
• Does your business target Generation Z and younger Millennials?
• Are your products visually appealing?
• Are you in the music business or an artist?
• Would you say that your brand is fun, casual and trendy?
• Does your brand have a “cool kid” vibe about it?
• Do you have the resources to post content regularly on TikTok?

Take a look at the type of brands that are using TikTok for marketing now. Does your brand suit the platform?

Now you have decided to use TikTok for your brand and marketing you’ll need to download the app and install it on your mobile device.

TikTok is available for Android and iOS devices.

To access your profile tap on the icon that looks like the outline of a person with the word “Me” underneath on the lower right of the screen. Make sure that you create an interesting bio for your business, as TikTok users will read this. Like with anything else, is should have some “pop” for them to want to follow you.

You can link your YouTube and Instagram accounts in your profile and I strongly recommend that you do this.

Take your time and write a compelling description. Add the most relevant hashtags here as well. It is really important that you make the description as engaging as possible. If you want other users to react to any of your videos using the “duet” feature then you can set this in your profile.

You’ll need to choose an image or video for your profile. I recommend that you choose a video here. After all this is a video platform.

When you’re completing your profile, think about the appeal that you’re creating. It can make all the difference between being discovered on the platform and not.

The next step is to find some related videos and start engaging with other TikTok users. Get used to navigating around the app which is pretty simple.

There are two main feeds with the TikTok app. The default feed creates the “For You” page that presents videos to you using AI technology. It is similar to how Instagram’s “Explore” page works.

When you watch a video on TikTok you will notice a series of icons to the right. The first icon will take you to the content creator’s profile if you tap on it. Then there is the heart icon for “liking” a video.

Then you have the comments icon and then an arrow pointing to the right which you can use to share “TikToks” on other social platforms.

Finally there is a spinning record icon that has musical notes coming out of it.

This tells you about the music that is playing in the video. When you click on it you can see the name of the track and the artist as well as a feed with other videos that use the same music or song.

If you find a video that you enjoy, tap on the ‘heart’ icon to “like” it as you would on Instagram or Facebook.

When you find related videos from users that have a good following, you should leave a comment as they will pick up on this.


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Single mom to 3 grown ups. Growing into my writing career and enjoying the progress. I write mostly about self discovery, self improvement and relationships.

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