Although the social media platform, TikTok, has only been around since September 2016, the platform is no longer just a place for dance and comedy videos. With 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok is certainly the app to watch in 2021…
“When times change, so must we.” – Barack Obama. It is always difficult when a new platform comes along and you have to work out if it’s the right platform for your business, how to use it and how to grow a following – which is why many businesses just ignore the latest trends but if you can get your TikTok Business Account right, it could help to grow your business massively in just a short space of time.
The question is, “Is TikTok good for business?”.
The answer is, ANY platform is good for business if you work hard at it and TikTok is no exception to this rule. Some businesses have gone viral overnight, just by posting one video which has gained millions of views and given them 20,000 followers!
There are so many Business TikTok accounts, particularly Small Business TikTok Accounts, which have tens of thousands of followers, yet all they really show is ‘behind the scenes’ of their business or ‘a day in the life’ of their business – the #SmallBusinessTikTok hashtag has 170.9 million views! ‘Small Business TikTok’ is definitely a thing and you can quite easily create a friendly community where you can all engage with each others’ posts. The screenshot below shows small business-related hashtags and their number of views in TikTok – this is all on the TikTok Platform too, so you don’t necessarily need to do any other hashtag research!
TikTok Business Vs Creator Account
Using TikTok for business purposes starts with the question of ‘what account do you need?’. TikTok offers two main categories of accounts: Personal Accounts and Pro Accounts. Within a Pro Account, you can either be a Business Account or a Creator Account. If you are a Business, you definitely need a Pro Account as this supplies you with insightful analytics about your account which you can then use to tailor your future content based on which types of your videos have ‘done well’.
A TikTok Business Account allows you to have a link in your TikTok bio immediately, whereas with a TikTok Creator Account, you must wait until you reach 1000 followers. You also need a Business Account in order to set up TikTok Ads.
(A question you may be asking at this point is, ‘Is a TikTok Business Account Free?’ and the answer is yes!)
A TikTok Creator Account also offers you the possibility of signing up to the TikTok Creator Fund, where you can start earning money from your videos. Some of the eligibility requirements for this include the following: you are based in the UK/USA/France/Germany/Italy/Spain, you have 10,000 followers and regularly reach 10,000 views in a month, you are over 18 and you have an account that does not violate guidelines.
With a TikTok Creator Account, you are also able to access all the sounds, whereas with a Business Account, you can only access sounds which are licensed for Commercial Use, which means you won’t always be able to join in with the ‘trends’.
TikTok for Business – TikTok Business Ads
If you can get the organic side of TikTok just right, then, in all honesty, TikTok Ads aren’t necessary as they are more expensive than, say, Facebook Ads – TikTok requires a minimum of $500 investment per ad, which is often unrealistic for most small businesses to spend on a digital ad. What’s more, the amazing thing about TikTok is that you can generate thousands to millions of views all organically, without spending a penny! There are 4 TikTok Ads Formats
- Video Ads – these appear in your TikTok Feed and are similar to Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads.
- Brand Takeover Ads – this is the first ad you see when you open up the TikTok App.
- Top View Ads – very similar to Brand Takeover Ads.
- Branded Hashtag Challenge – this is based upon aggregating user-generated content in one place and building engagement around your brand.
- Branded Effect – this allows you to create your own filters, stickers and special effects that the user will see is linked to your brand when they use it.
TikTok for Business – TikTok Affiliate Marketing
TikTok affiliate marketing seems to be growing in popularity as many ‘influencers’ use TikTok to drive traffic to their affiliate marketing link. This can either be done organically, where you say in your video or video caption something like “Check out the link in my bio to shop now!”, include a promotional code in your video or caption or even include a link in your video or caption. This last method is likely to be less effective though, as the user would have to copy and paste the caption into Google or manually enter it into Google – and because TikTok is generally lots of fast-paced swiping through videos, users may skip this.
Affiliate Marketing on TikTok can also be done inorganically via a link in TikTok Ads, but you would definitely need to weigh up if this outgoing is worth the profit you would receive in return!
There is no right or wrong method but, as mentioned in my previous section, I would definitely try the organic route of TikTok before venturing into the expense of TikTok Ads.
How to use TikTok for Business – how you can become a successful TikTok Business Account in 6 Steps
- Decide a broad niche of what videos you are going to post. There can be some variation from this, but it is important to have a clear strategy of what sort of videos you are going to post. Plan videos in advance so that you always have at least one video to post a day.
- Make your content ENGAGING and EXCITING! The user should want to go back and watch the video multiple times. Try asking a question in the video/caption which encourages the user to make a comment. Videos should also have good lighting and be of high quality – by all means film on your phone, but perhaps consider investing in a ring light or studio light.
- Post regularly. Most TikTok ‘experts’ suggest 1 – 3 times a day. Posting 5 times a day could be considered ‘spammy’ and could potentially bore your audience. You will also see guides of what times to post on TikTok but this solely depends on your particular audience, so instead of posting at the time an online guide tells you, go to your Analytics and see when your audience is most active.
- Follow and engage with other accounts and build a community network with not only your customers but also your competitors – customers like to see like-minded businesses supporting each other, but it will also mean your account is visible to other users who are looking through the comments.
- Make use of TikTok Trends. Trending sounds and hashtags are great to use every so often – why not stand out from the crowd though and put your own spin on one of the trending videos? There definitely doesn’t seem to be an exact science to using hashtags on TikTok – I have seen videos with no hashtags go viral and I have seen videos with 10 hashtags go viral. As a Marketing Consultancy, we think the most important thing here is the quality and excitement of your videos.
- Most importantly, keep going! You may be one of the lucky ones and your first post goes viral, but this is unlikely. Your first few videos may not even reach 100 views, but keep going because the more you post, the more likely one of your videos will be pushed to more audiences and in turn reach a high number of views.
So, in conclusion, to answer ‘Can you use TikTok for Business?’, we’ve found that TikTok could most likely grow your business, plus increase sales massively if you can manage to fine-tune your account to fit exactly what TikTok likes to see. Create high quality videos and engage with your followers and eventually you will be able to achieve high views, increase followers and ultimately drive traffic to your relevant link, but like any social media platform, you have to put the work in, in order to see consistent results – even if you are one of the lucky ones whose first video goes ‘viral’!