If you have a teenager in your life, chances are you have been hearing about TikTok endlessly, and possibly wondering why they love it so much. TikTok is packed with entertainment, but there are plenty of educational videos to be found as well. Business coaches, marketing experts, property agents, financial advisers … I’ve seen all of these (and am subscribed to quite a few). Equally as awesome are the recipes I’ve picked up from chefs, cake decorating tips that make me want to create a tiered cake this weekend, tips on how to give my cat her medicine or tutorials from dancers about how to do particular moves in popular TikTok dances (yes, that’s a thing … you’ll see).
On the surface it’s not what most would consider to be a useful business tool, but if you approach it the right way, it could be the best social media platform you use this year. When I finally caved and let my teenager show me her favourite TikTok videos, I instantly realised that this would be a great platform to use for my craft supply business. Other businesses might not see it quite as quickly as I did, so here are my 5 top reasons why your business should take a closer look at TikTok.
The TikTok app has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times from the App Store and Google Play, and has over 800 million regular users worldwide. That’s a lot of people scrolling through this app, just waiting to see your content! It’s not just the size of the audience, but the amount of time that is spent on TikTok is remarkable. On average in 2019, over 1 billion videos were viewed every single day. With 90% of users accessing TikTok on a daily basis, on average for almost an hour each day, you can see that this is a well populated platform. Tapping into a tiny portion of that audience is an opportunity that you could be missing.
There are options to let TikTok know what you do and definitely do not like. When I first joined and started using the search and not-interested features, I found that TikTok was showing me content that I really enjoyed within 30 minutes. It’s super intuitive! This means that your content is going to be shown to people who are already interested in your subject matter. You can use hashtags to increase your reach, so more people see your videos.
Videos are capped at 1 minute, so it’s a fast moving platform. The first few seconds of your video and / or your title or text overlay need to grab the viewer’s attention fast, or they will scroll away. The up-side to this fast format is that if someone loves your video content, it’s easy for them to binge watch a large portion of your channel in a short space of time. And the more they watch your videos in their entirety, the more likely it is that TikTok will show them your new content, even if they’re not following you.
More than any other platform, I find TikTok to be a place where people are unapologetically themselves. I feel like I really know some of these people, and love that there’s an opportunity to connect with them. I love that people ask me questions about my videos, and especially enjoy going live and having great conversations.
TikTok’s largest demographic is 16-24, but the number of adults using TikTok is growing rapidly (in the US the number of adult users grew 5.5 times in only 18 months). Regardless of age, there’s an exciting youthfulness about the people who use TikTok. This is not the place for boring lectures, unenthusiastic presentations or yawn-inducing infomercials. TikTok is all about fun, emotion, enthusiasm and authenticity. If you want to reach a Gen Z or Millennial audience, this is the place to do it, and if Gen X are more your target, that demographic is part of that growing adult audience.
Sure, you might need to find a fresh way to create content that is going to grab people’s attention. The best way to figure it out is to spend some time on the platform and get a feeling of how it works, what people like and learning TikTok etiquette. Start thinking about how you can break down some of your existing blog posts, long tutorials, courses and posts on other social media platforms to bring them to TikTok. My top tip is to set a timer, because it’s easy to get lost in TikTok with ‘just one more video’ and scroll the day away. Look at what others in your field are doing, how people are engaging with them, which hashtags they’re using, and start making your own TikTok plans (maybe enjoy some cute kitties, funny comedians, talented chefs and general weirdness as well … it’s for research, afterall!).