To Tiktok for business, or not to Tiktok for business, that is the question?
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Alan Watts
As an entrepreneur, you are a risk-taker.
You throw absolute caution to the wind. You’re prone to flying by the seat of your pants to start a new venture or when scaling the venture you once risked it all for. Although you’re a risk-taker, there’s one element of business that’s a stop-gate. It’s the one that seems to be a hurdle for most entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Yeah, I just felt your body lock up like a rock.
It’s likely you’re familiar with all of these platforms. I’d bet that you’ve had some level of disdain toward them since first learning about them. You’ve probably had thoughts like, “It’s hard enough to run a business, now I have to be on another social platform?” The ever-popular, “I don’t have time and don’t see the point,” may also have crossed your mind.
To which I say, “Okay, boomer business owner.”
Many successful businesses have existed without the use of social media. The difference is, most of those brands were fully established and worth millions to billions. It was far easier for them to put minimal effort into social media platforms and still dominate, seemingly overnight.
So, what about smaller brands, newer brands, or brands without a million-dollar or even six-figure marketing budget?
Do I use TikTok for business?
You may or may not have heard about this newer social media platform, TikTok. You may know but haven’t put any effort into learning about it.
“…it would be a mistake to discount emerging platforms like TikTok. As one of the quickest growing social media applications in the world with over 1.5 billion downloads.on the App Store and Google Play, this is not only where the action is but where the opportunities are. Ladies and gentlemen of the business community, it’s time to TikTok.” Forbes
As the CEO of a full-service marketing agency, I could be shooting myself in the foot here, but TikTok is by far the only platform that I and my team have ever been excited about. The implications of using TikTok for business and brand awareness are, frankly, thrilling!
And no, this isn’t just an app where people are dancing and enjoying music, as you might have heard. It’s way more than just that.
You may be thinking, “What makes this social media platform so great?” And, why on earth would I use TikTok for business?
To put it simply, TikTok can supersede the goals of reaching TOMA (top of mind awareness) and help you achieve brand domination.
Brands Killing it on TikTok in 2020
As a business owner, you dream of having your town, your state, the nation, and even the world knowing and talking about your brand. It’s what drives any marketing campaign.
For example, you spend time and money investing in a multitude of marketing strategies. You’re praying that something goes viral! You’re looking for sales to come in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, leading to early retirement and a vacation home in Bali. Seems like a pipe dream, right?
Well, TikTok is making this a reality.
3 Ways TikTok’s Platform is Radically Different Than Every Other Social Media Platform
1. ForYou Page
As a TikTok user, you will have a ForYou page that is designed only for you. No ForYou Page looks the same. The content you are served on this page will be all things you are interested in with a dabble of new content to see if you have an interest.
The content doesn’t have come from people you are already connected to, in fact, most of it is not. Therefore, you can effortlessly consume videos in 15 – 60 seconds that you otherwise may have never known existed.
By comparison, on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram home pages, you see the same people, saying the same stuff. It never breaks you out of the circle you are in. You have to do that.
On the converse, your TikTok ForYou page is like getting in a rocket ship and being able to visit the entire universe. You don’t need to know how and where to find people you want to connect with or content you find interesting, valuable, or just plain entertaining. TikTok will lead you there naturally.
A bountiful harvest …
For instance, if you love to garden, you are going to be served up thousands of people who are first-time gardeners, experienced gardeners, people making fun of gardening, or folks teaching about gardening.
If you own a company that sells gardening products, without paying for an ad, your content can and will be served up, directly to your target market: users who love gardening. Are you starting to follow how TikTok for business can be so valuable?
This is one of the biggest differentiators to all the other platforms. No longer do you have to wait for one of your friends who reposts something from a user you may not be familiar with. Instead, you are organically catapulted into new circles and can find new content and new users at lightning speed.
2. The Power of Hashtags On TikTok
Hashtags have never meant so much.
Hashtags are what drive your customized ForYou page. They ensure you are served up with the precise videos you want to see. The AI algorithm technology TikTok uses connects you with content that it knows you like without having to search for it.
Now, let’s take it up a notch.
Hashtags are now being sponsored by corporations on TikTok. That’s right – businesses can basically buy a hashtag and it’s an insanely effective advertising campaign strategy. Brands that previously may never had a chance to make a dent are now reaching new buyers.
Take, for example, Scotts Lawn. Scotts specializes in products that make your grass green, healthy and weed-free
Boring, right? Not necessarily and not anymore!
Scotts sponsored the hashtag, #DoTheScotts, and to kick off the campaign they hired six influencers to use custom audio with a #DoTheScotts lawnmower dance.
The six influencers launched the #DoTheScotts Challenge. Effectively, there have been thousands of other users who used that same audio to create their own video, also doing the #DoTheScotts lawnmower dance.
