With 500 million daily active users TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms of the decade but with so much else on the marketing agenda in business, why and how should we use it?
Here AD:VENTURE ambassador Sophie Mei Lan (https://community media network.co.uk / https://sparklecommunications.co.uk) also shares why she has stopped “messing about dancing” on the platform and is starting to use it to grow her business, while still having fun.
Sophie also speaks to some local businesses who have made it ‘big’ on the platform.
Why is TikTok important for businesses?
It is not all about dance moves, it’s a subtle marketing strategy whether it be for your brand, driving a cause or selling products, paid for advertising doesn’t always make an impact.
- 36% of consumers use ad-blockers
This is a more natural and organic way of growing a community, building your audience and connecting with your customers.
As a start-up brand and micro-business (which makes up most of the businesses in the UK) it can be hard to compete to make a noise but your strength is your authentic voice and skillset.
Larger brands have to try mimic more personable ‘raw’ content whereas smaller brands tend to have less red tape and can experiment using TikTok.
Here are a few statistics, from Social Pilot, that show why a business cannot afford to ignore TikTok:
- It has 500 million active users globally
- With 33 million downloads in Q1, 2019, it was the most downloaded app on the AppStore
- It is available in 155 countries
- 90% of TikTok user access the app multiple times a day
- On average, 1 million videos are viewed on TikTok daily
- TikTok users spent $2.3 billion on in-app purchases in 2021, a 77% increase from 2020. So, you really can’t afford to miss the boat — your competitors sure won’t.
But does TikTok actually result in sales?
At the bus stop recently, I spotted an identical water bottle to the one I had just purchased off TikTok for my daughter, the woman had also bought it off TikTok and I also recognised when exploring wholesale sites for products.
It was a perfect example of how small brands are capitalising on TikTok for drop shipping products or even selling their services.
You’ll be glad to know, or surprised, that this app is more than just for kids, as She Talks Cars, founded by Abigayle Andre explains: “I create car content to help inform UK drivers on news, reviews and help them to make informed car-buying decisions.” Her platform is made up of established UK drivers who follow Abigayle to influence their purchasing of luxury motors.
The Bradford-based entrepreneur talks business too as she has had more than 2 million views to a short useful video she made for a client, which resulted in hundreds of their app downloads not to mention receiving a number of messages from her community explaining how they have purchased a vehicle as a result of her guidance.
Abigayle, an automotive journalist, content creator, and serial entrepreneur, says: “I love cars and I love helping people. So it works well.
“TikTok has brought me some amazing opportunities and also created an amazing community of like-minded people who love cars who I enjoy engaging with. It’s like a family.”
Abigayle’s shares her top three TikTok growth tips:
- Give Value For FREE
What do you know about it? What are you passionate about? Use your channel to educate others on that topic, you may think people already know this stuff. But you’d be surprised how much value YOU have.
- Put Your Audience FIRST
Always create with the audience in mind, this can be hard to figure out at first. So get started on what you think will help others and what you’re passionate about and as people start asking questions or talking about specific things, lean into that!
– Be Consistent
Post 3-4 times per day for at least the first 2-4 weeks. Then make sure you post every day and keep the theme of your channel consistent.
TikTok has transformed the life of the Bradford-based businesswoman Abigayle who has also developed a personal brand alongside her businesses thanks to the platform.
She started sharing her motoring knowledge in the second Lockdown and has since accelerated to success, landing deals with the UK’s largest brands after going viral on the popular social media platform.
Abigayle said: “I have always had a love of cars and would read every motoring magazine and newspaper as a child. I started working for the Volkswagen Group in customer relations which sewed the seeds to where I am today.”
Trailblazer Abigayle has become a brand ambassador and presenter for a range of selective brands, after launching @SheTalksCars on TikTok in Lockdown Two.
She said: “I just wanted to give consumers the confidence to buy or, as I often advise, lease a vehicle, that is both value for money and stylish.
“I talk a lot about electric cars too because consumers are more conscious these days and I want to help them discover a motor that embodies all their needs because your vehicle says a lot about you.
“It’s been a whirlwind receiving so many offers from brands and opportunities but I am selective about who I work with as I have to believe what they do as my followers come first to me.”
Abigayle who has acquired 55k followers within months, receives tens of messages daily from grateful customers
“My followers deserve honest up-to-date advice and I take that responsibility seriously.”
We spoke to businesses who were also flying on the platform to discover their top tips.
Top tips on using TikTok for businesses:
- Be first on the trends: If you see something trending, add your angle to it to tie in with your business.
- Be concise: Follow a format e.g. Hook (Problem), Agitate and Solve.
- Tell short stories: Be creative in how you tell stories but human stories work.
- Choose a niche so you are speaking to a clear audience.
- Collaborate with other users in your field or related.
- Cross-purpose content: Yes, original content on each platform is ideal but let’s be realistic when starting out. Choose a primary social media platform to focus on and focus on creating native content on that then share and tweak on other platforms.
- Create React Videos or do duets with people talking about relevant topics.
- Influencer Marketing: Pay or gift keys influencers on the platform to promote your product/service.
- Life hacks or teaching: If creating entertaining content isn’t your main goal on the platform, create engaging content linked to your business #learnontiktok or #lifehacks e.g. How to use TikTok to grow your business.
How have you found TikTok so far?
For a range of free courses, support and tips to grow your business, go to: https://www.ad-venture.org.uk