Written by Adam Baskill.
Should your business use TikTok?
It’s a question that hangs around like a stubborn cold: should my small business be on TikTok? The answer, unfortunately, doesn’t offer a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Whilst being an undeniable social juggernaut, the platform can be polarising when it comes to businesses.
TikTok can undoubtedly be a great place for businesses to attract new and unexpected audiences, although, I once heard it described as ‘Snapchat but with not as many nudes’. If you know, you know.
The platform is widely regarded as the go-to procrastination tool for those searching for a fix of what we like to call a ‘distraction high’. A high that can prove difficult for some businesses to provide without appearing disingenuous or awkward.
Shall we address the elephant in the room? TikTok, contrary to popular belief, is not just an app for teenagers. Let’s take a look at the broader picture:
September 2021 Age Groups Share (source: Backlinko)
- 10-19: 25%
- 20-29: 22.4%
- 30-39: 21.7%
- 40-49: 20.3%
- 50+: 11%
You got it, there’s a chance that even your grandparents are scrolling their way through a plethora of scantily clad dancers and talking dog videos.
From these statistics, it appears that TikTok is indeed dominated by teenagers. That being said, when you consider the vast audience size on the platform, there’s an overwhelming amount of older users following closely behind. Clearly, there’s scope for businesses to reach a wide variety of audiences.
It can be tempting then, to jump headfirst into producing videos to piggyback on the virality of current trends. There are, however, several key considerations that you should take into account before sticking your mug in front of your phone’s camera. Spend some time researching your current audiences and find those that overlap with TikTok. Find a niche that’s relevant to your business and resonates with your audience, with a little luck you may find other subgroups and audiences gravitate towards your content organically.
Personality is key. Don’t be a dick.
Nobody wants to see your CEO twerk to ‘Milkshake’ in an attempt to sell accountancy services to small business owners. It’s just not sexy. If you’re particularly shy, there are formats you can consider when creating your content. TikTok has a variety of editing tools and filters making it a breeze for creating voice-over videos and the like. Spend time scrolling yourself, take note of video formats that you/your business can produce genuinely and effectively.
Entertain your audience.
If you spend 5 minutes scrolling through the ‘for you’ feed, you’ll notice that beyond a doubt, the primary objective of most videos is to entertain and/or inform. If your business can strategise a way to inform whilst entertaining, you may very well stumble upon a viral hit. Maybe your line manager opens their banana from the bottom, or your CEO removes their pizza toppings to eat them separately from the dough…(certainly and most definitely not something we’ve discovered within our team here at Altitude…). These quirks are a great way to promote your culture whilst providing some form of value to your audience. It doesn’t all have to be bottle flip and ‘man fits 36 chicken nuggets up his nose’ videos.
There is certainly a place for informative how-tos, reviews, tips and tricks and similar videos on TikTok…Find ways to communicate your brand’s value in a format that resonates with your audiences. Keep it short and don’t try too hard.
Unleash your inner sleuth and delve into the digital realm of your competitors, take note of what works and what doesn’t. Look at their vanity metrics (likes, shares, comments, followers etc) and categorise which videos perform best. Can you take inspiration from them without directly imitating them?
Having a clear idea of your key objectives will aid in the curating of suitable and effective content on TikTok. It’ll also help you to determine what kind of account you’ll require, business or otherwise. If you’re unsure or want to keep things simple, dip your toes into a standard creator account. If you’re wanting to run TikTok Ads and/or use the platform as one of your primary forms of marketing, create a business account that will give you access to vital analytics and insights.
If it flops, cry a little, then move on.
Not every piece of content you create will be a hit, chances are none of them will be. Don’t be butt hurt if your content flops. Learn from it, adapt and push forwards with something new.
The digital world of social media moves at an excessively fast pace, don’t linger too long on mistakes. Keep your finger on the pulse and focus your energy on creating something bigger and better. After you’ve had a five-minute teary meltdown in the staff toilets after someone comments “I gnawed my own leg off out of boredom watching this” on your latest video, shake yourself off and get back to the grind.
The key takeaway.
TikTok is huge. Like really bloody huge. Not every business is suited to the culture that lives on this platform, however, It can be a great way to add a new dimension to your marketing strategy. Remember, you’ll stand out like a turd in a fruit bowl if you try too hard to fit in.
If TikTok makes your palms sweaty or keeps you tossing and turning at night, our lovely, friendly, honest, creative, collaborative and highly trained team (they made me write that) will be happy to help! Call us, email us or send a carrier pigeon. Or whatever suits. Perhaps you could stand outside our office with a boombox playing Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ to get our attention? There’s a TikTok idea right there! That one’s free.
Contact us HERE.