Discussion – 


Discussion – 


TikTok Survival Guide for Small Business

Are you looking for a place to promote your small business where people will actually see it? Sure Facebook may feel more comfortable to you because it’s familiar, but it’s time to crack the code to marketing on TikTok.

If you just thought “TikTok isn’t for me… it’s [fill in the blank with a million thoughts]”, this is the exact article you need to read. TikTok for small businesses is one of the biggest opportunities you can take advantage of as a business owner right now.

TikTok is for you, and right now it’s the social media platform that has the most opportunity for promoting your small business. We’ll walk you through why TikTok is the next frontier and give you a step-by-step survival guide to get started and succeed.

TikTok in a Nutshell

The bottom line is that TikTok is an app where people share videos. The videos are “short-form videos” which means they’re only up to 3 minutes long, so it’s all about shorter videos that are punchy that typically focus on a single idea. 

As of the writing of this article, it has more than 1 billion users (with a “b”) who are active each month. TikTok rose to popularity for a few reasons. One of the biggest was because the app partnered with celebrities to promote it, which helped it grow rapidly. But that isn’t all: TikTok focused on making their app super simple to use, so users can jump in and make and watch video content instantly.

Why TikTok is Important

There are a few key factors that set TikTok apart from other social media platforms at the moment. And with more than 80% of small business owners relying on social media as part of their marketing efforts, you need to take TikTok seriously. 

It’s Surprisingly Local

Even though TikTok has users all over the world, it still has a large focus on local content. Within the app, there are local challenges (remember the ice bucket?) and contests that take place within a local area. When you create local content by getting in on some of the campaigns that TikTok runs, you can easily get local exposure. 

The app also uses hashtags– phrases or words that have a pound sign in front of them (#tiktok for example). This is like a digital label that tells apps and people what the content is about.  

When a hashtag gets a lot of usages, it is known as “trending”, showing that it is growing in popularity. TikTok is extremely valuable because it uses local hashtags. This means that you can see what people around you are discussing and if you make content centered around the topic/hashtag you are much more likely to be seen. This can help you become locally known in a way that would be challenging to do on other social media platforms.

It’s Still Young But Growing

It could be argued that many (or all) of the social media platforms are saturated, making it incredibly tough to stand out. Believe it or not, TikTok is still considered “young” as a social media platform. It’s still growing, and the number of small businesses that have figured out how to use the platform is staggeringly low. 

You have an opportunity to get in and begin building your presence now. We’re in what will be referred to as the “golden age” of TikTok, and you still have a chance to benefit from that.

You Don’t Have to Pay to be Seen

Something else that’s very important about TikTok: while many other platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) require you to pay to have your content shown to its fullest potential, TikTok (as of now) is still very organic. That means that it shows content more freely than other platforms without having to pay. If users like your content, it can potentially reach a massive audience at no cost– this is not common on social media platforms. 

TikTok does allow for paid advertising in the TikTok ad manager, but that hasn’t fully taken over yet. Get in now while you can still reach as many people as possible without paying a fee.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Started

We’re going to walk you through each step of getting your own TikTok account started. 

Step 1 – Sign Up

You’ll need to download the TikTok app to get started. You can do this easily in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. Once you’ve installed the app, you have to sign up using an email (we recommend using a business email you have easy access to). 

During this phase, you’ll also have to choose a username. You can choose your business name such as ‘BillsAutoShop’, but the platform is fairly relaxed. This means that you can also choose something a bit more fun that points more to what you do (rather than who you are): something like ‘MrCarFixer’. It’s up to you. 

Once you get into the app, click the little icon of the blank head on the bottom right corner, and choose ‘Edit Profile.’ Add a photo or picture, and write a short bio that explains what your business is best at.

Step 2 – Explore the Feed

When you first log in, the video feed will show up. You can always get to it by tapping the ‘Home’ icon. Since you’re brand new to the app, it doesn’t know what to show you. Spend some time scrolling through the video feed and click and comment on videos that you want to see more of. Once you start doing this, TikTok will know what sorts of videos you’re interested in and put more of those kinds of videos in your feed. 

Exploring the feed will also start to give you a sense of what kind of content is on TikTok and get you familiar with using the app. 

Step 3 – Search for Relevant Videos

You can also search for specific videos that would be related to your business. There’s a little magnifying glass on the bottom left of the app. Click on that, and you can search by hashtags, topics, or even other usernames. Take a look at what some others are doing, and don’t be afraid to try what’s working for them.

TikTok for Small Business… Now What?

Okay, so you have the TikTok app, you’ve started exploring the TikTok community, but what’s next as you become a citizen of TikTok world? Well, this is a strategy specifically focusing on TikTok for business, so… it’s time to start posting videos.

Here are some quick tips:

  • You have 60 seconds max, keep that in mind
  • Know (at least roughly) what you want to say before you start recording
  • Take a look at the recording page, and just mess with it. There are a lot of features.
  • You can record your video in pieces and TikTok will put it together for you
  • Take a look at local trends and see if there are any hashtags that fit your business
  • You’ll get better as you do more videos, don’t beat yourself up
  • This is a process and will take time to start gaining traction
  • Try to do a video every day if you can


Do You Need a Social Media Manager?

If you’re interested in learning more about how TikTok can help your small business, let’s talk. We can share some success stories and help you get a handle on your marketing strategy during one of our free consultations. Do you need a social media manager? If you want someone to help you manage your social media or someone to take the reigns entirely, we can definitely help. 

Join us for a free social media marketing consultation today and let’s talk about getting your small business marketing to the next level.


Tim Kearney

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