It’s no secret, we are all addicted to TikTok when it comes to mindless scrolling of short format videos. From watching our favourite influencers to random viral clips, TikTok is becoming the leading social media platform, and it’s where small businesses want to be to engage with customers.
The hashtage ‘#smallbusinessowner’ has over 875 million views on TikTok. But which small businesses across the UK are making the most out of the social app?
Dolly’s Desserts, a dessert shop with two branches in Barnsley, has taken TikTok by storm with people travelling from the other side of the country to get a test of their delicious ice cream and cookie dough treats. The shop is run by Charlie Smark and her mum Janine Davies, with Charlie showing numerous behind the scene tasks whilst providing voiceovers, all recorded on her phone.
Since Charlie launched the TikTok account in 2020, she has amassed 1.5million followers for her business and over 75.4million likes on her videos!
So you want to do the same? The business comparison experts at Bionic have pulled together their top tips on how small business owners could make the most out of the social platform to increase their customer base and raise brand awareness.
Do your research and use trending hashtags
TikTok is already brimming with trends and hashtags just waiting for SMEs to mimic and put their own spin on. It’s worth spending some time researching different hashtags to see which trends you can jump on. You’ll also get a better understanding of which hashtags to use in your own videos to help the TikTok community find your content.
Use the ‘discover’ feature to kick-start your research.
Create your own authentic content – it doesn’t need to be expertly filmed
TikTok is a place for everyone to share snippets of their life which means videos are usually filmed on smartphones – and spontaneously – you don’t need fancy equipment.
Remember, be authentic and keep it light. TikTok is the home of entertainment so experiment with what you share and give your audience fun ‘behind the scenes’ clips to showcase your brand’s organic personality to connect with your audience.
Lastly, take vertical videos so they’re the right format for the app and use the function to add music or trending TikTok songs.
Advertise on TikTok but don’t forget about UGC
Like all social media platforms, TikTok does allow you to advertise your brand. You can do this via native ads, branded takeovers or sponsored hashtag challenges where your brand sets a challenge for the TikTok community.
However, don’t forget the power of user-generated content, otherwise known as UGC. UGC allows users to take your brand and hashtag it on their videos, for example, new shoe releases by Nike often garner this type of activity.
Find influencers who fit your brand and create relationships
Influencers are everywhere and in every industry. The key to influencer marketing is finding influencers who are relevant to your brand and really fit with your values.
They will expect repatriation but in return, they may talk about your product to their followers and link to your brand.
Remember – don’t try to make a hard sell
TikTok’s content is truly organic so any ads or marketing you do need to fit with that native style or users will feel annoyed.
Glyn Britton, Chief Customer Officer at business comparison expert Bionic, added, “Social media, particularly TikTok, can be such an impressive tool for small businesses to use. It allows them to share genuine footage of their day to day processes and jobs – giving people a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ that they wouldn’t usually get a chance to experience. But it’s not just about sharing videos.
“As our study shows, it also allows loads of SME owners to really get their brand out there and showcase their hard work by building a community of followers.
“The nature of TikTok also means that no one is expecting expertly filmed and edited footage. Much of the video content we can see being created now is roughly filmed on smartphones by people with no formal social media experience. However, the authenticity, personality and craftmanship being showcased is why the public readily engage time and time again.
“TikTok costs nothing to set up and, if used creatively, can become a lead generator and extra stream of income for SMEs.”