These videos have been seen over 2.2 BILLION times. I don’t care what business you are in or what products, goods, or services you sell. Having your brand name viewed in a couple of days over 2.2 billion times is reaching more buyers than you could ever imagine. TikTok for business made people, young and old, dance and sing about lawn care products. The brand recall from the campaign will no doubt have an impact on sales for several quarters. That’s what we call winning.
3. Philanthropy On TikTok
TikTok incorporated a philanthropic feature, totally separating itself from any other platform. And to say it’s working would be an understatement.
In May, Gary Vaynerchuck went live on TikTok for 12 hours and raised $2.3 MILLION dollars for the non-profit organization, Meals on Wheels.
Photo Credit: The Next Web
Meals on Wheels would have spent the better part of a year event planning for fundraisers, soliciting large donations, and taking time to submit grant proposals.
In 2019, the grants and contributions for Meals on Wheels totaled $9.3 million. This year, thanks to TikTok’s philanthropic feature, they’ve raised approximately ¼ of their yearly funds in just 12 hours.
Your Favorite Charity Can Participate!
TikTok makes it easy for any content creator to select a charity to support. Content creators can add a sticker-like button to pre-recorded videos, or when they go live, allowing viewers to donate right through the app.
TikTok has radically changed the landscape, providing a turn-key method of raising money for charities by capitalizing on influencers, everyday content creators, and crowdsourcing funds.
Even if users don’t donate it makes them feel warm and fuzzy, knowing they spend so much time on an app that stands for great causes.
Here’s what we know to be true about TikTok.
- has a high viral probability
- has an insanely high engagement rate
- is disrupting & affecting real life, not just digital (I’ll explain more on this in a bit)
- Downloads: 1.5 Billion
- Active users: 800,000,000
- Daily users: 400,000,000
- Average daily usage per user: 52 minutes
- 90% of viewers access TikTok daily
- 68% of viewers only consume content while 55% upload content
- 41% of users are between 16-24
- 1 billion videos are viewed daily
- Most downloaded app on the Apple App Store
Affecting Real Life
The numbers are irrefutably incredible, but this phenomenon isn’t just a digital one. Incredibly, it’s transferring to the real world.
If I said, “Carole Baskin” what would you say?
In all honesty, probably nothing if you weren’t on TikTok. But if you were, the reply to this name would be as well known as playing the game Marco, Polo.
“Killed her husband, whacked him.”
“Can’t convince me that it didn’t happen.”
As morbid as that sounds, and it is, the #CaroleBaskinChallenge went viral on TikTok and those lyrics have been used in over 1 million videos.
Netflix took the win of this seemingly, out of the blue, TikTok trend because it was based on their documentary, Tiger King.
But it didn’t stop there.
@snp928When you’re bored in a grocery store .. ##carolebaskin ##whackedhim ##grocerystores ##tigerking ?♬ original sound – spilat928
The #CaroleBaskinChallenge then expanded into a sort of “test” that content creators would do in public.
They weren’t dancing, they weren’t using the Carole Baskin audio, they were literally in a store, say Walmart, filming themselves just saying “Carole Baskin” and waiting to see if anyone in the store that heard it, would reply with the rest of the song. And. They. Did.
That would be akin to you hearing someone from another grocery aisle saying the Alka Seltzer slogan, “Plop Plop, Fiz Fiz” and you replying back with “Oh what a relief it is.” But Alka Seltzer didn’t go viral on TikTok and is somewhat of a forgotten brand these days.
One can only hope that your brand would trend so quickly, reaching more people than a super bowl commercial ever could and staying top of the mind longer than 24 hours.
So many songs, dances, tips & tricks are shared in unique ways on TikTok, it just sticks with you. You begin to see and hear things in the real world that trigger content from TikTok. That’s a huge win for the platform itself and content creators capitalizing on its power.
TikTok is a Force NOT To Be Taken Lightly
As Alan Watts once said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
TikTok may just be the equalizer for the playing field of business.
No longer do you need to have a 6-7 figure budget to gain followers and clients. There is a tremendous likelihood that one or more of your videos, promoting whatever it is that you are selling, will go viral.
This is a digital playground worth sinking your time into. I advise learning how you can use the platform in a way that educates, informs, promotes & sells your product or service.
Bored in the house!
There is a caveat; your content can’t be boring.
TikTok users have an expectation of “wow” videos.
TikTok is stretching business owners to serve up valuable and entertainment-filled content that captivates, stands out, and is unique.
It’s time you dove into TikTok and experience this first hand. You can start as a lurking user, just consuming information, seeing what’s working, and learning how the app works.
To expedite your learning curve here are a few users to follow on TikTok. They are experts on the app, its algorithms, and using this app for business.
In no particular order…
You can also search for the hashtags
That should be enough to get you started.
The key is…JUST GET STARTED.
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