Small Businesses are Leveraging TikTok: Should You?

Keeping up with social media can seem impossible. Just as you’re establishing a profile on one platform, another site becomes the new “hottest” trend. After finally posting your first Instagram photo, you hear about the latest site, the one where all in-the-know people are posting, chatting, and spending.

Trying to keep up is dizzying.

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

But what about TikTok?

Since 2020, TikTok has been the fastest-rising social media platform. While it certainly has its challenges and controversies, businesses can leverage TikTok to increase awareness, engage with potential customers, and drive sales.

Each platform is different, so if you are 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 kept to a short length. The exact time limit has varied, but videos and clips are currently limited to ten minutes. The content is light and entertaining, usually focusing on humor. Dance, pranks, and “watch-me-do-this” videos are common on TikTok.

The site is useful for a variety of reasons. Currently, it’s seen as a sort of refuge for younger social media users who feel that Facebook and Twitter are overcrowded with serious, adult-centered content. This makes it a prime location for fashion, retail, or food-and-beverage companies who 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 outpaces Pinterest (just over 5 minutes), Facebook (under 5 minutes), Twitter (3.5), and Instagram (under 3).

It can even drive sales. 67% of users say that content on TikTok inspired them to purchase a product or service, even when they were not intending to do so. In other words, they didn’t set out to buy something, but they did.

How To Use TikTok?

Each platform is different, but some general rules apply to all social media, including TikTok. First of all, you should keep social media posts light and engaging. There is a time and place for hard pitches on TikTok, but most users simply 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 overly focused on sales. TikTok users don’t want to shop, they want to watch. Create entertaining videos, and remember that video quality (the graphics, video clarity, etc.) is not important on the site. Users know they are watching homemade videos, not a crisp Hollywood blockbuster.

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

Here are some fundamental practices for TikTok videos:

  • TikTok videos are informal. Be direct and to the point, but don’t worry about dressing it up. Your everyday clothing and office are just fine (in fact, they are ideal) for a TikTok video.

  • Music is an important part of TikTok. Embed your videos with music to make them more interesting and engaging. The only issue here is to not drown out important audio.

  • Remember to format properly. TikTok videos are vertical, not horizontal. If you post a horizontal video, it will be framed with giant black bars above and below.

  • You can make money directly off of TikTok. TikTok and Shopify have combined to provide an in-app e-commerce platform. This lets brands sell products directly on the site, which could become an important revenue stream for your business.

Improve Your Business with Talent from Snagajob!

Create your profile and you’ll find support no matter what your industry. We also have tools for interviewing and hiring, making the process easier than ever. Create your profile and let’s get started today!

Tom Quinn |
Tom (he/him) is a growth marketing manager at Snagajob helping small businesses find hourly workers.