Let’s face it, TikTok is one of the biggest social media platforms now and is something that businesses may wish to get involved in. We’ve already seen small businesses succeed on this platform from tiny metaphysical shops to global pick ‘n’ mix shops to home-run candle companies. It can be daunting, however, looking in as a small business and wanting to get involved in the process. So, here are some tips and ideas to help you begin your TikTok adventure.
The most obvious first thing to do is to make videos showing off the team, especially those who will be using the platform the most. TikTok is all about authenticity and getting to build a rapport with those people you follow. Make a video introducing the team, maybe include a bit of company history and a bit of a tour of the workplace. Make it fun and high energy, and don’t forget to add a catchy tune.
Taking videos of orders getting packed has many benefits. Number one, free marketing for your product. You’re showing that people are buying and what they are getting allowing a look at what you actually provide. Number two, audience and customer interaction. The customer you’re packing the order forgets excited seeing that their order is on the way. It’s also just a fun interaction with the customer that makes them feel a little bit special. Finally, number three, your potential customers can get a sense of security watching you package products. As I said, TikTok is all about authenticity, and showing customers you are processing orders can help build trust in your business. We’re not unfamiliar with those videos of delivery drivers tossing parcels into their vans or employees doing the bare minimum. If you show that care goes into every parcel you pack, customers are much more likely to become repeat buyers.
I’ve seen so many small businesses thrive on TikTok by announcing a new product, a sale, or a contest on the app. You build up a buzz and may find people sharing the video across various platforms if they are interested in what you are providing.
‘Show off the designs of a new product and maybe offer one for free to a lucky viewer, you quickly build up some hype for your company,’ advises Francesca Gray, a business writer at Paper Fellows and UK Top Writers.
Keep it fun and light, remember this is a social platform and not a business focussed platform like LinkedIn.
The best thing about being a small business on TikTok is the desire for most users to shop local, especially as we all look to reduce our carbon footprints. Show off the local area and even shout out other local shops in the area.
Get involved in shopping local trends and look at what other companies are doing on the app to help promote this image. TikTok is actually an invaluable market research tool all things considered.
Followers want to feel special, they want to feel like they are part of your team in some way. One of the best ways to do this, share a discount code exclusively for those who follow you on TikTok. This may drum up some business as customers feel they can more easily afford the product and will encourage others to follow you in order to get a nice reward while increasing the size of your viewer base.
Give the customer a virtual tour of your working space showing off the shopfront if you have one and where it is that the work is done. Customers want to see where their purchases are coming from with the added bonus of being able to showcase what it is you do in a less intrusive way.
Mix in some fun with the staff, maybe get the more charismatic ones to do the tour, and you’ll be surprised how much people start getting excited about your product as they start to feel like one of the family.
When done right, TikTok is a dream for showing off your products. The thing to avoid is being too cheesy and fake. Again remember, TikTok loves authenticity. If you have a staff member that’s passionate about one of your products ask them to talk about it and explain why they love it. You can build in some subtle how-to videos if needed and you also give the potential customer a chance to see what they can get and why they should buy from you.
TikTok is not really a business platform, it’s an app focused on fun sketches, lip-syncing, dances, and trends. If you simply do only business-related videos, you’re essentially creating a YouTube channel or basic adverts. Play around and have some fun with your staff members. I’ve seen some businesses do “Things I’ve heard working at…” sketches that really launch them into a new level of popularity and still others have a dedicated TikTok and social media team that looks into what is popular on the platform at the time.
This brings me to my final bit of advice, do your research and put time and effort into this. Again, this may be where you want to have a dedicated team looking into this. TikTok trends are a big part of the platform, whether it’s a new dance or a viral sound bite that everyone is using. A popular recent example of this would be the success of Encanto and the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” which swept the platform with many users lip-syncing, writing their own versions, and using it as background music for their videos. If you do your research and take time to plan out videos using the trends you see then you’ll find that people may stumble upon you through your participation.
Remember though, that this is a social media platform and trends can change quickly. Keep an eye on trends and while you should plan what to do, don’t take too long to create a video that misses that viral uptick.
Look at what other companies on the app are doing, especially those in a similar market to you. I said before, that TikTok can be a valuable market research tool. Look at your competition and see what you can do to show your own flair compared to them, get ideas from these companies of videos you can do, and please keep it friendly. No one wants to go on TikTok and see two companies taking digs at each other.
Getting started on TikTok as a small business doesn’t need to be difficult or daunting. Take time to do research, think about what it is you would want to see from a company on the platform and above all else stay authentic. Show off your products, make viewers feel a connection to your team, and throw in the odd bit of fun and you may just find that your company flourishes.