TikTok is currently the fastest-growing social media platform in the world, with over 800 million active users globally.
For a small business or a newly established entrepreneur, TikTok is a great platform for you to expand your brand identity and increase your consumer target audience.
Whilst TikTok has traditionally been used mostly by 16-24 year olds, it is becoming increasingly popular with older generations, giving businesses a platform to express creativity to a wider audience.
Here are ten ways businesses can upscale and reach wider audiences using TikTok.
1. Establish yourself as an authority
First, you want to establish yourself or your business as a credible, trustworthy authority. This will instantly attract audiences and keep them engaged with your business.
To do so, you need to create videos that bring value to your customer.
Whilst there are plenty of people creating videos of dance challenges and pointing at text bubbles, it is doubtful that this kind of content will help build your business' credibility. Audiences much prefer to hear a voice behind the business.
Therefore, engage with audiences by using your voice, whether it be answering questions you are receiving frequently from customers, or providing informative content they want to see.
There are several ways you can do this, such as: using the keyboard shortcut tool, demonstrating internal training, or creating educational content videos around what your audience wants to know.
2. Show that you are the face of your business
Whether you are the face of your business or your product is the star, a consumer needs to clearly establish who or what can offer them familiarity - and this is all part of building your brand.
This is important because, on TikTok, a user's default feed is not the feed containing the people they follow. Instead, it's the ‘for you’ feed, meaning TikTok algorithms are personally customised for the users watching habits.
Therefore, if you are posting videos of yourself as the face of your business and your journey, you are extremely likely to get put in front of users who have no idea who you are.
This is because TikTok loves to push a business’ success story onto a user’s ‘for you’ feed, and share the growth of a company - which is why it is so important to be the face of your brand.
If you are already established elsewhere, whether it be on your own personal website, other social media platforms, or perhaps you have built yourself with a podcast, TikTok can actually be a great vessel to promote external projects you have going on.
You can do so using the ‘edit profile’ section within the app, by simply including links to where your business appears elsewhere across the internet.
4. Link your business in your bio
Having a link in your bio is extremely important, ensuring it is extremely easy for a user to direct themselves to your business website once landing on your TikTok page.
It is worth remembering that you need a minimum of 1,000 followers to have a link in your bio. However, once that is achieved, it is recommended to have the link to your website in the ‘website’ section, which is below the ‘bio’ section.
In the bio section, you could add a link to “check out more here” with an arrow pointing downwards, which clearly indicates to your customer where your business' main website is.
Essentially, having ‘actionable’ links will help you encourage users to navigate themselves away from TikTok, which is how you are going to make your money!
5. Go live!
Going live is a great way to get to know your audience in an unscripted, unfiltered kind of way. Customers love to know the person behind a business in a personal way, as it makes them feel more involved in the business and the journey.
To go live, you do, again, need to have at least 1,000 followers. However, once you do, the best way to feel comfortable is to practise on a smaller audience.
Once you have made a few mistakes in front of a smaller audience, you will be a pro by the time you have built up a mass following.
Going live reinforces the point mentioned above: That you want to establish yourself as credible and trustworthy. By showing your audience the real you, you are encouraging them to trust you and your business, giving it authenticity.
6. Use the latest trending sounds
On TikTok, audio matters, and 88% of TikTok users say that sound is essential to the TikTok experience.
Being an essential asset for going viral, brands should learn how to get it right. Therefore, by following the latest algorithms, you can check the "TikTok Viral" tab via the video editor, then select "Sounds" to browse the latest trending audio tracks.
It is important for businesses to be extremely careful when using songs, as they must comply with copyright. As a business account on TikTok, you can only use TikTok commercial sounds. You should also check that the trending sounds aren’t at odds with your brand image, of course.
To jump on the latest trending sounds, take advantage of the Creative Centre, where you can go to see the top performing sounds on TikTok, whether a trend is on the rise, at its peak or starting to slow down.
7. Demonstrate a day in the life of your business
“Adayinthelife” videos have a staggering 1.4 billion views on TikTok, so jumping on the trending hashtag is a no-brainer for any account wanting to attract attention.
Taking your followers along with you on a typical day as a small business owner is a great way to keep them engaged and involved with your journey and the growth of your business.
Whether it be the simple things like coffee and breakfast, to product launches and marketing events, it is nice for your customers to get to know you, as well as the team that helps to keep your business afloat.
8. Demonstrate the packaging process of your customers' orders
A great way to engage a customer is to demonstrate how their order is packaged, giving them that sense of behind-the-scenes exclusivity.
One of the best small businesses on TikTok is Down to Earth Beauty, a body and skincare, cruelty-free product seller
The business has a playlist for packaging orders and an ASMR playlist for followers that find the product piping process satisfying to hear.
9. Use hashtags to attract niche audiences
For a business wanting to attract niche audiences, hashtags are a great way to do so. Using relevant hashtags in established TikTok communities such as #WineTok, #FoodTok, #CleanTok or #BookTok can help you tap into users in certain niches.
As a small business, it can be easy for you to be involved with your audience if you don’t have a huge stream of comments. Therefore, you can also connect with audiences in your comment section or answer their questions.
10. Produce and post consistently
Once any TikTok account attracts followers, they will continue to want to see more.
Therefore, posting rich and value-centred content around 1-3 times daily is a great way to keep your audience happy.
Short-form videos are an excellent marketing tool and since TikTok is the home of this type of content, as a business owner, you should take advantage.
Posting more than once every day increases your chances of getting seen by your desired audience and increasing your following.