I recently had the great opportunity to interview Becca Sawyer, the global head of SMBs at TikTok. Becca shared an amazing stat with me:
According to a recent report, among all of the major social media sites, the platform with the best word-of-mouth from fellow small business owners was TikTok.
Better than Facebook. Better than Instagram. Better than YouTube.
“It turned out that TikTok had the highest proportion of small business owners who planned to start or increase their digital marketing,” Sawyer said. “Because of the positive word-of-mouth from other small business owners who were sharing how effective the platform was for their own small businesses.”
When, apropos of nothing, your fellow small business owners tell you something is working, you tend to listen.
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Why does TikTok help small businesses?
There are a few reasons.
· Because videos on TikTok tend to be personal, small businesses are able to build relationships with viewers/customers. And especially these days, with all of the noise online, being able to be heard above the din and forge a bond with a customer is both rare and welcome.
· The very nature of TikTok is that it creates niche communities. This in turn allows small businesses to tap into their desired audiences much more easily than on other platforms
· Finally, small businesses are fairly easily discoverable on TikTok given that one of the main tools on the app is a search bar. If you are a restaurant in, say, Austin, there no doubt is a niche audience on TikTok searching for, yep, restaurants in Austin.
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Find new audiences and new shoppers
“Because TikTok is fun and easy to use, and also because it creates engagement, it is not difficult for small businesses to able to find new audiences with the app.”
When I asked Becca if there were any success secrets for making videos, getting found, and growing a small business brand on the platform, she gave us a few pointers.
Maybe most importantly, and not surprisingly, “authenticity is key.” Not only do consumers look for that these days, especially online generally, but on TikTok specifically people can spot a phony a mile away. Your job then as a small business is to create content that is unique, interesting, and – especially – authentic.
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How to make a great TikTok
But note: Your videos do not have to be The Greatest Video Ever. What users want to see is something fun, unique, and different. Your small business videos could be
· Behind the scenes footage
· Fun interviews with customers
· “Insider” product tips
How to grow your profile on TikTok
Of course, the other way to grow your profile on TikTok, aside from creating engaging, organic videos, is the same as on any other social media platform.
Advertising and marketing your business on the site with advertiser tools is pretty easy, and the stats show it is pretty effective too.
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How effective is TikTok for promoting a brand?
Well, according to TikTok’s stats, half of Gen Z TikTok users are likely to buy something while on the app, and “81% of users use TikTok to discover new products and brands.”
In addition, and not insignificantly, TikTok video ads are six times bigger than banner ads.
One thing I know is that two of the biggest pain points for small businesses are “not enough time” and “not enough money.” Maybe learning a new marketing tool falls into the former category for you. And maybe you are right.
But what if you are wrong?
What if a whole world of new customers are out there, on their phones right now, just waiting to discover a new business like, well, yours?